During the debate on the draft resolution, European Parliament MEPs hailed the progress of Montenegro. At the same time they pointed to the already known ills: from the lack of results in the fight against corruption to the state of media.
European parliamentarians said that Montenegro has to resolve border issues, singling out the border with Croatia.
Among the candidate countries, Montenegro made the biggest progress on the European road. That was the assesment heard today at the session of the European Parliament. The European Commission said that Montenegro has many challenges ahead, particularly in the fight against corruption and organized crime.
MEP from Croatian Tonino Picula stated several more problems: the weaknesses of the judiciary, which according to him, is not entirely independent. Picula said that media freedoms are limited. He singled out the attacks on journalists. He also said that political scene is strongly polarized. Picula warned, as he said, of adopting the laws to fast without national consensus.
“It takes a real progress that will follow the adoption of these documents”, Picula stressed.
Head of the Directorate for Enlargement for Montenegro Dirk Lange pointed out, however, that the recently adopted set of anti-corruption law will be of great help.
“We can expect and hope that the appropriate results will be achieved. It can not happen overnight. It takes more time. We will intensively monitor the developments”, said Lange.
Petras Austrevicijus from Lithuania said that the European Commission should monitor the situation in all areas, but that special focus needs to be on the rule of law.
“Without the results in this field, Montenegro will not be able to join the EU, as we know from our own experience”, Austrevicijus pointed out.
Deputies from Croatia focused on unresolved border issues at today’s session. Namely, on Prevlaka, as expected.
“There’s still more space and time to improve the situation; To solve the problem of Prevlaka. I hope that this will be resolved in the future”, said deputy Dubravka Suica.
Delegate from Bulgaria Angel Dzambacki also thinks that Prevlaaka issue must be resolved.
“Montenegro should fulfill the Croatian criteria”, said Dzambacki.
There was also discussion about the Atlantic path of Montenegro in the European Parliament. Some MEPs disliked mentioning of NATO in the draft resolution. Deputy from Cyprus, Takis Hadjigeorgiou said that “it was not written anywhere that the EU candidate countries must become members of NATO.”
“Montenegro does not have to do that. Maybe we should develop the NATO alliance and not push new members to join them”, says Hadjigeorgiou.
The rapporteur for Montenegro Charles Tannock said that NATO was also mentioned in previous reports and explained: “Of course the issue of NATO has no direct connection with membership in the EU. However, it has to do with the field of the rule of law. Thus, I think that mentioning NATO can not do any harm”, said Tannock.
Tannock said he expected the draft resolution to be adopted by a broad consensus at the end of the month.
The European Parliament and the Commission will monitor the progress of Montenegro in the forthcoming period, and the Report will be submitted to member states in April.
Izvor: RTV Montenegro