Government of the Republic of Montenegro

12/01/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/01/2021 08:08

There is no future for the EU without the future of the Western Balkans

Published on: Dec 1, 2021 2:03 PM Author: European Integration Office

Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić opened the regional panel Western Balkan: Future of Europe is our Common Agenda. He said that there is no future for the EU without the future of the Western Balkans.

The Prime Minister said that, having in mind that membership in the European Union is a strategic commitment of the countries of the Western Balkans, it is important that we look together at the next steps in the process of European integration.

That is why a new accession methodology has been developed, in order to improve the problems, and in the case of Montenegro, these are Chapters 23 and 24, said the Prime Minister.

He pointed out that the problem in Montenegro is not in ignorance, but in insufficient knowledge and the fact that those who do not have enough knowledge and competence are being promoted, and that young people should be given the opportunity.

Montenegro should be an example to the region, and the programmes we have launched - Europe now, Montenegro now and Montenegro works - should enable our young people to stay here. If that happens, then we have won, said PM Krivokapić.

The Prime Minister said that, when it comes to EU accession, Montenegro does not seek preferential treatment. We will join the EU when we deserve it. That is why we ask that everyone in the Western Balkans invest their efforts in order to that goal, the Prime Minister concluded.

Our goal must be a credible continuation of the EU enlargement process. The future of the European Union is also the future of the Western Balkans, said State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia Gašper Dovžan.

He said that sustainable development, stability and prosperity are important for both the Western Balkans and the European Union. As he pointed out, if the goal of the countries of the Western Balkans is to become fully-fledged members of the European Union and fulfill their obligations, the European Union must also show credibility and leave the door open for membership.

The European Union must be aware that the Western Balkans is its backyard and that the European Union is the largest trading partner in the region, the largest investor and donor. Therefore, the logical step forward is institutional upgrading. If that does not happen, other actors will use the opportunity to expand their influence and interests in the region of the Western Balkans, Dovžan said.

He reminded that Slovenia has included the enlargement process among the priorities of its presidency of the EU Council.

This event has been initiated by the European Integration Office of Montenegro and structures in charge of co-ordinating European affairs from WB6 and it will be organised by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH Regional project on promotion of EU integration on behalf of the German Government, the Centre for European Perspective in co-operation qith and under the auspices of the Slovenian presidency of the Council of the EU, with the support of the EU-funded EU4ME project.