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Montenegro: some progress, but too limited to end the post-monitoring dialogue

The Assembly today commended the Montenegrin authorities for “demonstrating their sustained political will and commitment to fully respecting their obligations”, in the framework of the ongoing post-monitoring dialogue.

According to the parliamentarians, the country has introduced legislation which complies with Council of Europe standards and has addressed several concerns formulated by the Assembly and other Council of Europe monitoring mechanisms. And in the fields where Montenegro is usually seen as a co-operative partner or a good example for the region, such as the minority rights, the LGBTI persons’ rights, or the situation of refugees and internally displaced persons, the situation continued to improve until recently.

The adopted resolution, based on the report and the addendum prepared by the former co-rapporteur Anne Mulder (Netherlands, ALDE), and the co-rapporteurs Emanuelis Zingeris (Lithuania, EPP/CD), and Damien Cottier (Switzerland, ALDE) commends the political maturity demonstrated by both the new majority and the new opposition in the immediate aftermath of the elections held in August 2020, that allowed for a peaceful shift of power. It also commends the decision of the Montenegrin authorities to request the opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft laws amending the Law on the State Prosecutor’s Office and the Law on the Prosecutor’s Office for Organised Crime and Corruption and to suspend their adoption until after the opinion is issued.

The Assembly considers however that limited progress was achieved in the four key areas identified by the Assembly six years ago (namely the independence of the judiciary, the trust in the electoral process, the fight against corruption and the situation of media).

The Assembly therefore resolved to continue a post-monitoring dialogue with Montenegro in the four key areas and to assess the progress made after the general elections held in 2020.