LUXEMBOURG – Montenegro has opened two new negotiating chapters at the Intergovernmental Conference in Luxembourg Tuesday, Chapter 1 – Free Movement of Goods and Chapter 22 – Regional Policy and Coordination of Structural Instruments, and has temporarily closed Chapter 30 – External Relations, Government of Montenegro stated.
It is jointly estimated that, by completing the final benchmarks and closing the chapters in the field of external relations, Montenegro is starting a new phase of the negotiation process. The preservance of pro-European politics and the continuity of reforms has been commended as a result of which Montenegro, after 5 years of negotiations, opened 28 of 33 negotiating chapters and temporarily closed three.
In his address to the representatives of the member states and the European Commission, the head of the Montenegrin delegation, Minister of European Affairs Aleksandar Andrija Pejović stressed that closure of Chapter 30 – External relations represents an important milestone in the negotiation process.
“After two years of successful work, we have completely harmonised our trade policy with the European Union’s policy, which made it worthwhile to close this important chapter and enter the new phase of the negotiation process. This practically means that Montenegro, when it comes to the rules and procedures that apply in the field of international trade, development policy and humanitarian aid, has almost become part of the European Union,” the Minister said.
Emphasising the importance of the negotiation process in Chapter 1 – Free Movement of Goods, Minister Pejović pointed out that reforms in this area will prepare Montenegrin companies for equal participation in the common European market of half a billion inhabitants.
“On the other hand, the adoption of European rules in the field of regional policy and the management of structural funds, under Chapter 22, will develop our ability to successfully use European funds for a better life of our citizens as a future EU member and after EU membership,” the Minister said.
Chair of the EU Council Delegation, Minister for European Affairs and Equality of Malta Helena Dalli, welcomed Montenegro’s good progress in implementing key reforms and meeting the conditions for EU membership. She assessed that this significant achievement of Montenegro is a signal to the whole region of the Western Balkans that the EU remains committed to the enlargement process, in accordance with the merits of individual candidate countries.
European Commission Representative, Director-General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Christian Danielsson praised Montenegro’s progress in the rule of law and called for a continuation of the good dynamics of the reform process in the field of European integration. He welcomed the constructive role of Montenegro in the area of regional cooperation and the support that Montenegro provides to other countries in the region in the process of EU accession.
The eighth meeting of the Stabilisation and Association Council was held in Luxembourg earlier today, chaired by Minister of European Affairs Aleksandar Andrija Pejović. On behalf of the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, the EU Delegation was led by Minister for European Affairs of Malta Helena Dalli, while on behalf of the European Commission, the meeting was led by the Director-General for Neighborhood and Enlargement, Christian Danielsson.