Prior to the start of the Regular Spring Session, the Parliament of Montenegro organized a meeting with the Ambassadors of the EU and NATO member states and the Head of the European Union Delegation to Montenegro.
Members of the Montenegrin Parliament, who are heads of permanent delegations to international organizations and regional initiatives, also attended the meeting.
In his opening remarks, the Speaker of the Parliament of Montenegro, Ivan Brajović, expressed satisfaction with the return of Montenegro to the focus of enlargement policy, so that in a more credible and clear way the European Union would open up more space for parliaments and parliamentarians, and therefore for all citizens of our countries.
He recalled that the messages of support that Montenegro receives during international meetings are encouraging to retain a leading position in the integration process. “Montenegro, as the first next EU member state with measurable results and coherent foreign policy with European countries, as well as constructive neighbourly policy, despite the challenges it faces, will be a strong incentive for other aspirants to take on such policies and values”, Brajović said.
Speaking about the current political and social environment, President Brajović stated that the adoption of the Law on Freedom of Religion or Belief was a natural sequence in rounding up the national identity of Montenegro”. This law had to be enacted in order to regulate this area from far back in 1977 in an appropriate manner that corresponds to the reality of Montenegrin society. Dissatisfaction with one segment of our society was expected, followed by inappropriate resistance by some opposition MPs and one religious community, first to enact and then to implement this law”, the President of the Assembly emphasized.
He noted that “the governing structures have shown a high degree of understanding and tolerance, while a huge number of citizens do not support anti-state and often very offensive protest messages. In doing so, we show that we respect the right to express a different opinion, despite the easily recognizable manipulative discourse of church gatherings. In civil society, peaceful protests are part of the democratic achievements, and a plurality in support of policies and a vision for the development of society, as well as parliamentary majority is achieved in elections, not in the street”.
Brajović also said that in addition to the ruling majority, opposition parliamentary parties are also responsible for overcoming challenges and answering current issues.
“For a truly democratic society, the voice of the opposition must also be heard through a clear and constructive stance in Parliament. We are ready for dialogue. But for him, it is necessary for the other side to have defined positions and a clear policy”, President Brajović said.
The Head of the EU Delegation to Montenegro, Aivo Orav, addressed the attendees, stressing that during the previous period it was repeatedly confirmed that the enlargement policy remains high on the agenda of the new composition of the European Commission and stated that the new enlargement methodology represents an opportunity for the region as well as an incentive for Montenegro.
He thanked Montenegro for being a significant partner of the European Union and praised its efforts internationally and in aligning its foreign policy with the European Union.
Ambassador Orav emphasized that dialogue is an important element in Montenegro as well as in the whole region. “The Delegation of the European Union is monitoring the situation regarding the Law on Freedom of Religion and wants to encourage all parties to reach a solution in order to reduce current tensions”, he said./ibna