Jean-Eric Piquet of European Commission: Projects funded through IPA programmes boost regional cooperation

    Podgorica, Montenegro (10 February 2015) – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Igor Lukćic hosted earlier today Jean-Eric Piquet, Director for the Western Balkans at the Directorate General of the European Neighborhood Policy and Negotiations for Enlargement.

    The meeting discussed Montenegro’s progress in the negotiation process and the challenges Montenegro is to tackle in the coming period, paying particular attention to the use of EU pre-accession assistance resources during the financial perspectives 2014-2020.

    Director Paquet said that he was informed about the results of certain projects funded through EU support programmes, adding they set a good example of how to best use the resources that will be available to Montenegro in the coming period. He underlined the importance of regional cooperation in the Western Balkans, which further enhances the number of projects funded through IPA programmes. Mr Paquet also pointed out that joint efforts and cooperation in the region contribute to strengthening stability and further economic development.

    Montenegro’s Deputy Prime Minister stressed that continued cooperation and support provided by the EU institutions is highly significant in that process. He welcomed the fact that the financial perspectives 2007-2013 recorded a high level of contracted funds, hoping the trend will be continued within the 2014-2020 financial perspectives, during which the amount of EUR 270.5 million will be available to Montenegro to support its eight defined priority sectors.

    DPM Lukšić reiterated importance of continued cooperation towards implementing already launched regional infrastructure projects and initiatives, which will result in better promotion of cooperation among countries, thus creating conditions for further economic development and strengthening of stability in the Western Balkans.

    “Investing in the rule of law, education and strengthening infrastructure linking will certainly lead to intensive economic growth and development of the region,” he said, referring to the importance of cooperation with the European Commission in the planning and identification of priority activities direction.

    The two officials agreed that strong regional cooperation makes a huge contribution to further progress of Montenegro and other countries in the region towards EU membership.

    Source: Government of Montenegro