Pejović with representatives of EU member states: Montenegro is thoroughly preparing for EU membership

Montenegro continues to negotiate about the Chapters 23 and 24 with the European Commission

BRUSSELS – Montenegro is making visible progress when it comes to improving the rule of law, representatives of the EU member states noted, voicing belief that the progress made so far will create space for opening new negotiation chapters by the end of the year.

Minister of European Affairs of Montenegro Aleksandar Andrija Pejović met today with the representatives of the EU member states in the Council of the EU, the European Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS). The meeting discussed documents within the negotiation agenda and presented an opportunity for exchange of opinions related to the current activities and further progress of Montenegro’s path towards the EU membership.

Pejović pointed out the importance of the new strategic framework for the enlargement process, in accordance with the announcements made by the European Commission. He also informed the representatives of the EU about the current situation in the field of the rule of law, emphasising that Montenegro has made progress in the field of election, promotion and evaluation of the work of judges in prosecutors throughout the implementation of the judicial legislation.

the consolidation of the legal framework and establishment of the new institutions, Montenegro is fully committed to achieving good results in the fight against corruption and organised crime, Minister Pejović stressed. In that regard, he informed the representatives of the EU member states about the results of financial investigations, seizure of property and also drugs. He also voiced belief that the EU will prepare soon a report on the fulfilment of interim criteria for chapters 23 and 24.

Representatives of the EU member states agreed that Montenegro is thoroughly preparing for the EU membership by implementing the reforms in the rule of law, emphasising that the chapters 23 and 24 will have influence on all other areas of the negotiation process.

In that regard, they voiced belief that good dynamics of the reform process will be continued in the coming period in order to create conditions to meet the provisional criteria and to obtain the closing benchmarks in these chapters. The EU member states will fully support Montenegro in meeting the requirements within the rule of law, the representatives of the EU member states pointed out.

Representatives of the Estonian and the upcoming Bulgarian presidency highlighted the importance of the president’s Juncker speech, as well as the enlargement strategy planned for February 2018. They also emphasised the forthcoming Summit between the EU and Western Balkans, which will take place in Sofia on 17 May 2018.