27 Feb 15
Montenegro Police Chided Over Organized Crime Wave
Montenegro’s parliament urged the police to do more to tackle crime gangs a day after a European Commission official said more progress needed to be seen in the drive against orgnized crime.
Parliament’s Committee for Security and Defence on Friday said police and prosecutors need to be more efficient in the fight against organized crime after increased activity by members of organized criminal groups was registered.
At a closed session attended by senior police, prosecutors and intelligence service officials, the committee discussed the security situation following a series of criminals showdowns, unsolved murders and car bombs in the last few months.
The chair of the committee, Melvudin Nuhodzic, said: “Rising activity of members of organized criminal groups poses an increased threat to society”.
The European Commission’s top official in Montenegro, Dirke Lange, on Thursday said Montenegro blamed failures to achieve expected results in the fight against corruption and organised crime on delays in adopting important regulations.
What had been outlined in the government’s action plans a year-and-a-half ago had not been carried out, he said.
Lange, who heads the Montenegro unit at the European Commission’s Enlargement Directorate, said that even when appropriate laws and institutions were in place, that in itself did not guarantee progress.
“Progress that is visible in reality is what is credible – and that’s what we are looking for. Such progress is needed especially in the area of fighting corruption and crime,” he said.
Montenegro obtained EU candidate status in December 2010. In June 2012, accession negotiations formally opened at the first Intergovernmental Conference and a year later the screening process was completed.
In December 2013, Montenegro started negotiation talks with the EU on Chapters 23 and 24, which represent the most challenging phase of the country’s accession talks as they deal with the key issues of organized crime and corruption.
The EU’s new approach to membership negotiations, which is being implemented for the first time with Montenegro, means that Chapters 23 and 24 are to be kept open until the negotiations end.
The EU’s 2014 Progress Report on Montenegro, released in October, contained critical words on Podgorica’s performance in the fight against organised crime and corruption.
Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)