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PM Marković, Commissioner Hahn: Montenegro promotes European perspective of region, wants faster progress towards EU

PM Marković, Commissioner Hahn: Montenegro promotes European perspective of region, wants faster progress towards EU
Published date 22.02.2019 17:14 | Author PR Service

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PR Service PR Service

Podgorica, Montenegro (22 February 2019) --  Prime Minister Duško Marković and EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn expressed satisfaction with Montenegro's progress in EU integration, but also with its commitment to accelerating the integration process.

"Our ambition is to close this year the remaining Chapter 8 - Competition and, of course, to fulfil the remaining obligations in chapters 23 and 24 in order to get a positive report and final benchmarks, which would be a milestone for the continuation of the negotiation process in terms of faster closing of the chapter. I want to say that we talked about it very openly. We have done a lot, Montenegro has reasons to be happy with what it has done, but we also discussed our weaknesses we should tackle together to make the negotiation process more dynamic and meaningful," Prime Minister Marković told a press conference following his meeting with Commissioner Hahn in Podgorica.

Commissioner Hahn thanked the Prime Minister and the Government for the strong commitment to the EU accession process, adding that Montenegro has a clear EU perspective and that EU accession enjoys overwhelming  support among the population and politicians.

"Montenegro is a reliable regional player, the most advanced country in the region in the EU accession and I very much count on Montenegro to continue supporting and promoting the European perspective for all the countries in the region," said Commissioner Hahn.

Speaking about the political situation in Montenegro, Commissioner Han reiterated that the boycott of the parliament is not a European way of resolving and presenting different opinions.

Prime Minister Marković emphasised that in several recent actions a number of masterminds of organised crime were brought to justice, and the activities of the Higher Prosecutor's Office will reveal crimes that occurred, including the attack on journalist Oliver Lakić.

PR Service PR Service

Motorway is foundation of economic growth

Speaking about the priorities, the Prime Minister said that this year started well, that capital investments will continue, and that further growth of the economy is expected.

"For that reason, I asked Commissioner Hahn and the European Commission for support to continue the work on the second section of the motorway from Mateševo to Andrijevica. Montenegro has already expressed its interest and submitted an application for certain funds within the Western Balkan Initiative," the Prime Minister stated.

Commissioner Han said that the EU allocated more than 36 million euros of pre-accession assistance to Montenegro last year and added that the continuation of the construction of the motorway will be part of the EU's interest in the trans-European network.

This is the foundation of economic growth and we will do everything we can to find the right solution for the budget and financing of the project, Commissioner Hahn underscored.

PR Service PR Service

There is no political crisis

When asked to comment on the claims of some opposition representatives that a "technical government" needs to be set up, the Prime Minister said that the request for a technical government is legitimate, but that the request for him, as the prime minister, is unjustified and politically unacceptable.

"Montenegro needs to work on pursuing its economic policies and the goals it contains in terms of accelerated economic growth, job creation, improvement of living standards, development of the country as a whole. If we reduced unemployment by over 5% in two years, this is still the result. Therefore, we consider that this request is not grounded, it is not realistic," the Prime Minister said, adding that the Government will be working in full capacity as long as it has the Parliament's support.

Asked to comment on the assessment of Montenegrin President Milo Đukanović that there is no political crisis in Montenegro, the Prime Minister said he is in agreement with the assessment.

"What kind of a political crisis? Well, the government is working, the budget is full, pensions are paid out, wages are paid out, projects are being implemented, all obligations are paid, the parliament is functioning... We have political tensions, we have political dissatisfaction, we have political demands, but not a political crisis," PM Marković pointed out.

Attacks on media, Kadri Veseli's initiative

When asked why he did not condemn attacks and pressures on national broadcaster RTCG and Dnevne novine daily, as he condemned attacks on other media, Commissioner Johannes Hahn said he believes that everyone should refrain from attacking.

When we talk about a political debate, I personally expect respect among the parties involved. I want all of us to establish communication, even if you have different views, there is no need for insults, said the European Commissioner.

Prime Minister Duško Marković was asked to comment on the invitation of the Speaker of the Parliament of Kosovo Kadri Veseli on the formation of the Alliance of Kosovo, North Macedonia and Montenegro against Serbia, and said that Montenegro never formed any alliance against anyone.

"Montenegro has never been against anyone, including Serbia. I do not understand such a message. It cannot be accepted in Montenegro, and from the point of view of Montenegro it is meaningless," Prime Minister Duško Marković concluded.


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