European Western Balkans

Anti-Corruption Week in Montenegro

Montenegro continues to negotiate about the Chapters 23 and 24 with the European Commission

PODGORICA – To mark 9 December, the Day of the Fight against Corruption, the EU Delegation to Montenegro and the NGO Network for Affirmation of the NGO sector, with the support of the EU Info Centre, have organised the Anti-Corruption Week. During the first week of December, representatives of the media, civil sector, diplomatic corps and foreign experts will talk about the best methods to fight against corruption.

“The events taking place during the anti-corruption week will create an opportunity to exchange views and experiences, bringing together different stakeholders with the aim to find the ways how the fight against corruption can be enhanced,” said the Ambassador of the European Union to Montenegro Aivo Orav during the opening ceremony.

During the next four days, experts from 11 countries will discuss investigative journalism, civil sector and application of the Law on Free Access to Information.

“We will have prosecutors, police officers, inspectors, researchers who will talk about how they manage to discover, prosecute and punish much more complicated cases of corruption in their countries, in more complex environments than in Montenegro,” said Vanja Ćalović Marković, Director of the NGO MANS.

Ambassador Orav reminded that in European Commission’s reports, corruption continues to be a problem in all candidate countries.

“It is in everyone’s interest to fight against corruption because all of us can feel the results in case where corruption in the country exists. It undermines democracy, the rule of law and trust in public institutions,” said Orav.

Ćalović Marković stressed that corruption undermines the rule of law because it disables the equality of citizens before the law.

“When a citizen has to pay to buy justice, then he cannot support democratic processes in that country. Corruption makes it impossible for citizens to be free, to choose freely and thereby undermines the very foundations of democracy,” said Ćalović Marković.

Ćalović Marković reminded that corruption also affects the economic development of the country.

“Corruption kills economic development by preventing proper allocation of state resources. By re-directing these state resources to individuals and companies that are close to corrupt politicians, it pushes entrepreneurs into the grey economy, reduces the payment of taxes, leads to the destruction of businesses and to the loss of jobs,” emphasized Ćalović Marković.

Orav reminded that the media and the civil sector play a major role in EU integration of Montenegro, especially in the area of the rule of law. The EU Ambassador concluded that “a safe and empowering environment for their work – free from intimidation and pressure of any kind – should be therefore ensured.”

An exhibition of caricatures on the topic “Fight against corruption” by Goran Šćekić and Dušan Gađanski was opened at the EU Info Centre.

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