Rule of Law
Respect for the rule of law is essential for the functioning of every democratic society. It is a key prerequisite for economic growth and the protection of fundamental rights. That is why safeguarding, strengthening and supporting the rule of law is so high on the EU’s agenda. It is a crucial element of the EU accession process.
The European Commission has established a new approach to the accession negotiations with Montenegro. The negotiating chapters that are considered to be the “spine” of the rule of law (Chapter 23 – Judiciary and Fundamental Rights and Chapter 24 – Justice, Freedom and Security) are among the first to be opened and last to be closed. In other words, the rule of law determines the overall pace of Montenegro’s EU accession negotiations.
To support the rule of law reforms in Montenegro, the EU has provided financial and technical assistance. Since 2014, it has allocated €42.3 million for improving the independence, efficiency and accountability of the judiciary and fighting corruption and organised crime in Montenegro. It has also supported capacity building in police, border management and the judiciary throughout the years. In the years to come, the EU will continue to provide support to this sector. Its further assistance will focus on integrated border management, rationalisation of the court network, development of ICT capacities and systems in the judiciary and upgrading of the Migration Transit Centre in Božaj.