Government prepares Contribution to EC's Spring Report, advances EU negotiation structure
Podgorica, Montenegro (8 March 2012) -- The Government has prepared the Contribution to the European Commission’s Spring Report on Montenegro’s progress in meeting the seven key requirements for the period 1 September 2011 – 1 March 2012, Chief Negotiator for EU accession Aleksandar Pejović told the press following the Cabinet meeting earlier today.
The European Commission will, on the basis of the Contribution and the verification experts’ reports, particularly referring to the rule of law and fight against corruption and organised crime, draw up a communiqué, which is to be adopted by the College of Commissioners . Based on the report, the EU's General Affairs Council is supposed to decide in June whether to open the accession talks with Montenegro, the Chief Negotiator explained.
In this context, he praised the yesterday's establishment of the Journalists Self Regulatory Body as a way of advancing media freedom in Montenegro and meeting one of the key EU accession requirements.
The Cabinet also reached a decision to set up two working groups as a part of Montenegro's EU negotiation structure, Chief Negotiator Pejović noted.
The Working Group for chapter 23, judiciary and basic rights, composed of 45 members, including 4 NGO representatives, will be responsible for the harmonisation of the Montenegro's legislation with that of the EU.
The Working group for chapter 24, justice, freedom and security has 38 members, including 2 NGO representatives, and is in charge of the issues related to the fight against corruption and organised crime, visa policy, migration and asylum.
Chief Negotiator Pejović highlighted that Montenegro is the first EU aspiring country to include NGO sector, at the institutional level, in the EU negotiation process, which speaks of the inclusive attitude of the Montenegrin Government.