DPM Pažin: Good results are motive for more intensive progress towards EU membership

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    Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Pažin participated today in the 14th session of the EU-Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee (SAPC). In his address to the representatives of the Montenegrin and European Parliament, in the Parliament of Montenegro, DPM Pažin said that the current number of 30 open and three temporarily closed negotiation chapters represent a success, adding that no other candidate country for EU membership can praise itself with such achievement… DPM Pažin: Good results are motive for more intensive progress towards EU membership

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    Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Pažin participated today in the 14th session of the EU-Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee (SAPC).

    In his address to the representatives of the Montenegrin and European Parliament, in the Parliament of Montenegro, DPM Pažin said that the current number of 30 open and three temporarily closed negotiation chapters represent a success, adding that no other candidate country for EU membership can praise itself with such achievement.

    This result only motivates us to continue to progress more intensively, in line with realistic expectations and on the basis of concrete results achieved. One of the key expectations is that the European Union will recognise and appreciate the results of each country that strives to become a member of the Union, the Deputy Prime Minister said.

    Presenting key results in the fight against corruption and organised crime, DPM Pažin said that, since the establishment of the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption, in less than two years 105 public officials resigned from public office based on the Agency’s decision and opinion on the existence of a conflict of interest.

    He announced that in 2017, the Special State Prosecutor’s Office conducted investigations against 63 individuals for the criminal offense of organised crime, while charges were brought against 43 individuals.

    So far, 16 verdicts have been pronounced, of which 15 were based on a plea agreement. In the fight against corruption, there were 12 cases against a total of 54 natural and four legal entities. For the criminal offense of money laundering, investigations were launched against 24 individuals and the probe against two individuals, Deputy Prime Minister Pažin stressed.

    He explained that financial investigations were launched against 122 individuals and seven legal entities, adding that certain temporary measures prohibited the disposal and use of more than 250,000 squares of business and residential premises, facilities and land.

    Speaking about freedom of expression and media freedom, the Deputy Prime Minister emphasised the need for more proactive action of the authorities to detect attacks on the media, as well as the need to strengthen media self-regulation.

    Statistics in 2017 confirm that Montenegro is not a country in which media violence is recorded that can be characterized as a systemic problem. In the first nine months, the judicial authorities recorded four cases of threats to journalists, one of them being solved by a convict, one acquittal, while two cases are ongoing, DPM Pažin said. He stressed, however, that any attack on media representatives or media assets is at the same time an attack on democracy, adding that the Government will do everything within its jurisdiction to prevent or sanction any attack.

    DPM Pažin concluded the speech expressing the Government’s willingness to provide all the necessary support to the implementation of all recommendations that the OSCE / ODIHR has sent to Montenegro following the parliamentary elections.

    Source: Government of Montenegro