Brussels, Belgium (10 March 2016) — The European Parliament welcomes the steady progress in Montenegro’s EU accession talks, calls on the political actors to resume a constructive dialogue, and welcomes the NATO membership invitation, the resolution on Montenegro adopted earlier today at the European Parliament reads.
Montenegro is the good news story from the Western Balkans, and with the additional pressure of the migration crisis on the entire region, Montenegro is being considered as safeguard of stability, rapporterur for Montenegro Charles Tannock noted while presenting the resolution at the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
The European Parliament commended Montenegro’s continued progress in accession talks, which resulted in launching 22 and temporarily closing two negotiating chapters. It also encouraged the visible progress in meeting the current closing benchmarks and launching new negotiation chapters. NATO’s decision to invite Montenegro was also commended, as well as the swift and efficient progress in accession talks.
The Euro-parliamentarians noted that sustainable dialogue and constructive cooperation between all political actors is of crucial importance for the continued progress in the process of EU accession, and in that respect they called for the continuation of the parliamentary dialogue.
The resolution recognised positive steps in public administration reform, as well as good progress in the legislative framework for strengthening independence, accountability, and professionalism in Montenegrin judiciary, and at the same time it voiced an expectation for a full implementation of adopted regulations in practice. On the other hand, the MEPs recommended further strengthening of legal and institutional framework for fight against corruption, noting that, regardless of positive changes in legislation and some progress in launching cases and reaching verdicts in corruption cases, this area is still a matter of serious concern.
The European Parliament commended the macro-economic stability and positive economic trends in Montenegro, recommending the continuation of structural reforms and further improvement of the business environment.
Noting the importance of media freedoms and pluralism as key EU values, the MEPs voiced concern over the state of affairs in the area of media and called for ensuring independence of the public broadcaster. It was also noted that there is a lack of professional and ethical standards in the media, and they pointed out the unfavourable position of journalists.
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND EUROPEAN INTEGRATION
Source: Government of Montenegro