12/21/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/22/2022 07:55
Minister of Foreign Affairs Tanja Fajon and Austrian Federal Minister for European and International Affairs Alexander Schallenberg visited Montenegro on behalf and at the request of EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell. They met President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović, Prime Minister Dritan Abazović, and Assembly Speaker Danijela Đurović.
Minister Fajon and Minister Schallenberg at the press conference | Author Michael Gruber
Montenegro is facing major institutional and political challenges. In the talks with their Montenegrin hosts, Minister Fajon and Minister Schallenberg expressed the EU's concern about the escalating political crisis in Montenegro, which is undermining the democratic institutions and hindering progress in the reform processes for Montenegro's EU membership. They stressed the need for all political actors to support the stability and functioning of democratic institutions, in particular the Constitutional Court, and to refrain from actions that could lead to further instability.
Minister Fajon underlined the important role dialogue and engagement play in finding solutions to the political and institutional crisis. "It is high time for Montenegro to overcome the deep political and institutional crisis. Consequently, it is vital to set up a functioning Constitutional Court and appoint constitutional judges. Without a functioning Constitutional Court, the country cannot make progress in the EU accession negotiations", she stressed. "Slovenia will always be ready to contribute its experience and expertise to finding a common denominator among the political actors, which would make it possible to break the current deadlock in the country. Montenegro is one of the Union's closest partners and the candidate most advanced in the EU accession negotiations, which makes it even more important to prevent further stalemate in the negotiations. We must think first and foremost of the citizens of Montenegro, who would like to be part of the EU," the Minister stressed.
The Minister also highlighted Slovenia's activities and efforts in the past six months of the new government to accelerate the progress of the Western Balkan countries on the European path. "We have moved from words to actions and have shown that we are ready to actively support our partners in the region by granting candidate status to Bosnia and Herzegovina and supporting visa liberalisation for Kosovo," the Minister said.