During his visit to Brussels, Montenegrin Deputy Prime Minister Dritan Abazović met with EU High Representative for Security and Foreign Policy and European Commission Vice President, Josep Borrell Fontelles.
EU High Representative Borrell said he encouraged Montenegro to continue to achieve good results in its European agenda, especially in the area of rule of law, for the benefit of its citizens. Borrell praised the convincing results that Montenegro is achieving in continuous full harmonization with the EU’s positions in foreign and security policy, and thanked Montenegro for its contribution to the missions and operations of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy. Speaking about co-operation between the EU and the Western Balkans in tackling the coronavirus pandemic, Borrell recalled the Union’s € 70 million grant package for the region, provided by the European Commission to help cover the cost of certain doses of vaccines procured by EU member states. Borrell said the EU remains determined to support Montenegro in the fight against the coronavirus. In that sense, as he said, last week the European Commission mobilized almost 200 thousand euros of additional support in order to contribute to Montenegro’s efforts to protect the health of citizens.
Abazović stressed that this meeting is an opportunity to reaffirm Montenegro’s unequivocal commitment to work on rule of law reforms as the most important part of the negotiation process with the EU, with the aim of speeding up the negotiation process and entering the next phase more dynamically; temporarily closing negotiation chapters.
Referring to the work of the Government in the past 100 days, Abazović said that the Government has shown determination in the fight against crime and corruption, despite problems with the Supreme and Special State Prosecutor’s Offices, although, as he said, there have been some changes since the new government was formed. In that sense, Abazović emphasized the importance of the National Council for the Fight against High-Level Corruption, which monitors and synchronizes the activities of state bodies in the implementation of the fight against high-level corruption.
Abazović and Borrell discussed current developments within the Union, as well as the epidemiological situation in Europe and the world, and the measures taken to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Abazović stressed that Montenegro highly values the financial and any other assistance of the EU and its members to repair the consequences caused by the pandemic, as well as the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans, which was published as part of the latest Enlargement Package. /ibna