Montenegro to focus on reforms towards successful completion of negotiation process

    #DeputyPrimeMinister #ZoranPažin #SpecialStateProsecutor’SOffice #MladenChervenyakov #PrimeMinister #WesternBalkans #RegionalCooperation #MemberStates #AivoOrav #EuDelegationToMontenegro #AntiCorruptionAgency #Prosecutor’SOffice #CriminalOffense

    Podgorica, Montenegro (23 March 2018)– Based on the reforms and the results achieved, especially in the area of ​​the rule of law, we expect 2018 to be the year when Montenegro will open all the remaining negotiating chapters and strongly focus on further reforms towards the successful completion of negotiations with the EU, said the Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Pažin at today’s meeting with ambassadors of the EU member states and the Head of the EU Delegation to Montenegro. Montenegro to focus on reforms towards successful completion of negotiation process

    Podgorica, Montenegro (23 March 2018) — Based on the reforms and the results achieved, especially in the area of ​​the rule of law, we expect 2018 to be the year when Montenegro will open all the remaining negotiating chapters and strongly focus on further reforms towards the successful completion of negotiations with the EU, said the Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Pažin at today’s meeting with ambassadors of the EU member states and the Head of the EU Delegation to Montenegro.

    At the meeting, which took place within the Bulgarian presidency of the EU Council, Bulgarian Ambassador Mladen Chervenyakov stated that his country supports Montenegro’s great ambitions in the negotiation process and that the Bulgarian presidency, in the context of its priority – bringing the countries of the Western Balkans closer to the Union, will help Montenegro achieve these goals to the largest possible extent.

    Head of the EU Delegation to Montenegro, Ambassador Aivo Orav, congratulated Montenegro on constructive approach and good neighbourly relations, which made a significant contribution to the positive resolution of the border demarcation issue between Montenegro and Kosovo. He stressed that this approach of Montenegro is precisely the model of regional cooperation policy the EU would like to promote through the new enlargement strategy. Ambassador Orav also emphasised the crucial importance of the issue of freedom of expression and credible balance of results in the field of the rule of law.

    Presenting the key results in the fight against corruption, DPM Pažin pointed out that, from the beginning of the work of the Anti-Corruption Agency, based on its opinions and decisions, 127 public officials have resigned. In 2017 alone, corruption investigations were launched against 76 individuals and 17 legal entities, whereas having completed the investigations, the indictments were filed against 18 persons. In cases of corrupt criminal offenses, the court ruled for 24 persons, including convictions against 13 persons.

    Speaking about the fight against organised crime, he underlined that the Special State Prosecutor’s Office launched last year investigations against 68 people, while charges were brought against 52 people. Furthermore, in 2017, financial investigations were launched in 19 cases of corruption and organised crime against 116 natural and 4 legal entities.

    DPM Pažin expressed expectations that by delivering results and high-quality fulfillment of the provisional benchmarks in the area of ​​the rule of law, Montenegro will deserve to obtain this year the final criteria for the closure of the negotiations in key chapters 23 and 24.

    Source: Government of Montenegro