Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector and the Process of European Integration

Besides the civilian and internal oversight, and the judicial oversight of the legality of work, parliamentary oversight is an important aspect of control and improvement in the security sector. Apart from being responsible for ensuring legal assumptions for the functioning of the security sector by enacting laws and strategies, the Parliament of Montenegro exercises control and oversight over the elements of the security sector such as the security forces (the Armed Forces and the Police) and the intelligence and security sector (the National Security Agency), all with the aim of controlling transparency, efficiency and accountability.

The importance of the control role of the Security and Defence Committee and the Parliament becomes even greater in the light of recent events in the security and defence sector, specifically the arrest of high-ranking police officers and a member of the Committee due to their alleged connection with organised criminal groups.

It was precisely the Parliament of Montenegro that was recognised in the Action Plan for Chapters 23 and 24 as one of the key institutions charged with implementing activities that lead to the fulfilment of priorities: from appointments in the judiciary, to the revision of the legislative framework in the field of media and the like. However, as noted in the last report of the European Commission for Montenegro, the Parliament was not up to the task when it came to political dialogue and constructive engagement aimed at strengthening parliamentary oversight in the accession process.

Bearing in mind the importance of parliamentary oversight for achieving transparency, efficiency and accountability of the security sector, as well as the role that the Parliament can play in encouraging reforms in this sector, this analysis aims to examine the use and effectiveness of current mechanisms of parliamentary oversight of the security sector and provide recommendations for their improvement, consequent acceleration of the fulfilment of obligations from Chapters 23 and 24, and the fulfilment of political criteria in the part that concerns the functioning of democratic institutions, especially the Parliament.

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