The final meeting in online format ended this week's mission of the European Commission on the functioning of the Agency for Prevention of Corruption, which will enable a comprehensive assessment of Montenegro's progress in the field of corruption prevention, with special emphasis on all aspects of the Agency for Prevention of Corruption. The mission, organized in co-operation with the Office for European Integration and the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption, is of particular importance in the context of Montenegro's EU accession negotiations in Chapter 23 - Justice and Fundamental Rights. As part of the mission, independent experts from France, Slovenia and Romania had the opportunity to exchange views with representatives of the Agency for Prevention of Corruption, its Council, the State Audit Institution, the Ministry of Justice, Human and Minority Rights.
Closing the mission, Miloš Radonjić, Head of the EU Political Affairs Department at the Office for European Integration, expressed his belief that the Montenegrin side, through its overall engagement and approach to the mission, has shown full commitment to reform activities in this area, as one of the crucial both for the EU accession process and for the democratic development of our society. He pointed out that strengthening mechanisms for prevention of corruption is an important obligation from our European agenda in the context of fulfilling temporary criteria, but it is primarily an expression of our long-term commitment to a stable system of rule of law based on unquestionable trust of citizens in state institutions and their work.
Assistant Director of the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption Nina Paović expressed her belief that the final report of independent experts will contribute to the further improvement of the Agency's work and its full independence.
With gratitude for the thorough approach of experts during the mission, the President of the Council of the Agency for Prevention of Corruption Momcilo Radulović pointed out that the Montenegrin side, in addition to evident progress, alone and with the support of experts, recognized space for further improvement of the work process and defined new initiatives and concrete improvements. which will help achieve greater efficiency and professionalism in the work of the Agency.
Ivana Mašanović, Head of the Directorate for Criminal Legislation at the Ministry of Justice, Human and Minority Rights, emphasized the importance of organizing the mission at the current moment of the final phase of fulfilling the provisional criteria in Chapters 23 and 24.
The representative of the European Commission, Maja Smrkolj, announced that the European Commission will continue to monitor the developments and further progress in this area, as one of the key ones for the negotiation process with the European Union.
Independent experts noted concrete progress since the last expert mission held on the same topic in 2017. At the same time, they pointed out certain shortcomings of the system that will need to be addressed in the coming period, including in the areas of conflict of interest and incompatibility of functions, control of funding of political entities and election campaigns, verification of income and assets of public officials, lobbying and improvement of general legislation. framework when it comes to preventing corruption.
Agency for the Prevention of Corruption and the Office for European Integration