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Regional workshop entitled “Political Criteria and Chapters 23 and 24” takes place in Bečići

The German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration on Montenegro (MFAEI) hosted this weekend in Bečići a two day regional workshop entitled "Political Criteria and Chapters 23 and 24."

The participants were representatives of state institutions from the countries of the region in charge of coordinating the EU accession process, as well as the representatives of the GIZ and the EU Delegation to Montenegro.

The event was launched by GIZ's Open Regional Funds for the South-East Europe manager Alexandra Hilbig, who discussed GIZ's support to the SEE region's countries in their EU accession bids, especially in the area of developing administrative capacities and meeting EU membership criteria.


Council for rule of law: Adoption of judiciary-related laws, fight against corruption, remain key priorities in reform process

Podgorica, Montenegro (22 October 2014) – At yesterday's meeting, Council for the rule of law discussed the EU Commission's 2014 Progress Report, particularly the part related to organised crime and corruption. DPM Duško Marković, who chaired the meeting, highlighted that legal activities and the implementation of temporary measures are not being carried out as it was planned.

The Council noted that the third Report clearly indicates progress made so far, as well as the shortcomings in meeting requirements from the European agenda. The report also provides guidelines for efficient work of the public administration in order to ensure required dynamics of the reform process.

DPM Marković stressed that members of the Council have not only professional, but also political responsibility for setting standards aimed at conducting the work of the state administration. In that regard, they will create the environment suitable for the implementation of reforms set out in the documents.

In order to foster the integration process, the Council identified the reform priorities, particularly referring to the adoption of the new laws related to the judiciary and fight against corruption. The work on these laws and the implementation of the temporary measures will be the subject to the Council's work in the coming period, the meeting concluded.


Chief Negotiator talks to EU member-states’ ambassadors about the EU Progress Report

State Secretary for European Integration and Chief Negotiator Aleksandar Andrija Pejović spoke earlier today with EU member-states' ambassadors about the European Commission's 2014 Progress Report.

The meeting was hosted by the EU Delegation in Podgorica as part of its regular consultations with heads of missions of EU member-states about Montenegro's EU integration process.
Ambassador Pejović presented the findings underlining that the Report notes progress that has been made, gives concrete recommendations and specific guidelines, and suggests where more needs to be done.

The assessments, and especially the recommendations, given by the EU Commission are very important for Montenegro, because they show where we did good, where we need to continue working or step up the activities currently underway, or undertake new ones, the Chief Negotiator has underlined. In that context, Mr Pejović added that in its strategic documents Montenegro has already identified various challenges in certain areas that have been underscored by the EU and added that Montenegro will give them due attention in the coming period.

The European Commission is our partner and friend in this process. Montenegro's progress in the process of EU accession is a joint success of us here in Montenegro and in the Commission, Ambassador Pejović stressed. Along those lines he added that detailed and concrete reports with clear recommendations and guidelines provide significant support to Montenegro on its path towards EU membership.

Mr Pejović's interlocutors noted that the Commission's Report gives a realistic assessment of the state of affairs in the country and added that it notes the progress that has been made. They underlined that member-states will continue monitoring reforms and providing support to Montenegro's efforts through concrete projects. In that regard, they voiced their expectation that Montenegro will continue making tangible results and meeting European commitments with the same pace and quality of work.


DPM Marković and Dirk Lange of EU Commission discuss current situation in Montenegro's judiciary

Podgorica, Montenegro (8 October 2014) -- Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Duško Marković met yesterday with Dirk Lange, Head of Unit for Montenegro within the European Commission's Directorate General for Enlargement, who pays an official visit to Montenegro on the occasion of presenting the EU Commission's Progress Report 2014.

The two officials highlighted the importance of the appointment of Chief State Prosecutor of Montenegro as a crucial step forward in the fight against organised crime and corruption. They also agreed that the laws within judiciary system should be adopted as soon as possible by the end of 2014 in order to establish new mechanisms and institutes important for strengthening the rule of law and fight against organised crime.

DPM Marković stressed that the Progress Report will be stimulating for Montenegro in terms of fostering the implementation of measures within the action plans, which are the result of joint partnership and work between Montenegro as a candidate country and the European Commission.


Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Igor Lukšić hosted Minister for Europe and International Affairs of Baden-Wurttemberg Peter Friedrich

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Igor Lukšić hosted earlier today the Minister for Europe and International Affairs of Baden-Wurttemberg, Peter Friedrich.

The two officials commended the intensity of political relations between Montenegro and Germany, as well as Montenegro and Baden-Wurttemberg, especially in the areas of home affairs and justice. They agreed that the overall political relations are very good, and that the efforts at improving relations with this and other German states are aided by Montenegro's diplomatic network. They also emphasised the importance of the recently held Western Balkans conference in Germany, which reiterated Germany's interest in this region, and they welcomed the forthcoming regional conference in Montenegro.


DPM Marković hosts project leader of EUROL Derek McLoughlin

Podgorica, Montenegro (29 July 2014) -- Montenegro's Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister Duško Marković met earlier today with Derek McLoughlin, Project Leader of the twinning project "EU Support to the Rule of Law" (EUROL), which is being carried out in cooperation with the governments of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.


Public debate entitled “Negotiation process and persons with disabilities

Public debate entitled "Negotiation process and persons with disabilities" was hosted earlier today in Podgorica by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration – Chief Negotiator's Office, in cooperation with the Capacity Development Project.

The event was an opportunity to exchange opinions on the current state of affairs and future activities in the negotiation process and the improvement of the position of persons with disabilities in this regard. Speakers were State Secretary for European Integration and Chief Negotiator Aleksandar Andrija Pejović, Human and Minority Rights Minister Suad Numanović, MP and member of Parliamentary Committee for European Integration and President of the Gender Equality Committee Nada Drobnjak, Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare Nikola Dedeić, and executive director of the Youth with Disabilities Alliance Marina Vujačić.


Romania supports Montenegro’s EU membership bid

Romania supports the impressive progress Montenegro has made in the process of EU accession and it will continue supporting Montenegrin institutions in their efforts towards full-fledged EU membership, the meeting between State Secretary for European Integration and Chief Negotiator Aleksandar Andrija Pejović and State Secretary for European and Bilateral Affairs at the Foreign Ministry of Romania George Ciamba concluded.

The two officials exchanged opinions on Montenegro's implemented and planned activities in the context of EU accession.

Ambassador Pejović thanked State Secretary Ciamba for Romania's support, including sending experts in various areas, and especially in the areas of environment, rule of law, and food safety. He informed his interlocutor of the results Montenegro has made in the negotiation process, focusing on reform activities in the rule of law area. Mr Pejović underlined that Chapters 23 and 24 are the foundation of the overall progress and a cornerstone of the integration process, for which reasons they are receiving special attention. He underlined that Montenegro also works with the same vigour in other chapters towards meeting the necessary commitments, and underlined that for this reason Montenegro readily awaits the opening of the remaining negotiation chapters.

State Secretary Ciamba welcomed the results Montenegro has made in its EU accession process, noting they all add up to Montenegro's status of the enlargement process leader in the Western Balkans. He spoke about Romania's negotiation experience and underlined that Montenegro may count on all the necessary support of Romanian institutions and experts when it comes to strengthening administrative capacities and ensuring high quality implementation of accession process commitments.

The two officials also exchanged opinions on key challenges and future expectations and obligations in the run up to EU membership. In that context, they discussed the process of realisation of concrete activities aimed at the implementation of the memorandum on cooperation in the areas of European integration and environment, as well as further transfer of Romanian experience in the form of exchange of diplomats and twinning projects.