Montenegro – the world's second-newest state became independent from Serbia in 2006 – was once a part of Yugoslavia. As with other countries in the Balkans, it faces serious challenges of organized crime, drug flows (including Afghan-sourced heroin), and corruption. The emergence of a democratic and prosperous Montenegro that is integrated in Euro-Atlantic structures will be key to achieving the top U.S. objective of stabilizing the Balkans, bringing the countries of the region into close partnership with the U.S. and its Allies, and completing the President’s vision of a Europe whole, free, and at peace. The U.S. Government (USG) is working to assist Montenegro complete its transition into a prosperous, market-based democracy capable of fully participating in Euro-Atlantic institutions, including NATO and the European Union (EU).
In support of these strategic objectives, the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) works to help Montenegro bring its criminal justice system, law enforcement bodies and criminal code into compliance with EU standards. This will not only enable Montenegro to work effectively with EU and U.S. counterparts, it will also help to advance Montenegro’s candidacy for membership in the EU and other Euro-Atlantic institutions. Having stronger, more effective partners in Montenegro will help U.S. law enforcement minimize the impact of Balkans-based transnational organized crime, narcotics trafficking, and terrorism on the U.S.
U.S. Criminal Justice Sector Development GoalsThrough INL’s Justice Sector Program, the U.S. Department of Justice has provided an experienced prosecutor to serve as Resident Legal Advisor (RLA) in Montenegro. The RLA’s top priorities include: legislative reform; improving the capacity of Montenegrin prosecutors to investigate, prosecute and try complex cases; and improving the capacity of the Montenegrin criminal justice sector to combat corruption, organized crime and trafficking in persons (TIP). The RLA works to improve recruitment and promotion procedures of judges and prosecutors, as well as to promote actions and policies that help to restore public trust in the judicial system. The RLA will seek to improve cooperation between the police and the prosecution service, create and improve the application of the provision on the use of special investigative techniques, and assist in developing legislation to establish a secure witness protection program. Finally, the RLA will assist the Government of Montenegro to set up a special anti-corruption unit within the prosecution service and to provide comprehensive training for police and prosecutors.
U.S. Law Enforcement Goals
The Law Enforcement Program provides for a U.S. technical advisor to be embedded within the Ministry of Interior’s National Police Academy. This advisor focuses on three priorities: (1) development of a skilled and effective cadre of organized crime investigators, certification of trained personnel, equipment donation and task force operations; (2) professional development of the new Police Academy, promoting implementation of international stands in personnel selection, training, certification, and records management; and (3) continue professionalization of the Montenegrin police service through combating internal corruption and police misconduct.