Montenegro and the Hellenic Republic share the view that the enlargement of the European Union is one of the most important European policies that contributes to the progress of all EU states and provides a higher level of security for the southeast of Europe, Prime Minister Duško Marković and Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias concluded at a meeting.
“The enlargement policy is not only positive for the countries of this region, but its goal is a Europe that is safer, more secure and more prosperous. We believe that the new European Commission will strengthen the European Union enlargement process by focusing on substance rather than form. For us, the European Union is the only choice”, PM Marković said at the meeting.
FM Dendias said that the integration of the Western Balkan countries into the European Union is one of Greece’s foreign policy priorities and that Greece will continue to strongly support this policy in the European institutions.
The Prime Minister also thanked Greece for its support in Montenegro’s NATO accession process, saying that in the first two and a half years of membership, Montenegro had proved itself as a responsible ally.
Prime Minister Marković informed the Greek Minister about the internal and external priorities of his Government, saying that the decision to focus on economic policy had excellent results, reflected in good development policies, economic growth among the highest in Europe, reduction of unemployment, increase in budget revenues and high inflow of foreign direct investment, all of which aim to further increase the standard of living of citizens.
The two officials concluded that the bilateral relations between the two countries are excellent, expressing the will to deepen relations, especially in the fields of tourism, transport and education.
The meeting concluded that the relations will be particularly strengthened by the planned official visit of Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic Kyriakos Mitsotakis to Montenegro.
During his official visit to Montenegro, the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs met with Montenegrin Foreign Minister Srđan Darmanović. In his address to the media after the meeting, Dendias said that there is room for improvement οn a number of fields, the already very good relations between two countries.
“We can enhance our cooperation on trade, energy, tourism, transport and research, also in view of Montenegro’s EU accession, which we hope will occur in the near future. If I may even say, in the very near future. Montenegro’s EU integration, as well as the integration of the rest of the Balkan countries, is a strategic goal for Greece. We see this as the best way to preserve peace, stability and prosperity in our region. I would therefore, like to reiterate our readiness to further support your EU integration efforts, including through the implementation of the bilateral Memorandum of Cooperation on EU Issues”, Dendias said.
He added that Greece, in its efforts to rejuvenate the Enlargement Process, will be hosting on February 24 in Thessaloniki, a ministerial conference with the participation of Western Balkan partners and the neighbouring EU-Member states.
“Within NATO, we are looking forward to pursuing further paths in our already fruitful cooperation. That includes, among other things, the successful air-policing mission of Montenegro’s airspace, by us, alongside Italy. In the same vein, we appreciate Montenegro’s efforts to enhance regional stability and co-operation”, Dendias stressed and added that Greece have chosen the path of respect for international legality and of good neighbourly relations.
Dendias also met with the President of Montenegro, Milo Đukanović, who said that it is necessary to “bring the Balkans back to their European home” and that his country appreciates Greece’s support on the integration of the Western Balkan countries in the EU./ibna