Picula: Montenegro needs to continue to confirm that its place is in the EU

Tonino Picula; Photo: European Parliament

BRUSSELS – European Parliament supports enlargement policy and Montenegro needs to continue with a good pace of reform to become the first next EU member concluded Aleksandar Drljević, Chief Negotiator with the European Union and Tonino Picula, new European Parliament Rapporteur for the country.

During his visit to Brussels, the Chief Negotiator met with the new EP Rapporteur for Montenegro, whom he congratulated on taking up his new post, expecting his European colleagues to report in detail on Montenegro’s successful path to the EU, Government of Montenegro stated.

New EP rapporteur for Montenegro welcomed the fact that Montenegro was the frontrunner among the candidate countries. He stressed that, during his term of office, he would devote himself to strengthening relations between Montenegro and the Union, and that he would advocate the principle of timely progress based on the individual results of the states in the European Parliament.

“I will be a strong advocate of bringing enlargement policy back to EU priorities. We are aware that this is not only a technical but also a political issue, which is why it is important for Montenegro, as a leader in the negotiations with the EU, to continue to confirm that its place in the EU is not only because of its geographical and cultural affiliation, but because of the fulfillment of the demanding standards set before it by Brussels”, Picula said.

Drljević and Picula meet in Brussels; Photo: Government of Montenegro

Drljević conveyed Montenegro’s firm commitment to EU membership, reminding that the Government and all institutions involved in the negotiation process are persistent in order to secure our country a place in the EU.

“We are working hard to maintain the continuity of the country’s movement towards the EU. In the coming period, we expect a positive response from the European Commission and member states to the efforts we are making, which will be reflected in the opening of Chapter 8 – Competition and the closure of the negotiating chapters in which we have achieved internal readiness”, said the Chief Negotiator.

The interlocutors agreed that membership of the Western Balkan countries is important for maintaining the peace and stability of the region, as well as of the entire European continent. They also referred to the fact that North Macedonia and Albania did not open negotiations, saying that while the region does not look favorably on the decision, it should not be discouraging, but should be an additional motive for even better implementation of internal reforms and preparation for full membership in the EU.

In light of Croatia’s presidency of the EU Council, high expectations of this presidency have been stressed, both for Montenegro and for the other Western Balkan countries, Government of Montenegro reported.