Đukanović addresses EP: Montenegro supports EU regardless of external pressures

Milo Đukanović; Photo: European Parliament

STRASBOURG – Milo Đukanović, President of Montenegro, took part at the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg and used the opportunity to tell the MEPs that Montenegro has been already behaving as the EU member state.

This was the first time for a president of a Western Balkan country to address top representatives of this EU institution.

“Montenegro has been the NATO member state for year and a half and the EU candidate country that needs to open only 2 more negotiation chapters. It is a reliable neighboring country and an important element of regional stability and cooperation. As a result, we’ve got an investment destination inspiring to many foreign partners”, Đukanović said.

As for the common foreign and security policy, Montenegro has already been behaving as the EU member state.

“We unequivocally strongly support the EU positions regardless of frequent external and internal pressures. Also, Montenegro has been providing continuous contribution to peace and stability through Army’s engagement in NATO, EU and UN operations/missions.”

Whenever he spoke of the EU’s shortcomings, he added, it was because it was completely normal to notice them, as the country itself is a part of Europe. Đukanović told that Montenegro will never regard the EU as a new religion, but rather our common existing and future home.  “The EU is our most important neighbor, especially to the non-EU countries,” emphasised Đukanović.

He also said he has been extremely appreciating the financial, professional and any other EU assistance in the accession process. “The regatta principle, which has been once again confirmed in the recent Enlargement Strategy, is a new mechanism representing major incentive and promoting healthy competition in the accession process.”

 “The enlargement policy affects not only the Balkans. It’s about the quality of European stability and competition on the global scene. I want to stress this as it seems to me that the Euro-enthusiasm has weakened a lot,” added the President of Montenegro.

Đukanović underlined that he understands the EU decision to clean up the causes of crises and conduct the process of internal consolidation. He said: “In our opinion, halting or slowing down the process of uniting Europe is not a solution to these problems. On the contrary, I see the complete unification as major answer to all challenges the EU has been facing.”

In case the Western Balkan countries do not join the EU at some point, other countries with completely different strategic goals might interfere, which would take us on the edge of the conflict zone, while Europe would be insufficiently stable and united.