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Lange: Montenegro makes significant progress in implementing legal reforms and establishing institutional framework

Activities and results achieved in the negotiation chapters “Judiciary and fundamental rights” and “Justice, freedom and security” will be presented next week to EU member states, Dirk Lange, Head of Unit for Montenegro in the European Commission’s Directorate General for Enlargement, underlined at the meeting with Montenegro's Minister of Justice Zoran Pažin in Podgorica earlier today.

When it comes to the negotiating chapters 23 and 24, Mr Lange stressed that Montenegro has made significant progress within the legislative reform process and establishment of the institutional framework, adding the activities in that regrad are being implemented according to the plan. In that regard, he stressed that the expert reports are going to point out the key areas in which the EU expects further improvements.

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Lange: Further progress necessary in fight against corruption

Montenegro has made progress in the work on action plans, in particular when talking about aligning the legislative framework, but it is necessary to make more progress in the field of fight against corruption and organized crime, said European Commission's official Dirk Lange.

Chief Negotiator of Montenegro Aleksandar Andrija Pejovic and Lange, Head of the Unit for Montenegrin in the EC Directorate for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement, opened Wednesday the fifth meeting of the Montenegro-EC Justice, Freedom and Security Subcommittee.

Lange praised revision of action plans for chapters 23 and 24 of the negotiation processes, stating that it was up to country to implement them in adequate manner.

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"It does not mean that you did not fulfill anything, but on contrary. That shows maturity on your side, as well as readiness to revise the system and adopt is when needed", Lange explained.

According to him, generally speaking, Montenegro has achieved progress in the work on action plans, in particular when speaking about aligning of the legislation.

"What we would like to see is more progress in field of fight against corruption and organized crime", said he.

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Lange emphasized the importance of strengthening of capacities of State Electoral Commission (DIK).

"For now it is only on paper, it is necessary to see more efficient results in practice", Lange said.

He commented on the creation of new institutions, stating that establishing of a new Anti-Corruption Agency and the Special Public Prosecution cannot be delayed.

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Lange also commented on the cooperation of the relevant authorities with the civil sector in the reform process and the field of rule of law.

Emphasizing the importance of holding of the Subcommittee's session and support that the EU offers to Montenegro in this field, Pejovic reiterated that Montenegro was the first country which reached achievements in chapters 23 and 24 by applying "new approach".

"The Subcommittee's meeting contributes to further improvement of the dialogue with the EU and further affirmation of the cooperation with the EC", said he.

Pejovic also emphasized the completed reform of electoral legislation during the last year, as well as finalization of the legislation in the field of judiciary.

Mina News Agency

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Focus on track record

The revised action plans for EU negotiation chapters 23 and 24 are putting more emphasis on the implementation of the new legislative framework, better functioning of institutions and achieving good track record, Montenegro's Chief EU Negotiator Aleksandar Andrija Pejovic has said.

At Thursday's session, the government adopted a document revising action plans for chapters 23 and 24 and envisaging a details plan of activities for the coming period.

"The government has adopted a document that will be a cornerstone of its work in meeting three key benchmarks, as well as in completing the activities that started a year and a half ago, when the action plans were first adopted," Pejovic told the press after the cabinet meeting.

Pejovic explained that the government has extended deadlines in certain areas where implementation has been delayed or not enough progress has been achieved, making the plans more elaborate.

"We can say that the action plans are now focused on better functioning of institutions and creating a better track record," the chief negotiator explained, adding that the document was revised in consultations with the European Commission, EU experts and the general public.

He noted that the government also adopted a report on the 2014 Action Plan for the Implementation of the Strategy for Public Information on European integration and a new action plan for 2015.

Pejovic also announced the government's decision to establish the National Investment Committee, responsible for preparing a list of strategic national infrastructure projects to be funded through EU support.

"We are now entering a new financial period, in which the whole of the Western Balkans will receive one billion Euros for infrastructure projects. This is why a special committee was established to decide which projects will be nominated for EU funding," he explained.

Mina News Agency

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