European Western Balkans

Picula: EP stresses serious concerns about limited progress in the fight against corruption in Montenegro

Tonino Picula; Photo: European Parliament

PODGORICA – The European Parliament welcomes Montenegro’s continued engagement in the EU integration process and its overall progress, but stresses serious concerns about limited progress in the fight against corruption, according to a draft European Parliament report on Montenegro by EP Rapporteur for Montenegro Tonino Picula, FoNet reports.

The draft report highlighted the need for “cooperative and constructive cohabitation between the president and the new government with the aim of strengthening Montenegro’s progress on its path to the EU,” RTCG reports.

The draft report also notes that the elections held on August 30, 2020 resulted in “the first transition of power since the country’s independence, with full respect for democratic standards and the Constitution of Montenegro” and welcomed the fact that on its first working day the newly formed Montenegrin government held an exchange of views with members of the European Parliament and EU officials.

The document encourages the new government to use its mandate to accelerate EU-related reforms and accession negotiations. When it comes to democracy and the rule of law, serious concerns have been raised about limited progress in the fight against corruption, and responsible institutions are urged to improve the country’s performance so far in confiscating criminal assets, prosecutions and final verdicts.

The section on respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights expresses regret about the state of freedom of expression and freedom of the media, an area in which five consecutive Commission reports have noted that “there has been no progress”. The report strongly condemns all types of attacks on the media and intimidation of journalists, and calls for an urgent and effective investigation against them, it is stated.

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