EU appreciates Montenegro’s efforts in establishing rule of law, Christian Danielsson of EU emphasises

    Podgorica, Montenegro (8 July 2015) – “Montenegro has completed all the legislative reforms in the judiciary and rule of law, and we now have concrete results to present,” Deputy Prime Minister Duško Marković emphasised at today’s meeting with Director General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement negotiations Christian Danielsson in Podgorica.

    “This year is supposed to show Montenegro’s implementation capacity and the government focuses its attention in that direction,” DPM Marković said.

    Speaking of justice, he pointed out that the Montenegrin courts are the most efficient in the region, thanks to, among other things, an increasing number of new and young judges. He also stated that Montenegro has made significant achievements in the field of rule of law and judicial reform, adding that the perception of corruption and organised crime objectively spoil the image of the country’s justice system.

    “The Judicial Council and the president of the Supreme Court have undertaken additional activities in order to adequately respond to these challenges and I believe that we will resolve the cases that pose a burden on the judiciary and rule of law this autumn” the Deputy Prime Minister explained.

    When it comes to the judiciary reform, he in particular referred to the establishment of the Special Prosecutor’s Office and Anti-Corruption Agency, as well as the allocation of EUR 5 million to a new information justice system.

    Deputy Prime Minister Marković noted that implementing legislation is this year’s key priority, so that the government can present results in these areas next year.

    “Montenegro will do everything in its power to be a rule of law society, where all citizens are equal before the law,” he underscored.

    The Deputy Prime Minister said the Montenegrin institutions are become increasingly mature in implementing laws, especially when it comes to protecting media freedom, underlining that in recent time, there has been no attacks on journalists, thanks to the efficiency of law enforcement agencies. Commenting on the implementation of standards and commitments from the European agenda, he stated that the Government has established new mechanisms for monitoring results in this area.

    Director General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Christian Danielsson commended the work of the Government of Montenegro in the process of judicial reform and in strengthening the rule of law.

    “It takes long to establish efficient judiciary, but the EU appreciates Montenegro’s efforts in this area,” Mr Danielsson stressed, adding that the Special Prosecutor’s Office need to become functional as quickly as possible and to be imported into the information system in order to increase the level of efficiency and professionalism.

    Referring to fundamental rights, Danijelson singled out the issue of freedom of expression and the media, adding that respect for this rights is essential for the reform process, as the media are an integral part of the system and important stakeholder in the process of European integration.

    Speaking about reforms, Director General Danielsson said that for making even better results it is crucial to change attitude, behaviour and staff, noting that Montenegro should focus on the issue of corruption, and in particular on changing its perception.

    “Montenegro should strike a sustainable and steady balance of results at all levels in order to change the perception of corruption. This would send a strong message that Montenegro is an interesting place for investment, “General Director for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Christian Danielsson concluded in Podgorica.

    Source: Government of Montenegro