Efficient fight against corruption will contribute to Montenegro’s accession to the EU

Centre for Civic Education (CCE), on the occasion of the International Anti-Corruption Day, draws attention to the highlighted concern of the relevant international institutions in relation to chronic lack of track record of Montenegrin institutions in the fight against corruption.

CCE assesses that it is necessary to note the inefficiency of this fight in Montenegro on the International Anti-Corruption Day, and indicate the specific causes. The primary cause of failure should be sought in the lack of political will and permanent obstruction of the process of normative and institutional reforms by the ruling elite. It is hard to understand it any differently and justify delays in meeting requirements of Chapter 23, except as an expression of undue political influence on state authorities. These delays receive a special dimension when we notice that the Parliament of Montenegro is left only a fragment of time for consideration of extremely complex normative solutions in the proposed anti-corruption laws, which should result in establishing the Agency for Prevention of Corruption that will link the institutional system in a functional, operational and capable to fight corruption at all levels.

In addition, judicial authorities so far have not produced any final verdict for high-level corruption, which in itself speaks about the seriousness of the problem and attempt to maintain “peace” among members of the ruling regime by postponing the prosecution of those who have been occupying or still occupy high state positions. Substantial opening of one of the cases of high-level corruption before the competent authorities would lead to a “domino” effect and numerous abuses would emerge to surface. However, this represents the greatest risk to many members of the ruling structure, since the effective fight against corruption is eroding precisely their monopolies of power, and in some cases even undermines their freedom.

In light of entrapment of anti-corruption institutions and their chronic inefficiency in the fight against corruption can also be perceived a media attempt to discredit critics of the regime and those who clearly point to numerous reasonable suspicion in the existence of corruption in the exercise of power in cases of privatization, the state at the University of Montenegro, abuse of state resources for party purposes, etc.

By looking at the broader picture of the situation, clearly distinguishable is a dominant form of corruption that articulates other forms, especially high-level corruption, and that is a political corruption, which is expressed to such an extent and ready to control the numerous social processes by capturing the state authorities, which undermines the legitimacy of very elections as well as the basis of a democratic society.

Precisely the extent of an effective fight against corruption will in the forthcoming period be the only true indicator of rhetorical commitment of the Montenegrin authorities to the process of democratization and accession to the EU.
The International Anti-Corruption Day is being marked on 9 December.

Boris Marić, senior legal advisor