EURoL II PROJECT – OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED

PODGORICA, 27 November 2017 – Launching event of the three-year project “EU Support to the Rule of Law II”, supported by the EU funds in the amount of 2.8 million euros, took place at the “Centre Ville” Hotel. The aim of the project “to further strengthen judiciary and law enforcement institutions in order to meet the criteria for Montenegro accession to the EU” was repeatedly stressed during the ceremony.

The event ensured high level visibility by gathering main beneficiaries, diplomatic representatives, project partners, international organisations, and local civil society organisations. Special guests from Italy, the main implementing authority of the project, included Mr. Giovanni Legnini, Vice President of Italian High Judicial Council and Mr. Nicolò Marcello D’Angelo, Deputy Chief of Italian Police. The Austrian administration, notably the project consortium partner, was presented by the Austrian Ambassador to Montenegro, H.E. Anna Janković, while Mr. Gerhard Lang from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Interior also attended the event.

The Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice,  Mr. Zoran Pažin, the Minister of Interior, Mr. Mevludin Nuhodžić and the Minister of European Affairs, Mr. Aleksandar Andrija Pejović were one of the key speakers at the launching ceremony.

The Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice,  Mr. Zoran Pažin expressed his belief that capacities of Montenegro in the area of organised crime and corruption will be additionally strengthened through the implementation of planned activities. He also stated that the information that Montenegro will have direct benefits in the area of support to the development of infrastructure capacities, in the amount of approximately 500,000 euros, directed towards procurement of equipment and services to the institutions of key importance for strengthening the rule of law is encouraging.

The Minister of Interior, Mr. Mevludin Nuhodžić thanked the European Commission for its continuous support it has been providing to the Ministry of Interior through a large number of projects directed towards the implementation of interim  benchmarks and obligations from Chapter 24.

He stated that: “Providing quality expert assistance as well as significant funds will contribute to further strengthening of human resources and technical capacities of Montenegrin institutions aimed at our readiness to fight more efficiently against organised and serious crime, illegal migrations and terrorism”.

Minister of European Affairs, Mr. Aleksandar Andrija Pejović said that the support in the area of rule of law is extremely significant given that this is an area which dictates the dynamics of the entire negotiation process, in line with the new approach. He reminded that, in the four years of negotiations in Chapters 23 and 24, significant results have been achieved, 65 reform laws adopted, key institutions established and the track records set up recognised by the European Commission and EU member States.

At the opening ceremony, Head of the European Union Delegation to Montenegro, Ambassador Aivo Orav recalled the EU’s continuous commitment to assist Montenegro in overcoming the challenges of implementing the rule of law reforms:

This project represents a continuation of the support provided by the Rule of Law I project – notably EU Support to the Rule of Law I. Thus, over the past three years, the EU has supported Montenegro in this challenging area with more than 3 million euros. The continuation of this support, this time with our new partners Italy and Austria, is a clear indication of the EU’s continuous commitment to assist Montenegro in overcoming the challenges of implementing the rule of law reforms”.

He added that the project is crucial as it tackles some of the most important rule of law challenges on Montenegro’s EU path.

But remember, the EU is here to support. We cannot fight this battle for any country. It is up to Montenegro to take ownership of these reforms and deliver tangible results,” concluded Ambassador Orav.

Austrian Ambassador Janković highlighted the importance of the project and referred to the latest European Commission’s Report which indicates that beside the progress made as regards the legislative framework, the track record in Chapters 23 and 24 remains limited.

The Vice-President of the High Judicial Council of Italy, Mr. Legnini stated that the High Judicial Council places a lot of significance in its participation in the EURoL II project.

He added that the High Judicial Council has already seconded the Deputy Team Leader of the project, Judge Maria Grazia Benedetti and will continue to provide experts, notably Italian judges and prosecutors, for the implementation of the project activities.

Representing the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Italy, as the main implementing authority, Mr. Nicolò Marcello D’Angelo, Deputy Chief of Italian Police expressed his honour to represent the lead applicant.

He highlighted the importance of the project’s specific objective to tackle efficiency of the judiciary and fight against corruption and organised crime through more effective investigation and prosecution.

The Ambassador of the Republic of Italy, H.E. Del Monaco, gave closing remarks to the first session of the ceremony by stating that the high-level attendance confirms the importance granted to the EU Support to the Rule of Law II Project in Montenegro.

The second session of the opening ceremony allowed for the Project Team Leader, Mr. Antonio Molinaro to give a detailed presentation of the project.

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Background

The project is funded by IPA 2014 and implemented by the Ministry of Interior of Italy (Department of Public Security, Central Directorate of Criminal Police International Police Cooperation Service) as the lead applicant. Other consortium partners are the  High Judicial Council of Italy and the Federal Ministry of Interior – Criminal Intelligence Service of Austria. The envisaged duration of project implementation is 36 months.

The overall objective of the action is to further strengthen judiciary and law enforcement institutions in order to meet the criteria for Montenegro accession to the EU. The project will particurarly tackle efficiency of the judiciary and fight against corruption and organised crime through more effective investigation and prosecution.

The main beneficiaries include the following Montenegrin institutions: Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior, Police Directorate, Judicial Council and Courts, State Prosecution Office, Prosecutorial Council, State Property Agency, Administration for Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing, Customs and Tax Administration.

More information can be found here: PROJECT

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