Election of the remaining judges of the Constitutional Court is an absolute priority for Montenegro, to create the conditions for smooth and stable functioning of the rule of law system
“The European path and the obligations arising from the accession negotiations were in our focus during the previous year as well, which was marked by intense political life and changes at the executive power level in Montenegro,” was pointed out by the coordinator of the work of the Ministry of European Affairs, Ana Novaković Đurović, at the 12th meeting of the Stabilisation and Association Committee between Montenegro and the European Union.
On this occasion, Minister Novaković Đurović reminded that, despite the challenging circumstances of dynamic political life, since the last Committee meeting, all regular annual meetings of the seven sub-committees, as well as two meetings of the Special Group for Public Administration Reform (one regular meeting and one follow -up meeting) were held, while, the implementation of reform activities in all EU acquis chapters continued at the state administration level.
At today’s meeting of the Stabilisation and Association Committee, which was held live again, after two meetings held virtually due to the overall circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, activities and results in all areas covered by 7 sectoral sub-committees and by the Special Working Group for Public Administration Reform were discussed.
The meeting was opened by the Acting Director for Western Balkans Ms. Michela Matuella in the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations and the coordinator of the work of the Ministry of European Affairs Ana Novaković Đurović.
Ms. Matuella recalled that the Committee presents an opportunity to take stock of developments in Montenegro and to stress the need for Montenegro to build consensus on EU-related reform in order to take forward its EU accession process on the basis of the enhanced enlargement methodology. Ms. Matuella stressed that Montenegro needs to proactively step up and reinvigorate its reform efforts and avoid any reversals notably in the fundamentals. To progress on EU accession, which is the wish of an overwhelming majority of Montenegro’s citizens, all political actors must support the stability and functionality of democratic institutions, the utmost priority being the Constitutional Court. A fully functioning Constitutional Court is key to ensure the respect of fundamental rights of all Montenegrin citizens and preserve the stability of institutions.
During the meeting of the Committee, taking into account the broad social consensus on the European integration, which is reflected in the fact that around 80% of Montenegrin citizens support membership in the European Union, as well as the new geopolitical context created as a result of Russian aggression against Ukraine, which additionally emphasizes the importance of the strategic unity of the EU and the Western Balkans, Minister Novaković Đurović conveyed Montenegro’s determination to use the current moment in order to intensify reform activities and speed up accession negotiations with the EU. Nevertheless, bearing in mind the context of the New Enlargement Methodology, in which it is emphasized that no new chapter will be closed until the interim benchmarks in chapters 23 and 24 are met, the Government of Montenegro is fully aware of the fact that the reforms in the areas of justice and the rule of law will determine further dynamics of the integration process. Therefore, the issue of electing the remaining judges of the Constitutional Court is an absolute priority for Montenegro, in order to create the conditions for smooth and stable functioning of the rule of law system, in which the Constitutional Court holds a central place.
Following the strategic partnership and commitment to the ideas on which the EU is based, Montenegro continues to fully align with the Common Foreign and Security Policy and international restrictive measures, through the decisions that the Government regularly adopts. Additionally, in 2023, it is planned to establish a new Law on International Restrictive Measures, which will improve the system of implementation and coordination of the restrictive measures. In this context, the exchange of opinions and best practices during the regional TAIEX workshop, held in Skopje last year, is of invaluable importance for Montenegro, which is why a special gratitude was expressed to the European Commission on this occasion.
GENERAL SECRETARIAT OF THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTENEGRO
SECTOR FOR INFORMING THE PUBLIC ABOUT THE EU AND THE EU ACCESSION PROCESS