BRUSSELS – EU Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi said that the rule of law is one of the basic values of the EU and a crucial element of the accession process, which determines the overall pace of Montenegro’s accession negotiations with the European Union, FoNet reports. In response to a question from MEP Dominique Bilde about Maltese investments in Montenegro and accusations that there was corruption in those businesses, Várhelyi emphasized that the fight against corruption in Montenegro is a key goal of the accession process. “Montenegro is expected to establish a record of effective and concrete investigations, prosecutions and convictions in cases of corruption and organized crime. The European Commission is closely monitoring Montenegro’s progress in these areas, including through the latest package of EU enlargement reports, adopted by the European Commission on 6 October 2020, and expects that all allegations of corruption will receive credible, independent and efficient institutional responses”, said Várhelyi, Dan reports. The first annual rule of law report, adopted by the European Commission in autumn 2020, covering significant developments in judicial independence and the fight against corruption in EU Member States, including Malta, will act as a preventive tool, deepening dialogue and common awareness of rule of law issues, Várhelyi pointed out.