Picula: EU Parliament supports Montenegro’s EU path, progress is slow

NEWS 12.05.2022 18:07
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Source: N1

The European Parliament on Thursday adopted a report on Montenegro's progress on its journey to EU membership in which it says that it continually supports the country's EU journey but also warns that its progress has slowed down and that not one negotiating chapter has been closed since 2017.

The report, made by Croatian MEP Tonino Picula, was adopted by the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee with 64 votes in favour, 7 against and 4 abstentions.

Montenegro is the leader in enlargement policies in practice and that fact must not be ignored when discussing the process of obtaining candidate status for accession to the European Union. At the same time, it is necessary to stress that Montenegro has virtually not progressed since the last report and unfortunately not one negotiating chapter has been closed since 2017,” Picula said presenting the report.

This is his second report on Montenegro’s progress since being appointed permanent rapporteur.

The report once again underscored the EP’s support to Montenegro’s EU membership bid.

However, it also cited obstacles to progress and reform implementation.

“The report is also an expression of the united stand of the EP’s pro-European parliamentary groups on deficiencies that need to be removed fast as well as of hope that the new government will not be faced with the problems of the previous government, and that it will be more operational and enjoy the (country’s) Assembly’s continual support,” Picula said.

The report underscored concern about the permanent political tension in the executive and legislative authorities, insufficient progress in the judicial reform and widespread corruption – which are two key reforms requiring legislative support as well as limited progress on the freedom of media and in the fight against misinformation, hate speech, cyberviolence, political bias in reporting, and foreign influence on the media.

The report, however, commended the progress achieved in the fight against organised crime and in international police cooperation and Montenegro’s continual and full alignment with the EU’s common foreign and security policy, which includes sanctions against Russia and the country’s participation in missions and operations that are part of the EU’s common defence and security policy.

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