DPM Marković hosts delegation of German SPD: Regional cooperation important for Western Balkans’ economic development

    Podgorica, Montenegro (26 August 2015) — Deputy Prime Minister Duško Marković hosted earlier today a delegation of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), led by a deputy of the SPD in the Bundestag Josip Juratovic.

    DPM Markovic informed the SPD representatives about Montenegro’s foreign policy priorities, stressing the government’s position that the EU membership is the country’s top priority, wherein the quality of integration and reform process take priority over deadlines and speed. In that regard, he underlined the importance of enhancing national and institutional resources, as a key factor in combating corruption and organised crime, but also in achieving higher economic growth.

    Deputy of the German Bundestag Josip Juratovic highlighted the importance of the Montenegro government’s efforts in the fight against corruption as an important precondition for enhanced economic cooperation and greater inflow of German investments.

    Speaking about relations in the Western Balkans, Mr Juratovic stressed the need to strengthen institutional cooperation between the countries of the region. He also emphasised the significance of the Berlin Initiative, stressing that the idea of promoting regional cooperation had been initiated in his political party with a view to increasing economic growth and building mutual trust in the region.

    The delegation’s members expressed their interest in the human rights and media freedom in Montenegro. DPM Marković pointed out that Montenegro is a positive example in the region when it comes to protecting human rights and improving the environment for the development of media freedom. He added that there is much work to be done in these fields, but that Montenegro traditionally fosters multi-religious and multi-ethnic harmony, which is a good basis for further progress in this area.

    Asked about the cooperation between the national and local governments, as an example of such cooperation DPM Marković highlighted the Government’s package of measures aimed at rescheduling debts of local governments, noting some municipalities are facing the issue of financial sustainability.

    Deputy Prime Minister Marković said that the visit of the SPD delegation is a good incentive for cooperation, hopeful that Germany, as one of the most important development partners of Montenegro, will boost investments in energy, tourism and agriculture

    Source: Government of Montenegro