Following the 17th meeting of the EU-Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee (SAPC), Co-Chairs Ivan Brajović from the Montenegrin side and MEP David Martin stated:

“We take it as a positive signal that the Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee has adopted a declaration and recommendations for the third time in a row and that members of both parliaments had an opportunity for a frank and constructive debate.

We agree that peaceful assembly is the democratic right of Montenegrin citizens and is part of the normal functioning of a democratic society. Bearing in mind that the recent protests in Montenegro have started due to suspected corruption and illegal party-financing, we expect that the competent authorities, including the Special State Prosecutor and the Anti‑Corruption Agency, will thoroughly and effectively investigate the aforementioned allegations in line with the national legislation and the EU’s fundamental principle of rule of law.

Convinced that political dialogue should continue to take place in the Parliament of Montenegro, we welcome the holding of an extraordinary sitting on 21 February 2019, upon the request of the opposition MPs.

We urge all opposition members in the Skupština Crne Gore to play an active and constructive role in the work of the temporary parliamentary committee and fully resume parliamentary dialogue as well as participate in the forthcoming SAPC meetings. The ambitious agenda of the committee is important for Montenegro’s EU path.

The European Parliament supports Montenegro’s accession to the EU, while at the same time expects concrete and tangible results in key areas such as the fight against corruption and organised crime and media freedom in the country. The SAPC welcomes the results already achieved so far and stresses that the overall priority for Montenegro now is to focus on meeting the interim benchmarks for the rule of law-related chapters 23 and 24, which also remain essential for closing the already opened negotiating chapters.”

Background

Mr Ivan Brajović is the President of the Parliament of Montenegro, while Mr David Martin chairs the EP Delegation to the EU-Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee.