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Statement by Chief Negotiator Aleksandar Drljević on occasion of the eighth anniversary of negotiations with EU

Statement by Chief Negotiator Aleksandar Drljević on occasion of the eighth anniversary of negotiations with EU
Published date 29.06.2020 16:40 | Author PR Service

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Montenegro is celebrating the eighth anniversary of negotiations with the European Union with all open negotiation chapters and three temporarily closed chapters within the negotiation process. With the official opening of the last negotiating chapter, the Brussels administration has shown that enlargement policy remains active even in these difficult times when we are all facing a coronavirus pandemic and that the door of the EU is wide open for new members. 

To date, Montenegro has achieved remarkable results, especially when it comes to legislative and institutional form of cooperation with the EU and what is important in the coming period is to show through concrete results and measurable results that our institutions and our legislative framework, which we have created in the previous period, are absolutely functional.

In the next phase of the negotiation process, of course, we still have a lot of work to do. This primarily refers to the rule of law and Chapters 23 and 24, which will remain in the focus of our attention in the coming period. What the non-paper by the European Commission has shown is that in Montenegro we can be satisfied with the progress we have made in these chapters, especially when it comes to the fight against organised crime and corruption, the fight against human trafficking, money laundering, and above all police cooperation and very successful actions carried out by our police together with the police of EU member states.

Of course, this should only be an additional incentive for all of us who are in the integration process, to continue to prove with concrete, measurable results that the rule of law is our priority, because it is a prerequisite for our further progress when it comes to European integration.

However, it is noticeable that in some segments additional maturation is needed and, above all, I mean the area of political criteria, where it is very important that certain challenges that lie ahead of us, and that is, above all, holding parliamentary elections, restoring political dialogue into the institutions of the system, and the full functionality of the democratic institutions of the system are the focus of our attention. This will be one of the key preconditions for our further integration process.

As we have emphasised several times, the Government or one individual or one institution does not join the EU. The whole society joins the EU, all segments of our society should be integrated and, regardless of whether we are in government institutions, NGOs, whether we come from the media community or different political parties, we should all understand that this is a process which is for the benefit of Montenegro and its citizens and that everyone in their segment and scope of their responsibilities contribute to achieving the ultimate goal, which is the full membership of Montenegro in the EU.

If we understand this process in this way, if we continue to work diligently in the coming period, I believe that during the mandate of this Brussels administration we can complete the negotiation process and meet all the conditions for our full membership in the EU.