Brussels requests results from Montenegro in the fight against crime and corruption

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Podgorica, February 27, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Adnan Prekic

There are increasing objections from the part of the European Union, regarding Montenegrin authorities’ need to improve struggle against corruption and organised crime. In the framework 23 and 24 negotiating chapters EU expects concrete results, while the Montenegrin government is generally focused on the adoption of legislations. Compliments are still coming from Europe regarding the results achieved in the integration process, but it is becoming increasingly clear that for any future progress to be achieved it is necessary to produce concrete results in the fight against corruption and organized crime.

A year and a half after the adoption of action plans for the negotiation in chapters 23 and 24 the results in the fight against corruption and organized crime were below expectations. Dirk Lange, Head of the Department for Montenegro in the Directorate General for Enlargement of the European Commission, said that the European Commission give credit only to those results that are in visible reality.

The European official said that Brussels had expected an earlier adoption of the legislative framework. Montenegro’s Parliament just yesterday passed a law regarding the special prosecutor’s office that will help in the fight against corruption and organised crime. Lange announced that the European Commission expects not just the adoption of the legislation, but also for the special prosecutor’s office to start working on cases as soon as possible and give a record of achievement.

The official of European Commission points out that “the results in the fight against corruption and organised crime were not the expected ones, and also that the requirements that were outlined in the Action Plans a year and a half ago, have not been met”. He said that the European Commission expects that progress in the rule of law be aligned with other areas.

Chief Negotiator of Montenegro in talks with EU Aleksandar Andrija Pejovic said that Montenegro is now in a new phase, when it is expecting to build new institutions, such as the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption, and the future office for confiscated property, as well as the special prosecutor’s office.

Lange added that in the next few weeks an EU expert mission will arrive in Montenegro to assess how the implementation of the legislation is being carried out. These results will be presented in April at the session of the European Council, where they will discuss whether there is a balance in the negotiations. If Montenegro has not achieved the desirable results in the fight against corruption and organised crime, there is a possibility of the suspension of negotiations with the European Union.

Source: Independent Balkan News Agency (Montenegro)