Justice Minister Pažin, PACE co-rapporteurs: Montenegro makes notable progress in rule of law

    Podgorica, Montenegro (18 November 2015) – Montenegro’s notable results in the rule of law and improvement of the society as a whole are incentives for making more determined efforts towards EU membership, Minister of Justice Zoran Pažin and Co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Terry Leyden and Ionut-Marian Stroe concluded at their meeting in Podgorica earlier today.

    Minister Pažin informed the PACE co-rapporteurs of the concrete results achieved in the period between the two co-rapporteurs’ visits, with an emphasis on the results in the area of the country’s strategic priorities – combating corruption and improving independence of the judiciary. By treating corruption as a negative social phenomenon, Minister Pažin pointed out that the response of the society and institutions in Montenegro to this phenomenon has been two-sided, taking into account the aspects of prevention and repression of the phenomenon. In that context, he stressed the goals achieved in the field of maintaining strong prevention mechanisms, quality legal solutions, strengthening the Anti-Corruption Agency and other relevant institutions, as well as in raising awareness of the harmfulness of the phenomenon. From the aspect of repression, Minister Pažin underscored that reform activities are aimed at more efficient functioning of law enforcement institutions and the judiciary, and detecting and prosecuting criminal offenders. A proactive approach to judicial authorities and law enforcement bodies gives an irreplaceable added value, he added.

    Speaking about the integrity of the judiciary, the Justice Minister said that legal certainty is the most important element of the rule of law and fundamental prerequisite for the development of a society. In that regard, the PACE co-rapporteurs have been presented with the reform activities being implemented in order to strengthen the integrity of the judicial function and reinforce public confidence in the judiciary.

    Minister Pažin also commented on the importance of quality of inter-institutional cooperation, as well as the fact that a balanced relationship between the relevant institutions has produced measurable results.

    Co-rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Terry Leiden praised Montenegro’s efforts and results in achieving its strategic priorities, pledging full support for further Montenegro’s reform momentum. He added that Montenegro has made notable achievements in upgrading the system of promotion and protection of human rights and freedoms as well.

    The PACE co-rapporteurs praised the cooperation between the Montenegrin institutions and the Council of Europe aimed at providing accommodation to vulnerable categories. They agreed it is necessary to invest further efforts towards improving the use of natural resources of Montenegro, including its availability and connectivity.

    Source: Government of Montenegro