ARIZONA – European Union can and has to push forward Western Balkans because other countries will not sit with their hands tied, says the president of Montenegro Milo Đukanović in his interview with Voice of America.
“If Western Balkans is the last wagon of the European continent than it is up to EU to make a concrete contribution to the Western Balkans region, so it could overcome the historical gap of regress and catch up the logical, natural switch with modern Europe. I never forget about the importance of Euro-Atlantic partnership when I speak about Europe”, says Đukanović for the VOA.
Answering the question if there is a true democracy in Montenegro without government change, he points out that he always speaks about true democracy if the outcome of elections is the results of the citizens’ free will.
Wish for more powerful opposition
He also adds that he understands that after a certain period of time people get satiated.
In addition, he reckons that is good for the democratic health for one community to have competition. The competition is notable through the change of power at the elections. President Đukanović underlines he is someone who hopes for more powerful opposition. He thinks that good competition creates better quality and he is sure that his party would be much better if there was high-quality competition.
“If I told you that Montenegro is the ideal society without crime, corruption, I guess you would not trust me. So let us be critically distrustful to the opposition remarks regarding election conditions. It has the right to be unsatisfied due to the fact it has been losing in the last 30 years”, points out Đukanović.
Adding that every election process in Montenegro has been overwatched by international observers, he says that OSCE has been giving suggestions on how Montenegro could improve its electoral system. And finally, the country did improve it.
Serbia and Montenegro went through different experiences
Talking about the relations with Serbia, Đukanović explains that in the last decade countries went through different experiences.
“At the moment we are going through a phase, where thanks to some circumstances, critical tones coming from one part of political and media public in Belgrade towards Montenegro have returned”, underlines Đukanović.
He adds that once again, there is a type of paternalism which has already caused a lot of troubles not only between these two countries but in the region as a whole.
“Sometimes political and media interpretation in Belgrade can exaggerate and put something under question which has been a good established neighbourly relation. I firmly believe we should work on it and on fostering inter-state relations”, Đukanović explains.
The Balkans will not face new violence, but Đukanović warns that taking in mind the history of the region, the integration process should not go downhill.
Đukanović thinks that Pristina and Belgrade need to continue the dialogue and he believes in the international community consensus regarding the final solution for both sides.