European Western Balkans

Gorčević: Government fulfilled all obligations related to the IBAR

Maida Gorčević; Photo: Flickr/ Government of Montenegro

PODGORICA – The Government of Montenegro has fulfilled all obligations related to obtaining the Interim Benchmark Assessment Report (IBAR) within the given timeframe, said Maida Gorčević, Montenegrin Minister for European Affairs.

“It is important not to miss the favourable moment and the enthusiasm that exists both in Montenegro and at the European Union level regarding the enlargement policy”, Gorčević said.

She emphasized that the Government expects the Parliament to do its part so that “tremendous work and effort” shown by Government in recent months would be adequately rewarded by moving to the final phase of the negotiation process.

She expressed confidence that once the Parliament adopts the necessary laws, the EU will reward Montenegro for the achieved results, thereby confirming its commitment to progress based on measurable results and merits.

According to Gorčević, the Government and Ministry for European Affairs will direct all energy and capacities to prepare as many negotiation chapters as possible for closure at the Intergovernmental Conference to be held during the Hungarian Presidency.

The IBAR represents assessment of how much a candidate country has fulfilled interim benchmarks in chapters 23 and 24. Obtaining IBAR indicates that the country has progressed in the areas of rule of law and judiciary and is ready for the next phase of alignment with EU standards on its path to full membership.

After receiving a positive assessment of the interim benchmarks, the country obtains the final benchmarks from the European Commission. By fulfilling the final benchmarks and closing remaining chapters, Montenegro will be able to close chapters 23 and 24, which also mark the end of the negotiations.

Montenegro has received a total of 83 interim benchmarks in chapters 23 and 24, with 31 still unfulfilled or partially fulfilled. These benchmarks include reforms and appointments in the judiciary, prosecution of war crimes, the fight against corruption and organised crime, prosecution of attacks on journalists and similar issues.

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