Brussels, Belgium (14 April 2015) — ”EU remains fully committed to Montenegro’s future in the European Union. With strong political determination of the governments (of EU member states) and Montenegrin side, the country can succeed,” President of the European Council Donald Tusk told earlier today Prime Minister Milo Đukanović in Brussels. He added that the Prime Minister’s visit to Brussels is a ”testimony of Montenegro’s ambition to become a member of the European and transatlantic family.”
In order to achieve this objective, Montenegro needs to intensify its efforts in terms of the legislation reform and effective implementation of reforms, President Tusk said, emphasising that he sees the strengthening of the rule of law, including fight against organised crime and corruption, as the key issues Montenegro has to tackle in the future.
Montenegrin Prime Minister Đukanović told the press that he welcomes the fact that, as the President of the European Council said, the EU recognises Montenegro’s progress in the field of promotion of European and Euro-Atlantic values in the Western Balkans.
“Today’s meetings enable us to reaffirm our determination to continue in the same direction. We are fully aware that we are at the beginning of our journey. Not only our country, but the region as a whole s well… Nowadays, it is very important not only for Montenegro, but also for the Western Balkan’s countries to know what their main direction of development is. It seems to me that it is equally important to have realistic policies and to be aware that these goals can be accomplished only by pursuing an overall social reform,” the Montenegrin Prime Minister told the press in Brussels.
He added that, given the changed context of the accession negotiations, that is, the additional emphasis the European Union placed on the rule of law and the negotiating chapters 23 and 24, PM Đukanović pointed out that “all state structures of Montenegro are focused on the crucial issue of eliminating the rule of law deficit in our region,” stating it is a fundamental issue of quality of life and dynamics of economic growth and development of the country.
“We have gone through an important phase of work, we have amended the constitution, we have brought new laws, we have established new institutions and now we are working on further institutional strengthening in order to develop a good track record. As we have been successful in previous stages, there is no reason to doubt that it will remain so in the remaining stages of our work,” Prime Minister Đukanović stated.
The Prime Minister told the press conference following his meeting with Mr Tusk that Montenegro has experienced dynamic economic development. ”From being the least developed former Yugoslavia’s republic, it has become the most developed country in the Western Balkans,” he underscored, adding it will become the most dynamic economy in that part of Europe.
President of the European Councill said that his meeting with Prime Minister Đukanović also addressed foreign policy issues and he welcomed Montenegro’s partnership position, which is in line with the policy of the EU, saying that the fact that foreign policy of Montenegro and the EU are harmonised deserves special recognition, and that he encourages Prime Minister Đukanović to continue pursuing this kind of policy.
Prime Minister Đukanović concluded by voicing pleasure that Montenegro is a “partner of the European Union in many important challenges of our time” and that it, as a responsible candidate country, shares its values when it comes to foreign policy and security. He added that Montenegro will continue to promote European values in the region and that it remains an important partner of the European Union.
Source: Government of Montenegro