BRUSSELS – European Parliament adopted the Resolution on 2019-2020 Commission reports on Montenegro yesterday evening, with 595 votes for, 66 against, and 34 abstentions.
Stressing that it is vital not to reverse earlier achievements in the reform process, MEPs encouraged the new government of Montenegro to use its mandate to accelerate EU-related reforms, reads the press release.
Concerned about the tense political climate in the country, they also note that an open and constructive dialogue between all political and social stakeholders is fundamental for Montenegro’s progress on the EU path.
In the report on the 2019-2020 Commission reports on Montenegro, they commend the country’s progress in several areas of the accession negotiations, including international police cooperation and the fight against organised crime and called on the authorities to accelerate reforms, particularly on the rule of law and fundamental rights, the judiciary, media freedom and the fight against corruption.
Members are also worried about the highly polarised media landscape, in particular about the growing volume of disinformation. They call for European cooperation with Montenegro to address disinformation, and cyber and hybrid threats.
Montenegro is increasingly vulnerable as its public debt grows, in particular to China, MEPs say. In that regard, Commission should, together with other international financial institutions, find a reasonable solution to support Montenegro’s fiscal sustainability, states the report. Besides, those politically responsible for the highly controversial Chinese Bar-Boljare highway loan have to be held to account, insist MEPs.
”With this report, we reaffirm the European Parliament’s strong support to Montenegro’s EU accession process. We also encourage the country – as a front runner in the accession process, to continue delivering on its EU reform agenda, in particular in the area of the rule of law. High and growing public support for the EU membership should be an incentive for the Montenegrin stakeholders to work together towards fulfilling this common goal”, stated Rapporteur Tonino Picula (S&D).
Resolutions on Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia were adopted in March.