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Montenegro: ICITAP Attaché Joins U.S. Ambassador to Advance Efforts to Combat Organized Crime and Accede to the EU

On April 14, ICITAP-Montenegro’s mission provided an update on ICITAP’s continued efforts to strengthen the country’s capacity to combat transnational organized crime and to accede to the European Union.  ICITAP and the George C. Marshall Center have been conducting a tailored seminar on strategy development and countering transnational organized crime (CTOC) since early October 2020. In addition to examining the role of strategy and policy in working against TOC, seminar participants have developed a CTOC Strategy Framework, a Research Appendix, and are working on a plan for strategic communications. The U.S. Ambassador and ICITAP-Montenegro’s Attaché have briefed senior Montenegrin leaders on this effort, including the Prime Minister. The Ministry of Interior (MOI) will likely be authorized by the Government to lead formal development of a National CTOC Strategy, incorporating and building on the work of the seminar participants. Under EU Accession procedures, Chapters 23 and 24 require closure before additional chapters on accession can be examined. Chapter 24 on Justice, Freedom, and Security includes benchmarks on countering organized crime and corruption, as well as improving border controls. The MOI focal point on Chapter 24 recently delivered an update to the European Commission. The update contains for the first time, a reference to the development of a National Strategy on CTOC. ICITAP was asked to review the text which ultimately was reported to the EC. In Montenegro, ICITAP works with the support of and in coordination with the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).

Updated August 11, 2023