Montenegro receives its “no letter” in Chapters 23 and 24

Progress on the EU path depends not only on the implementation of strategic documents and action plans, but it is necessary to show stronger political will at the governmental level, according to an unofficial EC document for Chapters 23 and 24. The Commission also warns of staff urgent in negotiating structures.

The report notes that after the change in the composition of the governing majority since the August elections and the formation of a new coalition government, the functioning of administrative structures in the field of rule of law faces new challenges, “due to widespread replacements and changes. at management levels, including the vacuum members of the working groups for both chapters (23 and 24), which prevented the continuation of their activities “.

This is an issue that, as they point out, needs to be resolved as a matter of urgency.

According to the RTCG correspondent from Brussels, the Commission emphasizes that meeting the interim criteria in Montenegro does not depend solely on the implementation of appropriate action plans and strategic documents.

“It also means demonstrating a stronger political will at the government level to address the remaining challenges, especially in the areas covered by Chapter 23 and those under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice and Human and Minority Rights.” This includes rejecting and condemning any denial, relativization or misinterpretation of the Srebrenica genocide, “non-letter states.

At the parliamentary level, a sufficient majority for all expected appointments to the judiciary and other institutions can only be secured through political dialogue, the document said.

It adds that legislative changes, which are essential to the success of the rule of law reform, need to be prepared in line with European standards, best practices and the recommendations of the Venice Commission, and following a comprehensive and comprehensive consultation process.

“This particularly refers to the opinion of the Venice Commission on the legal initiative on criminal prosecution, as well as on the finalization and implementation of those legal solutions,” the document reads.

In the part related to media freedom, it is said that the work on media legislation has continued.

“The transformation of the RTCG Public Broadcaster into an independent and professional public service will depend on the expected appointment of the new RTCG Council,” the document said, adding that “the media scene remains polarized and the pandemic has further exacerbated the economic situation.” of journalists and media workers, creating additional risks for self-censorship and the influence of owners in editorial policy. ”

Changes in the composition and work of the commission for monitoring cases of violence against the media should, as stated, lead to concrete results regarding the investigation of old cases of attacks on media property.

“Creating a favorable environment for media freedom requires that the authorities and all political parties refrain from pressuring journalists, including through public statements,” the report said.

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