Montenegro: Accession negotiations in full swing, need to overcome current challenges
Brussel (27th June) – Commissioner for Enlargement and European neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle participated in the EU-Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Council in Brussels today. The meeting was chaired by the Irish EU Presidency and Montenegro was represented by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European IntegrationIgor Lukšić. This is what Commissioner Fule said afterwards to the press:
"It was a very constructive fourth meeting of the Stabilisation and Association Council between the European Union and Montenegro.
We had the opportunity to examine the political and economic challenges that accumulated in Montenegro in the recent weeks and months. The EU made clear that progress on these issues – the constitutional amendments, the investigation of the Audio Recordings affair, the follow-up to the OSCE recommendations following presidential elections – will be an important factor determining future progress in the accession negotiations.
One year after their opening, we are now "in full swing" in the accession negotiations:
- two negotiating chapters have already been opened and provisionally closed.
- and we are discussing a substantial number of screening reports with Member States.
The Commission is actively helping Montenegro in this process. We expect the Montenegrin authorities to show the necessary political will to overcome the challenges and rise to the expectations attached by the EU to a country negotiating its accession to the EU.
Today we have had a look also at recent progress such as the Parliamentary decisions of the end of May to address some of the recent challenges, and the work towards the Action Plans on Chapters 23 and 24, which are expected to be adopted very, very soon by the government. I am glad to see that, following recent developments in the Parliament, Montenegro is moving towards "normality" again. It is important to translate the parliamentary conclusions of 31 May into concrete results.
Also, the preparation of the Action Plans for Chapters 23 and 24 has been a huge task, which is about to be completed. But now the real work starts: implementing the Action Plans so that we can open those chapters soon. This should bring tangible improvements for rule of law in Montenegro. At the same time, tangible results in this regard are necessary for continued progress in the accession process."
Watch the press conference here.