Apart from the usual objections of the EC, what does not change even after the fall of the Democratic Party of Socialists in August 2020, are the different readings of the report. Interpretations boil down to whether it is bad or worse. All in the service of party struggles
As announced, the Report on Montenegro’s progress for this year was presented in mid-October. And again, as expected, the report is not good. Objections are common, and mostly refer to the key chapters for Montenegro’s entry into the EU: the rule of law and the fight against corruption and organized crime (chapters 23 and 24).
The focus of the latest report is certainly on the judiciary, so it is stated that it is blocked and that there are “systemic deficiencies in the judicial system”. The EC noticed progress in the fight against organized crime, which is based on better functioning and results of the prosecution, but there are criticisms again in the fight against corruption.
The document assesses that only limited progress has been achieved in the fight against corruption, and that last year’s recommendations of the European Commission have been “only partially” fulfilled. The progress is noticeable in the prevention of corruption, especially due to the “positive trend in the work of the Anti-Corruption Agency”.
Negative evaluations were also given due to stagnation in the field of electoral reforms. “There has been no progress with regard to the comprehensive reform of the electoral legal and institutional framework, including the recommendations of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), given after the observation mission at the 2020 parliamentary elections”, the EC states and reminds that the Parliamentary Committee for Comprehensive Electoral Reform was not operational from June to November 2021 and met only twice in 2022, before its mandate expired in July 2022.
In the political criteria of the Report, criticism also came at the expense of the current political crisis: “Political tensions, polarization, the absence of constructive engagement between political parties and the failure to build a consensus on key issues of national interest continued, which led to the fall of two governments due to vote of no confidence”, it is written in the conclusions of the Report.
Oana Kristina Popa , head of the EU Delegation in Montenegro, said that this affects the functioning of institutions and slows down reforms.
The report also mentions the Basic Agreement that the minority government signed with the Serbian Orthodox Church and states that the signing of that agreement caused an increase in tensions in society.
Apart from the usual objections of the EC, what does not change even after the fall of the Democratic Party of Socialists in August 2020, are the different readings of the Report, Monitor writes.