PODGORICA – “European Union is faced with Brexit and increase of populist, Euro-skeptical movements across the entire block. However, as far as the EU and Montenegro are concerned, I will remain optimistic. A lot has changed in the last ten years. The same can happen in the next ten”, said in an interview for “Pobjeda”, Charles Tannock, who this week ended his ten-year long career as European Parliament Rapporteur for Montenegro.
For the last decade, experienced British diplomat, appointed in 1999, has been an ardent advocate for enlargement and Montenegrin accession to the EU. He said earlier that he would quit being EP rapporteur once his country leaves the EU.
“There have been so many changes since 1999, but Montenegro showed that all fears related to its sustainability as independent state were unfounded: it celebrated 12 years of independence and it’s now a full and proud NATO Member”, stressed Tannock.
Tannock commented on statements made by Jean-Claude Juncker regarding the possibility of new conflicts on Western Balkans, saying that Juncker wanted to point out the importance of the European perspective for Western Balkans.
“We should never neglect conflicts and it would be naive to believe that all conflicts from the past century have been settled. I firmly believe that the European perspective is a glue that connects Western Balkans countries into peace and stability”, said Tannock.
Tannock thinks that year 2025 is still the best possible scenario for Montenegrin accession.
“Accession process is a process with specific objectives which deterimine its tempo. I have no doubts that Montenegro will achieve those objectives but we cannot be sure about the pre-defined date”, said Tannock.
He also expressed hope that our country will open all the negotiating chapters by the end of this year.
You can read an opinion piece Mr Tannock wrote for our portal here.