Excerpt from DPM Pažin’s interiew with Pobjeda

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    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Zoran Pažin gave an interview to Montenegrin daily newspaper Pobjeda, where he spoke about the rule of law, cooperation between the Government and civil sector, media, Montenegro’s European integration and Civil Law…

    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Zoran Pažin gave an interview to Montenegrin daily newspaper Pobjeda, where he spoke about the rule of law, cooperation between the Government and civil sector, media, Montenegro’s European integration and Civil Law.

    I would say that the question of the rule of law and, specifically, the fight against corruption and organised crime is not only a prerequisite for our further progress in European integration, but the overriding need for our country’s overall economic and social prosperity. That is why these issues are at the core of, not just our integration agenda, but all the reform efforts of the Government, Deputy Prime Minister Pažin said.

    I will mention some of the achievements in this area in 2017. When it comes to the fight against corruption and organised crime, 250,000 square meters of business and residential premises, other buildings and land were temporarily seized. In addition, over the past year, investigations have been conducted against 63 persons and charges have been brought against 43 persons for the criminal offense of organised crime.

    The progress we made in this area over the past year was the foundation for all state policy successes in the first year of the Government’s work, including the finalization of the NATO accession process, the strengthening of the leading position in the European integration process and the achievement of one of the highest rates of economic growth currently in Europe.

    Based on these results, we expect that in 2018 conditions will be created for meeting benchmarks for closing negotiating chapters 23 and 24. This would be a great success and a key step towards finalization of the negotiating process in these chapters, whose closure will actually mean a successful finalization of the whole negotiating process and Montenegro’s full readiness to join the European Union, DPM Pažin said.

    Deputy Prime Minister Pažin also spoke about the need of closer cooperation between the Government and the civil sector.

    I believe that nowhere in the region the non-governmental organizations are such a powerful and active social factor as in Montenegro. That is not a coincidence, such a social position is based on the serious capacities the NGO sector has in our country.

    For small Montenegro it is a great resource. To be clear, I consider that the cooperation between the Government and NGOs is not productive enough, that there are not enough cases where the public and civil sector work together to create new values for citizens.

    The Deputy Prime Minister said that this cooperation should not be subject to the political game, adding that he believes that there is mutual responsibility for such atmosphere. On the one hand, there is not a long tradition in the Montenegrin public administration and a developed culture of cooperation with non-governmental organizations, while on the other hand, the most active non-governmental organizations tend to be profilers and critics of public policies and insufficiently utilize their skills and knowledge to cooperate with public authorities in creating new values for citizens.

    I am convinced that the Montenegrin society cannot allow the situation in which the civil and public sectors do not cooperate and where the precious social energy would spread to pseudo-political conflicts. Also, I firmly believe that it is our common duty to affirm cooperation between the Government and the NGO on the principle of partnership for social good.

    When it comes to media, DPM Pažin said that further work on the development of professional capacities and strengthening the professionalism and independence of journalists is needed. In accordance with the principle of self-regulation, i.e. independent regulation of electronic media, the greatest responsibility for progress in this area lies within the scope of the journalist profession itself. The state must, on the other hand, do everything it can to prevent or sanction any attack on journalists or media assets. He recalled that the Government, aware of the unfavourable economic situation in the domestic media industry, in March this year provided assistance to all active broadcasters in Montenegro in the amount of EUR 1.84 million.

    Speaking about the future of Montenegro in the EU, DPM Pažin said that Montenegro chose the path of integration into the community of developed European countries. We have chosen the international framework that offers the greatest guarantees for security, democratic development and economic prosperity of the Montenegrin society.

    The Deputy Prime Minister also spoke about the codification of the Civil Law, stressing that it is the most demanding juridical job in the country, which will bring together key principles and rules of civil law, contribute to the enhancement of the legal and social security of legal entities and citizens, mutual harmonization of legal solutions, and their alignment with ratified international conventions and standards and European legislation.

    A modern civil law, harmonized with the relevant European standards and regulations, represents a significant systemic incentive for the development of the domestic economy and attracting foreign investors, since a well-regulated and predictable business environment is an important prerequisite for business success, DPM Pažin said.

    Source: Government of Montenegro