Chief Negotiator Aleksandar Drljević noted, that Rule of Law reforms, as key to further democratic development of Montenegrin society and progress in negotiations with the European Union, are an absolute priority of all Montenegrin institutions, at the beginning of a two-day meeting of the Subcommittee on Justice, Freedom and Security between Montenegrin and the European Commission representatives.
Chief Negotiator Drljević stressed that further advancement of the rule of law and the universal democratic system is a lasting and demanding task, but, regardless of the challenges, Montenegro remains highly motivated and unconditionally committed to achieving this goal. Chief Negotiator pointed out that results of intensive reform activities in the field of the rule of law, most of the 83 provisional benchmarks in Chapters 23 and 24, which primarily relate to improving the legislative and institutional framework, have been met to date.
"Moreover, in the latest Progress Report was noted that an initial balance of results was achieved in the area of combating high-level corruption, money laundering, financial investigations and confiscation of proceeds of crime. However, these evaluations did not lull us away, but focused with new energy and enthusiasm on eliminating the shortcomings identified in the Report. We have intensified the work of the Rule of Law Council, of the Negotiating Group, as well as all working groups for conducting accession negotiations, through which we regularly monitor the implementation of the recommendations contained in the Report," the Chief Negotiator highlighted.
The Head of the Unit for Montenegro at the EC Directorate-General for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Thomas Hagleitner, stressed the fact that the institutional framework in the rule of law field is complete and legally largely established, pointing that it is now important for the complete rule of law system to be focused on delivering concrete results. These results, he added, will show strong capacity and strength of institutions, with transparency and further enhancement of good relations with civil society and other actors involved in the implementation of rule of law action plans.
"We reiterate that Montenegro needs to move towards proactive activities and reform measures, especially in the areas of media freedom, the fight against corruption and trafficking of human beings, in order to meet the provisional benchmarks for Chapters 23 and 24, which are a priority for Montenegro in the accession negotiations", Hagleitner concluded.
During the two-day Subcommittee meeting, the heads of the Montenegrin authorities responsible for Subcommittee matters will discuss with the EC representatives the results achieved and the activities undertaken to implement the necessary reforms.
SECTOR FOR INFORMING THE PUBLIC ABOUT THE EU AND THE EU ACCESSION PROCESS
GENERAL SECRETARIAT OF THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTENEGRO
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