PODGORICA, 5 July 2012 - The Representative of the Irish Chair-in- Office of the OSCE, Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton, welcomed Montenegro’s progress in democratic reforms during a visit to Podgorica today.
“It is a pleasure to be in Montenegro only a few days after the EU took the decision to open accession negotiations. This is a reflection of the progress already made but also a significant challenge,” she said.
“The OSCE has been and will continue to support Montenegro's reform agenda. Since many OSCE commitments overlap with EU priorities, this is also assisting the country in its chosen path of EU integration.”
In a meeting with Montenegro’s Foreign Minister Milan Rocen, she discussed OSCE support to the country in democratization, rule of law, media freedom, and combating high-level corruption and organized crime.
“We urge Montenegro to do more in the fight against high-level corruption and organized crime and to ensure full respect for fundamental rights and freedoms. These are priorities of the OSCE in the country and I am pleased that we are working on addressing these issues together,” she said.
“The priorities of the Irish OSCE Chair-in-Office include good governance, transparency and the fight against corruption. We are exchanging experiences between 56 countries on best practices and I was pleased to hear how Montenegro is benefiting from this process.”
Media freedom is also a priority of the Irish OSCE chairmanship. Minister Creighton also raised the issue of the safety of journalists in her meeting today. “Violence against media is unacceptable and all cases must be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted. The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media is always ready to assist in this area,” she concluded.