European Western Balkans

Pejović: This government will finish accession negotiations with EU

PODGORICA – In his interview to Dnevne Novine, Aleksandar Andrija Pejović said he was pleased with the results achieved in legislative, institutional and administrative reforms.

The Minister of European Affairs of Montenegro said that the Ministry worked intensely on preparing the Montenegrin EU Accession Programme 2018-2020. He also said that the Programme would ensure the finish of the accession negotiations during the current government’s term of office.

Pejović stressed the establishment of the Ministry of European Affairs as an efficient, well organised, open and dynamic institution as an especially important achievement in the past year.

Asked when opening of the remaining three chapters may be expected, Pejović said that Montenegro had fulfilled the initial benchmarks set by the EU in all three chapters – 17 – Economic and monetary policy, 27 – Environment and 8 – Competition policy.

“We expect that intergovernmental conferences will be scheduled in the coming period, in which the work of the Montenegrin negotiating structure will be evaluated by opening these remaining three chapters, thus rounding up one demanding phase of the negotiation process,” he said, adding that the term of holding these conferences depends on the process within the EU and its complex procedures.

“These are three very important but also demanding chapters, particularly chapter 27. It is considered one of the more complex, both due to the necessary financial resources and the coordination system. Within this chapter, achieving environmental quality standards implies significant infrastructure investments, as well as investments in the adaptation and improvement of industrial techniques and technologies. Also, the process requires investment in administrative capacities at the national and local levels and the judicial capacities that need to implement and monitor the application of these regulations,” Pejović said.

Asked whether Montenegro could join the EU earlier than in 2025, Pejović said it could and should become an European family member before 2015.

“Messages coming from the EU and its member states indicate that the enlargement policy is a strategic issue of the Union and that the future of all Western Balkan countries is in the EU. We see 2025 as a deadline until which Montenegro should implement all the necessary reforms, in order to get the progress evaluated and make society ready to join the Union,” Pejović explained.

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