PODGORICA – Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković said yesterday that the European Commission has approved the opening of the last negotiating chapter with Montenegro, which confirms that it is the country that is the most promising and closest to EU membership.
“We are very pleased to receive the news that the competent body of the European Commission has given the green light to open the last chapter 8 – Competition in negotiations with the European Union. We expect that this will be formally confirmed tomorrow. This is a great day for Montenegro, which will thus become the first candidate country to open all negotiating chapters,” Marković said, adding that it was confirmed that Montenegro is the most promising and the closest country to EU membership.
Marković pointed out that this is proof of commitment to successfully fulfilling the obligations from the European agenda, another confirmation of the leading position in the enlargement process, as well as great recognition to the Government and all institutions for hard work on adopting and applying European standards and harmonizing with European regulations.
“After the recent ‘non-paper’ on the rule of law, which noted Montenegro’s progress in key areas, the support of member states for the opening of the last chapter showed their commitment to the European perspective of the region, which was the focus of the last EU-Western Balkans Summit,” said the Prime Minister.
Marković pointed out that they were especially pleased that the green light was given during Croatia’s presidency of the Council of the EU, which is the result of selfless efforts by neighboring Croatia to keep enlargement policy high on the Union’s agenda.
“By accepting the new EU enlargement methodology, Montenegro has shown readiness to further dynamize the process, since the focus will be not only on the technical, but also on the political aspect of enlargement. The opening of Chapter 8 actually marks the end of the first phase of the EU integration process, and gives us the wind in our sails to start fulfilling our obligations with new enthusiasm in the next, most demanding phase of closing the chapter,” Marković points out.
He added that they have used the time behind them to achieve internal readiness for the temporary closure of one set of chapters in the coming period, on which they will actively work with the next German presidency.
European Parliament Rapporteur for Montenegro Tonino Picula congratulated the country on the opening of the final chapter in its accession negotiation process.
“They are closest to the full EU membership, which still depends from the fulfillment of all set criteria”, Picula wrote.
Montenegro has provisionally closed three negotiating chapters so far.