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PM Marković at Bundestag Committee on EU Affairs: EU must send clear messages to WB citizens in order to not leave room for propaganda of others

PM Marković at Bundestag Committee on EU Affairs: EU must send clear messages to WB citizens in order to not leave room for propaganda of others
Published date 15.05.2019 17:00 | Author PR Service

Ispis Print

Berlin, Germany (15 May 2019) – The European Union must be more present in the public of the Western Balkan countries and must send clear messages to our citizens about how much the EU invests in our development and their better lives, on a daily basis if necessary, - Prime Minister Duško Marković said today in the German Federal Parliament - the Bundestag, where he talked with the MPs of the Committee on European Union Affairs.

"One discrepancy attracts attention, which at first glance can hardly be explained. The EU and Western countries are the largest investors and donors in the Western Balkans. We often hear voices from the region that the EU must be more present in the Western Balkans. And here's what it looks like in the last ten years: more than eight billion of investments, the trade has doubled and exceeds 49.5 billion. The EU is the main trading partner of the region and makes up 73% of its trade, and the region has increased its exports to the EU by 142%. Messages about the rule of law are not the only important messages that must be sent - but our citizen wants primarily to live better and feel those benefits. The EU must be more present in the public in this regard and send clear messages to our citizens about how much they invest in our development and their better lives," Prime Minister Marković said in his address to the Committee.

The Prime Minister thanked Germany for supporting our reforms and said that we are looking forward to the growing interest and presence of investors from Germany, and that Montenegro wants Germany as a partner, but also as a model and objective observer of opportunities.

"We do not want a partnership with Germany just because of support and investment, but because of democratic values, including those that concern corporate and business standards in order to strengthen domestic business culture that is still suffering the consequences of the old system," the Prime Minister said.

Speaking about our European integration process, PM Marković said that Montenegro is not calculating: "Our orientation and course is clear. We are a country that, in all cases, joins the EU's common, foreign and security policy, which has proven to be a responsible member and a reliable ally in NATO," the Prime Minister said.

Prime Minister Marković said that the most important achievement of the Government of Montenegro in the past two years is economic growth that exceeded all expectations.

"You will not always find this data in the reports when it comes to Montenegro. To illustrate this claim I will inform you about the results of economic policy in the last two years. We achieved growth rates at an average rate of 4.9 percent, almost in all sectors from tourism, energy, agriculture, industry, trade, which in the past was not the case. We reduced the unemployment rate by more than 6 percent and increased the number of employees by over 17,000. In the first quarter of this year, the parameters are already better than at the same time last year. For two years we have been recording the stability of public finances and we are financing current spending from the original revenues. At this moment Montenegro is a large construction site with very significant projects in the capital infrastructure and with a large inflow of foreign direct investments of over EUR one billion and five hundred million. We have halved the budget deficit and there is no fear for the sustainability of our public finances. Our goal is to ensure the continuity of such high growth rates, to achieve a budget surplus in 2020, to provide a declining trend in public debt, increase employment and standard of living," Prime Minister Duško Marković said at the Bundestag Committee on European Union Affairs.

The Prime Minister informed the Committee about the reforms implemented by Montenegro, with particular reference to the judiciary and the fight against organized crime.

"It is evident that organized crime loses the battle with the State, the institutions are getting stronger and more efficient. I want to thank your country for its support in strengthening the rule of law that will soon result in the sending of your experts to the Ministry of Justice and the Montenegrin police, which we had in the Ministry of Justice in previous years," PM Marković noted.

The judiciary has strengthened its capacities and raised the level of efficiency and promptness, PM Marković said and added that the last week's verdicts in the process of attempting terrorism or destabilization of Montenegro in order to deter it from its path to NATO proved that the judiciary is immune to external pressures and that it professionally performed its job in the most complex trial in the recent history of our judiciary.

Speaking about the media scene, Prime Minister Marković said that the Government, within its jurisdiction, is doing everything possible to improve the environment, including the improvement of the legal framework, using expertise and counseling of the OSCE and the Council of Europe.

The Prime Minister concluded the address by saying that Montenegro is not a country that is threatened by its current challenges. "Very strong facts prove this: we are a NATO member, the leader in the EU integration process, the exporter of stability and the fastest growing economy in the region. You will agree, however, that in the last twelve years, these results could not be achieved if the real situation was different or at the level of perception in certain important areas," Prime Minister Duško Marković stressed.