EU/Montenegro Ministerial dialogue: extracts from the common press conference by Ángel Lossada Torres-Quevedo, Spanish Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Milan Roćen, Montenegrin Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Michael Leigh, Director General of the DG "Enlargement" of the EC
Type: Summary of press conference
End production: 23/02/2010 First transmission: 23/02/2010
The EU and Montenegro have held their first ministerial political dialogue meeting in Brussels on 23/02/2010, under the new Treaty of Lisbon rules, which has been in effect since 1 December 2009.
The meeting was attended by Ángel Lossada Torres-Quevedo, Spanish Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, representing Catherine Ashton, Vice-President of the EC and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Milan Roćen, Montenegrin Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Michael Leigh, Director General of the DG "Enlargement" of the EC.
The latest events in the EU and Montenegro and their mutual relationship, were examined during the meeting, as well as the development of the situation in the Western Balkans. The meeting also dealt with the questionnaire on which the European Commission will base its opinion regarding Montenegro's accession application, and the future actions to be taken by the country.
At the end of the meeting, the three participants reported on the issues discussed. They all agreed that significant progress has been made in 2009 in the reforms implemented by Montenegro, to meet European standards, but that there was still a way to go.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Arrival of the attendees (2 shots)
||SOUNDBITE (in SPANISH) by Ángel Lossada Torres-Quevedo, Spanish Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, saying that 2009 has been a very important year, because they have been able to make a lot of headway in the relationship between EU and Montenegro. They have adopted the liberalization of visas from 19th of December, and it has also been through the reform process in Montenegro, a step towards accepting the Community acquis.
||SOUNDBITE (in MONTENEGRIN) by Milan Roćen, Montenegrin Minister for Foreign Affairs, saying that what they have learned so far through this process of the European integration, is that they will have to set clear rules for them, and stick to them, there are no short cuts on their way to the European Union. No artificial goals have been set, so they are not burden by such unattainable deadline. They have set themselves realistic goals. And he does believe that they are quite realistic and competent enough, to face the challenges, and to attain better progress in their accession to the European Union.
||SOUNDBITE (in ENGLISH) by Michael Leigh, Director General of the DG "Enlargement" of the EC: In considering whether to make a recommendation for the opening accession negotiations, is Montenegro's success in addressing the political criteria for membership, that there has been real progress. But there is also a call for further efforts in such areas in particular, as the effectiveness and independence of the judiciary, and the fight against organised crime, and corruption, the protection of Human Rights, issues as such freedom of the press. These are all matters that we review in the opinion, and where it is very important for Montenegro, to be up to full compliance with European standards.
||Cutaways (2 shots)