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News Flash - 9 January 2007

Council of Europe’s Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) publishes report on the Republic of Montenegro

The Council of Europe’s anti-corruption monitoring mechanism, the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) has published today its Joint First and Second Round Evaluation Report on the Republic of Montenegro (link to report). The report is made public with the agreement of the authorities of the Republic of Montenegro.
Corruption is one of the major concerns of Montenegrin citizens. The sectors usually identified as being worst affected are the judiciary, the customs service and the police, followed by healthcare, public procurement, licensing and privatisation. Although significant improvements through legal and institutional reform of the judiciary have been achieved, the independence of judges and prosecutors is still an issue of preoccupation.
GRECO addresses 24 recommendations to the Republic of Montenegro. In particular, there is a need for greater specialisation and co-operation of the bodies involved in the detection and prosecution of corruption offences. The report acknowledges the efforts displayed in preparing the necessary legal and regulatory basis for the prevention of and fight against corruption in public administration, in particular since the establishment of the Directorate for Anti-Corruption Initiative. That said, further improvements are required with respect, for example, to access to official documents, prevention of conflicts of interest, protection of whistleblowers and licensing procedures. Finally, GRECO recommends to establish liability of legal persons (in particular commercial companies) for corruption offences, in accordance with the Council of Europe’s Criminal Law Convention.
Measures taken by the Republic of Montenegro to implement GRECO’s recommendations will be assessed in the context of a specific compliance procedure in the first half of 2008.