The Montenegrin Prime Minister Duško Marković and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini met in the coastal town of Tivat, in Montenegro on Thursday.
They agreed that the country is making great progress towards the EU, still retaining “the role of a forerunner country in the region”, the official web page of the country’s presidency reads.
At the joint presser, Mogherini said, “The doors of the European Union are open for you. This is clearly set out in the strategy for the Western Balkans the European Union issued in February. When it comes to Montenegro specifically, we mentioned that we see some very encouraging progress in particular on the public administration reform and economic issues, and we know how much relevance these issues have for the citizens. Montenegro needs to make further progress in the rule of law and the media freedom.”
PM Marković told reporters, “I want to assure you that we have observed these shortcomings and weaknesses ourselves and that at the beginning of this year we held a special session of the Government at which we adopted the Dynamic Plan, so that these shortcomings can be resolved better and that we respond more responsibly to the challenges. I believe that such an approach will result in the opening of the three remaining chapters in 2018. We will do everything to fulfil the provisional benchmarks for chapters 23 and 24, thus creating a key and important assumption for entering the next phase of the negotiation process, which implies closing chapters and creating preconditions for accelerated and high-quality overall reforms in Montenegro.”
As regards the recent decision of the European Commission to recommend the beginning of negotiations with Albania and fYROMacedonia, Montenegro’s premier said he considers it a “very important one for the entire region of the Western Balkans”…. / IBNA