By Adnan Prekic – Podgorica
Montenegro is fulfilling its European obligations and is advancing in the dynamics of negotiations with the European Union. At the intergovernmental conference in Luxembourg, Montenegro has opened three new negotiating chapters. The opened chapters are – Chapter 4 – Free movement of capital, 31 – Common foreign, security and defense policy, and 32 – Financial Supervision. With these three new chapters, Montenegro has so far opened a total of 12 chapters, of which two are temporarily closed.
The delegation of the European Union at the meeting in Brussels was led by Evangelos Venizelos, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece. The Montenegrin delegation was led by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Igor Luksic. The European Commission was represented by Stefan Fule, Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy. During the meeting it was announced that Montenegro needs to continue to make progress in the harmonization and implementation of the acquis in these chapters. The European Union has put particular emphasis that on certain criteria that must be met, in order to make these chapters provisionally closed. They stressed that special attention must be paid to the monitoring of specific issues that are outlined in the joint positions.
After the opening of the new chapter came the session of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement. Foreign Minister of Montenegro Igor Luksic said that Montenegro is firmly committed to the completion of the additional number of negotiating positions. Luksic said that the rule of law remain the central theme of the future efforts of Montenegro towards the implementation of the negotiating agenda. “After the opening of negotiations on chapter 23 and 24, we expect consolidation results in the context of the recent elections and further judicial reforms. I also want to express my satisfaction with the continuity of dialogue and cooperation between the countries of the Western Balkans region and to point out that Montenegro continues the policy of developing good-neighborly relations and building a more stable and safer region towards joining the European Union”, said Luksic.
The Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, Stefan Fule, encouraged Montenegro to pay attention to the achievement of measurable results in the field of the rule of law, particularly in regard to organized crime and corruption, especially at high level. Flue welcomed the adoption of constitutional amendments which aim at strengthening the independence and professionalism of the judiciary, while at the same time he emphasized that Montenegro needs to implement the plans in accordance with European standards and best practices. SP Council noted certain challenges with which Montenegro is facing in recent months, which are primarily related to the response that need to be followed after the so-called affair ‘SNIMAK’, obstacles in the implementation of constitutional reform and the fact that cases of intimidation and violence against journalists and the media still remain unresolved.
Montenegro has become a candidate for membership in the European Union in December 2010. The Heads of State and government of the EU have confirmed at the summit in Brussels the opening of negotiations on the accession of Montenegro on June 29 2012.