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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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Schengen action plan to build border police capacities

The project of developing Montenegro's Schengen action plan will help build the capacities of the border police and improve international police cooperation, officials of the Montenegrin Government, Slovenian Interior Ministry and Slovenian Embassy in Montenegro have agreed.

According to a press release from the Montenegrin MFA, State Secretary for European Integration Aleksandar Andrija Pejovic hosted State Secretary at the Slovenian Interior Ministry Andrej Spenga, who is visiting Podgorica for the launch of the project of developing Montenegro's Schengen action plan, and Slovenian Ambassador Vladimir Gasparic.

"The meeting noted that the implementation of this project will help strengthen the capacities of the border police and improve international police cooperation, which will create conditions for Montenegro's successful preparation for the future Schengen regime on its borders," the press release said.

Both sides expressed satisfaction with the level of cooperation between the two countries, in particular the bilateral cooperation during the negotiation process.

"Pejovic stressed that Slovenia takes a top position on the list of countries that have provided technical support in Montenegro's EU integration process so far. By the same token, he thanked Slovenian experts for their support in drafting action plans for chapters 23 and 24, as well as in preparing for negotiations in other areas of the acquis," the MFA stated.

Mina News Agency

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