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Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Pažin participated today in the 8th session of the Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee (SAPC). DPM Pažin greeted the members of the Committee on behalf of the Government of Montenegro and presented the results from the previous year in the negotiation process with the European Union, with particular emphasis on the rule of law…
Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Pažin participated today in the 8th session of the Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee (SAPC). DPM Pažin greeted the members of the Committee on behalf of the Government of Montenegro and presented the results from the previous year in the negotiation process with the European Union, with particular emphasis on the rule of law.
The Deputy Prime Minister reminded that Montenegro has so far opened 26 and temporarily closed two negotiation chapters, and that it expects by the end of the month to open two more chapters: 1 – Free movement of goods and 22 – Regional policy, as well as to close negotiations on Chapter 30 – External relations. He informed the members of the European Parliament that Montenegro recognises the importance of balanced development of the negotiation process and that special focus is placed on the fulfillment of 83 interim benchmarks in Chapters 23 and 24. In this regard, he said that there is a clear picture of what needs to be done in order to assume the duties for closing negotiations on these chapters in the coming short-term period.
Reminding that Montenegro has almost fully completed the legal and institutional framework, DPM Pažin presented concrete results in the fight against organised crime and corruption, in particular high-level corruption. In this context, he reminded that in the past year in the area of confiscation of proceeds of crime, on the basis of plea agreements concluded in the cases of high-level corruption, assets amounting to 30 million EUR were confiscated. The Deputy Prime Minister noted that only in the first five months of 2017 were submitted indictments against 19 persons for criminal offenses related to organised crime. Also, investigation was initiated against 36 persons. With respect to investigations in the field of high-level corruption for the same period of time it was adjudged to initiate the investigation against 17 persons, as well as against 1 legal person, and investigations were initiated against 12 persons.
DPM Pažin also commented on the current political situation in Montenegro, suggesting that the opposition still does not show the commitment to use its democratic capacity in the Parliament. He recalled the standing invitation of the Government to the opposition to contribute – through open dialogue within the state institutions – to the solution of the political situation, starting from clearly formulated, logical and adequately presented opposition views.
Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee is a forum for policy dialogue established in accordance with the Agreement on Stabilisation and Association, which consists of deputies of the Parliament of Montenegro and the European Parliament.
MEP Tannock: Montenegro is still a good story in the Balkans
On the sidelines of the meeting of the Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee, Deputy Prime Minister for Political System, Internal and Foreign Policy Zoran Pažin met with member of the European Parliament and European Parliament’s rapporteur for Montenegro Charles Tannock.
MEP Tannock welcomed the efforts that Montenegro is investing in the process of the EU integration. Tannock emphasised that Montenegro remains to be a good story in the Balkans. He particularly pointed out that Montenegro deservedly became a member of NATO and congratulated on that occasion. The MEP positively assessed the proactive approach towards addressing the security challenges that accompanied the NATO integration of Montenegro and Russia’s alleged involvement in the process.
DPM Pažin informed MEP Tannock about the current political and security situation in Montenegro. The Deputy Prime Minister thanked for the efforts of the officials in the European Parliament, which further contributes to the reform policies in Montenegro.
The officials stated the importance of further continuation of Montenegro’s path towards the European Union, with an emphasis on the need for EU’s full commitment to the enlargement process, based on merit and progress assessment of each country individually.
Source: Government of Montenegro