Ending a visit to Podgorica (10-13 July 2022), the co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) for post-monitoring dialogue with Montenegro, Damien Cottier (Switzerland, ALDE) and Nicos Tornaritis (Cyprus, EPP/CD), have hailed recent advances in the fight against corruption and encouraged political leaders to adopt a set of critical measures for the European future of the country.
The state of progress on many essential reforms was discussed during numerous meetings with the main political leaders – the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Justice Minister, Speaker of Parliament, and leaders of political parties – as well as members of the State Electoral Commission, the Chief Special Prosecutor and many members of civil society.
“We have taken note of the commitment from all parties within Parliament to elect members of the Judicial Council and the Constitutional Court before the autumn. These long-delayed nominations are essential for the proper functioning of the rule of law. Moreover a major electoral reform, in line with most OSCE/ODIHR recommendations and providing for the professionalization of the State Electoral Commission, is close to completion; a draft reform of the law on the Judicial Council has been opened for consultation; and amendments to the Law on Public Information have been announced. In the field of anti-corruption, the Chief Special Prosecutor has the unambiguous support of the Government, as his recent activity attests,” the co-rapporteurs said.
“While all these developments respond to the expectations expressed by the Parliamentary Assembly, it is up to the parties represented in Parliament to take the necessary steps to turn these announcements into concrete actions. Intense debates on other issues, which are normal in a democratic society, should not hinder the reforms that the people want and that are necessary for Montenegro to make progress,” they concluded.