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PM Marković opens international conference entitled “Challenges on the path to the European Union”: Brussels needs our unequivocal sign of readiness in pursuing safe and stable Western Balkans…
Budva, Montenegro (2 November 2017) – Western Balkan countries have no doubt when it comes to the full-fledged membership in the EU, but the region has to send clear signal to Brussels in order to demonstrate its readiness to implement the key EU requirement which is safe, secure and economically stable Western Balkans, Prime Minister Duško Marković highlighted during his opening remarks at the international conference entitled “Challenges on the path to the European Union”.
„There is nothing new in saying that the region has no dilemma when it comes to the common keay goal of the region: membership in the EU. And I would not further elaborate why that solution is the best one not only for all of us here, but I believe for that the vast majority of our citizens too. It is more than obvious and we have repeated well-known arguments so many times. We enter the zone of sometimes less and sometimes more visible differences when we’re wondering which path to chose and in what speed and level of decisiveness we want to achieve that goal. We also have to bear in mind that answers to all of those questions do not depend solely on us. Our partners in this project are the EU member states which have their priorities and why not to say interests when it comes to the further EU enlargement. Having in mind all these aspects, it is more than clear that the region has to send strong, unequivocal and reliable signals of our readiness and decisiveness to meet the key requirement from Brussels formulated in the message which states: our society wants safe, secure and economically stable Western Balkans,“ PM Marković emphasised at the opening of the conference organised by the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro and Ministry of Science.
PM Marković also noted that the region has demonstrated to the EU partners its readiness to conduct a dialogue and that newly established practice of frequent informal encounters of the prime ministers has strengthened mutual trust and understanding.
“It would be wise to use so-called supporting mechanisms which the EU has put at our disposal throughout the Berlin process in the last four years. We used some of them, but it seems to me that some of them we didn’t in a sufficient extent. As a very important supplement policy of the EU towards our region, the Berlin process has strengthened hope for faster improvement of the living standard of our citizens. In order to achieve that goal and more efficient connectedness, we have to implement big infrastructural projects which cannot be carried out without the money from the European funds. I would say a serious amount of money. Therefore, I believe there is space for faster implementation and better preparedness of those projects, as well as more concrete and visible financial support of the EU. Ahead of the upcoming Summit which will take place in London, I think that we should pay full attention to these issues, PM Marković stressed at the conference.
PM Marković reiterated that Montenegro’s membership in NATO has contributed to improving the economic growth of the country, which will be above 4% this year.
“Having in mind that the country has recorded an increased interest of the foreign investors and higher level of trust of the international financial institutions, I can frankly say that Montenegro’s membership in NATO has contributed to this positive economic outlook. This is, of course, the result of our dedication and commitment on one side, and trust and safety as an outcome of the NATO membership in the eyes of the investors on another one” PM Marković highlighted.
PM Marković voiced belief that Montenegro will complete its negotiation process before 2025 as the year of enlargement announced by the EU, adding that the country does not consider the accession process as a race with other countries in the region, but as an opportunity to implement European standards in order to achieve better quality of life of citizens.
A two-day conference will also be attended by the Prime Minister of Macedonia Zoran Zaev, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina Denis Zvizdić, Deputy Prime Minister of Albania Senida Mesi, Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia Rasim Ljajić, Vice President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Pierre Heilborne, former Prime Minister of Montenegro Milo Đukanović, former president of the Republic of Slovenia Milan Kučan and numerous ministers, historians, economist and experts.
Source: Government of Montenegro