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Strasbourg, France (27 June 2017) — Since becoming a member of the Council of Europe 10 years ago, Montenegro has made progress, achieved clear and visible results, but there are still challenges to be dealt with, Prime Minister Duško Marković and the Council of Europe’s Secretary General Torbjorn Jagland concluded at a meeting held in Strasbourg earlier today…
Strasbourg, France (27 June 2017) — Since becoming a member of the Council of Europe 10 years ago, Montenegro has made progress, achieved clear and visible results, but there are still challenges to be dealt with, Prime Minister Duško Marković and the Council of Europe’s Secretary General Torbjorn Jagland concluded at a meeting held in Strasbourg earlier today.
The Prime Minister is paying an official visit to the Council of Europe on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Montenegro’s membership in this international organisation.
Speaking about significant successes after restoring independence of the state and its membership in the Council of Europe, the Prime Minister recalled that Montenegro became a NATO member on 5 June and that, after five years of negotiations with the EU, it has opened 28 open negotiating chapters and intends to open the remaining chapters by the end of the year. He added that the goal is to end this process in the next five years and start the formalisation of EU membership.
Prime Minister Marković emphasised that successes are the result of the work of this, but also of previous governments and administrations, as well as the citizens.
“But this is at the same time the result made by our partners and our friends who helped us eliminate or bridge the historical backlogs and serious deficits we had when it comes to democracy, political system, the rule of law and the economy,” the Prime Minister told the press conference and thanked Mr Jagland and all bodies of the Council of Europe for their assistance.
According to the Prime Minister, there are also many challenges ahead of Montenegro. He asked the Secretary-General to work together to strengthen the political system, establish a higher level of democracy, develop and enhance confidence in the electoral system and strengthen the rule of law.
“We have achieved better results in the fight against organised crime and corruption, but at the same time we are working towards protecting and advancing basic human rights, especially of the vulnerable groups such as LGBTI people, disabled people, internally displaced persons,” the Prime Minister noted.
He added that it is necessary to make more efforts towards developing the media scene in Montenegro: ” The level of democracy we are striving for requires free media and pluralistic media scene.”
The Prime Minister promised that the Government will do everything to achieve that goal, both through dialogue with the media scene, as well as through amending the legislation.
“Therefore, the questions of media self-regulation, professionalism and objectivity are not the matter of the Government, but of the media. If they want to achieve these goals, they will have full support of the Montenegrin Government, and me personally, “said Prime Minister Marković.
Secretary-General Jagland said that in the past 10 years, Montenegro has achieved a lot and that he had the pleasure of assessing the situation with Prime Minister Marković and discussing the future cooperation between the Council of Europe and Montenegro.
He also added that he appreciates that he gained a deeper insight into the political situation in Montenegro and the Balkans. Asked by a reporter about the boycott of the Montenegrin Parliament by the opposition, Mr Jagland said that those elected by the citizens should be in parliament.
OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
Source: Government of Montenegro