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Council of Europe: Greco’s Evaluation Report on Montenegro. “Strengthening confidence in society to prevent and fight corruption”

A call to take strong political measures in the fight against corruption in Montenegro is the key recommendation published today by the Group of States Against Corruption of the Council of Europe (Greco), in which the effectiveness of the applicable legal framework of Podgorica in the prevention of corruption among government members and other important government positions, such as the police too, is assessed. In addition, the document also recommends that “a national anticorruption strategy should be defined” and recalls that all public authorities, not just the Agency for Prevention of Corruption, should take responsibility for defending the rule of law. The Greco provides the authorities with 22 recommendations and will assess Montenegro’s compliance after 31st December 2023, when the government has to submit a report about the measures taken. In the applicable anti-corruption law there are already grounds, according to the report, for handling conflict of interest and provide some level of transparency. It is acknowledged that the efforts made by the Agency for Prevention of Corruption have recently improved, but it is also pointed out that its independence must be sustainable and the Agency’s scope for action must be strengthened. In addition, the Greco recommends that the role of the National Council for the Fight Against Corruption should be made clearer, and effective integrity plans should be implemented within ministries. The authorities are called to improve the laws and rules for government members and their advisors, which look incomplete and inconsistent.

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