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3 October 2012
Launch of the first EU-Montenegro Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee
On 2 October 2012, the European Economic and Social Committee hosted the first meeting of the EU-Montenegro Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee (JCC), a consultative body with the task of monitoring the negotiations on Montenegro's accession to the European Union and channelling civil society's contribution to the process. The JCC called on the Government of Montenegro to take action to combat corruption and organised crime and to make improvements in the areas of media freedom, the rights of sexual minorities and domestic violence.
Speakers at the event included H.E. Aleksandar Pejović, State Secretary and Chief Negotiator for the negotiations on Montenegro's accession to the EU, Ms Alexandra Cas-Granje, European Commission Director responsible for relations with the candidate countries for EU accession, and Mr Charles Tannock, Member of the European Parliament and rapporteur for Montenegro.
The JCC welcomed the opening of accession negotiations between the EU and Montenegro, which were officially launched on 29 June 2012. The members of the JCC expressed their satisfaction with the new pattern for the negotiations, with a strong emphasis on the most sensitive chapters, i.e. chapters 23 (judiciary and fundamental rights) and 24 (justice, freedom and security). The participants called on the Government of Montenegro to take action to combat corruption and organised crime and to make use of civil society's expertise when drafting measures in these areas.
The JCC examined the level of social and civil dialogue in Montenegro and asked the European Commission to provide more in-depth analysis in these fields in its yearly progress reports.
The JCC also urged the Government of Montenegro to step up its efforts in specific policy areas: media freedom, the rights of sexual minorities and domestic violence.
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