The flag of Montenegro looks set to fly alongside the 46 others of the Council of Europe within weeks. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Strasbourg-based human rights defence body has given its approval. Confirmation by the Committee of Ministers is expected on 11th May.
The former Yugoslav republic lost its status as member since 2003 when it became independent from Serbia in June last year. Reintegration would be on the understanding that the country would honour reform commitments, notably where the independence of the judiciary is concerned.
The key official guiding the process through the Council, Jean-Charles Gardetto, said: “For instance, judges and prosecutors in Montenegro are put in place by organs set up by its parliament. The political connotation, therefore, is very strong.”
Podgorica, meanwhile, is pursuing separate negotiations on a Stabilisation and Association Pact with the 27-member European Union. The institutions point out that progress in implementing measures, such as to curb corruption, “is still very slow”.