Rule of Law Council’s session: Rule of law strategic priority for Montenegro’s government

    Podgorica, Montenegro (6 April 2015) — Today’s session of Montenegro’s Rule of Law Council, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Duško Marković, discussed the adapted action plans for the negotiating chapters 23 and 24, as well as activities towards fulfilling the criteria of temporary and preliminary findings of the rule of law expert missions.

    It was agreed that significant progress has been made in the area of judiciary and anti-corruption-related legislation, as evidenced by the fact that five judicial and four anti-corruption laws had been adopted.

    Having adopted the judicial legislation, Montenegro completed the process of regulatory reform of the judiciary, thus clearly stating that the strengtening of the rule of law remain the country’s strategic priority.

    Montenegro has voiced willingness to respond to the demanding European agenda, and the adoption of a set of anti-corruption laws has made a step further and established a high quality anti-corruption system up to EU standards, and in some areas perhaps more modern, the Council’s session underlined.

    Consistent implementation of legislation and strengthening administrative capacity, which is an integral part of the fulfillment of interim benchmarks the European Commission has set (45 benchmarks for the Chapter 23 and 38 for Chapter 24), are ahead. The session emphasised that the Government adopted in February the amended action plans for these chapters with the aim of their more efficient implementation.

    Earlier this year, the Council noted there was a very intense work in the field of rule of law, which included, in addition to adopting the se of key laws, a meeting of the Subcommittee on Justice, Freedom and Security, as well. Furthermore, five expert missions visited Montenegro in this period, the Council added, and it announced the visit of another the Chapter 24-related expert mission in April. It was pointed out the European Commission has commended all the work that has been done at the end of the fifth meeting of the Subcommittee on Justice, Freedom and Security, which was held in February, encouraging Montenegro’s institution to continue making efforts towards implementing the adopted legislation.

    The meeting particularly emphasised the importance of fulfilling provisional criteria for the chapters 23 and 24, which are crucial for further course of the negotiation process between Montenegro and the EU.

    The Council concluded that all relevant authorities are obliged to achieve objective set out in the action plans for the negotiating chapters 23 and 24, and to work hard towards strengthening the rule of law which, thus further boosting implementation of the key priorities of Montenegro’s foreign policy – meeting requirements from the European agenda.

    Source: Government of Montenegro