Pejović: Montenegro making progress

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Among other EU candidates, Montenegro is faring well when it comes to reforms in politics, said main negotiator Aleksandar Andrija Pejović.

He said that European Commission remarks always show the reality of matters, and that “during last 12 months, good results were made in almost all areas”.

„Although EC removed the word “progress” from these reports as some countries are seriously falling behind, everyone I talked with in Europe agrees that Montenegro can only speak of progress”, Pejović said to MINA Agency.

He said that the expansion strategy and EC report show that Montenegro is a country with the highest number of open and closed chapters.

„We can say that only Turkey is making more progress when it comes to market economy. But when we speak of quality and content of reforms in politics and chapters, Montenegro is leading among candidates”, Pejović said.

He said that Montenegro is especially recognizable in the area of legislation.

This is the result of serious efforts, studious reforms and the fact that Montenegro today has a more efficient, transparent and better judicial system than before.

Based on the last year report of EC, he believes it can be said that Montenegro is making stable and visible progress towards membership.

Pejović said that general remark for most of the areas is that “we are moderately ready, which is logical because we have not started closing major chapters yet”.

„At the same time, we are at the stage where we are finishing activities in order to open chapters and enter the last stage of political and economic criteria”, he said.

Pejović said that Brussels does not give out good marks without basis in truth. “I am sure that all of us who worked hard on compliance with EU standards can be pleased”.

Montenegro received good marks in creating legislative and institutional frameworks for many areas.

When it comes to corruption and organized crime, the whole region shares the same challenges, but Montenegro can be pleased about its legislation and institutions, especially forming of Special State Prosecution and Agency for fighting corruption.

Pejović said that the Report offers a lot of suggestions, advice and recommendations on how to move forward.

„We need more work in rule of law, especially against corruption and organized crime. Better work of all institutions of system in rule of law, better human rights protection”, he added.

According to Pejović, we are expected to demonstrate better financial and fiscal responsibility, better educational system in accordance with the market of work.

„When we talk about chapters that EU saw as falling behind, new government will have them as priorities, so we can take immediate actions to earn better marks”, he said.

Pejović said that EU marks for the Government are no news. „We are aware there is a need for more efficient work and activities. We are working on that. We need to understand that EU integration is a process that takes time”.

Pejović said that, based on field observations, we can note measurable results in many areas.

„Of course, there is a lot of work to be done going forward. New government will have a focus on rule of law, economic development and reform of public administration, as well as opening remaining 9 chapters”, he said.

„We will use the recommendations from the Report, especially those pertaining to areas suggested for improvement such as money laundering, human trafficking, property matters, financial investigations, freedom of media and prevention of torture”, Pejović said.

These are the areas where we identified a need for more intense work and better results and we have already taken actions towards improvement. „Within Chapter 24, we have a new law on asylum and Schengen action plan that will help us prepared“.

When it comes to human rights protection, activities will continue to be implemented in order to enable freedom of speech and media protection.

He explained that the progress will not be measured from September to September anymore.

Montenegro will provide all the date by the beginning of January 2018.

„During spring 2018, we will receive Report for 2017, and we will receive further suggestions and recommendations. We are looking forward to the new approach and we expect a much better report for Montenegro“, Pejović concluded.

Source: Cafe Del Montenegro