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Brussels, 28 May 2013
Montenegro: With Deputy Prime Minister Marković about reforms and challenges
Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice of Montenegro Duško Marković in Brussels today to discuss the mounting challenges on the domestic political scene and the ways how to deal with them.
They also talked about the progress in accession negotiations, particularly in the area of rule of law. Commissioner Füle noted that accession negotiations, including the screening process, are progressing well, but stressed the importance of maintaining the momentum on the implementation of the necessary reforms.
Commissioner Füle stated that: "It is time for a swift adoption of constitutional amendments strengthening the independence and accountability of the judiciary in line with the Venice Commission recommendations. It is also important to have well-prepared Action Plans for chapters 23 and 24, taking into account comments of all relevant stakeholders. The Minister of Justice has a key responsibility in these and related reforms that should also contribute to the strengthening of public trust in the country´s institutions." And within that context Commissioner Füle and Minister Marković agreed to intensify their contacts.
In addition Commissioner Füle recalled the necessity to address the reform backlog, to strengthen the rule of law and for a proper judicial and political follow-up to the audio-recordings affair. It also Montenegro needs to develop a credible track record in systematically investigating and prosecuting corruption and organised crime.
Making Montenegro the terms of reference for the credibility of the enlargement process brings concrete benefits to its citizens and the citizens of other countries in the Western Balkans but also brings benefits to enlargement continuing to be a strong policy as well as one of the most successful policies of the EU.