On the first working day of the Fifteenth meeting of the European Union - Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee (SAPC), co-chaired by President of the Parliament of Montenegro Mr Ivan Brajović and head of the EP delegation to the SAPC Mr Peter Kouroumbashev, the SAPC members exchanged views on the state of accession negotiations and the EU - Montenegro relations.
In his introductory address, President of the Parliament of Montenegro Mr Ivan Brajović said that the Fifteenth SAPC meeting was an opportunity for members of the Parliament of Montenegro to jointly consider once more, in an ordinary dialogue with their counterparts from the European Parliament, the progress which our country had been achieving and exchange views on key developments in Montenegro, the region and the EU.
President Brajović referred to the fact that Montenegro was a candidate which had achieved the most progress and advanced the most in its negotiation process, as well as that on several occasions it had been demonstrated that Montenegro, with its positions and concrete steps, its commitment to good neighbourly politics and active participation in regional cooperation, fostered European values and that it was the most agile promoter of those values in the Western Balkans.
„I think that enlargement is one of the most successful Union policies that needs to be strongly promoted, primarily in the member states. I firmly believe that the membership and economic development of the Western Balkans are an investment in the long-term stability and security of the European region.“
The SAPC meeting co-chair Mr Peter Kouroumbashev, among other things, voiced satisfaction with Montenegro's great commitment in the European integration process and added that Montenegro, as a frontrunner in the negotiation process, had special responsibility of being an example to others, and its membership could bring about a spillover effect on the entire region.
The chief negotiator of Montenegro with the European Union Mr Aleksandar Drljević said that the Montenegrin administration approached all its commitments in implementing reforms from the European agenda with dedication, guided by the quality of reforms rather than their speed, with the expectation that progress would be evaluated based on the results.
On behalf of the presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Austrian Ambassador to Montenegro Ms Anna Janković addressed the SAPC members, pointing out that the enlargement and the Western Balkans would remain high on the agenda during Austrian presidency in the coming months.
On behalf of the European Commission, the EU Ambassador Mr Aivo Orav pointed out that the Parliament, in its full composition, should engage in ensuring steady progress in all areas covered by the accession process.
In the continuation of the Fifteenth SAPC meeting they also discussed the role of the Parliament in strengthening democratic processes and electoral reform, the rule of law, judicial reform and the fight against corruption, as well as fundamental rights and freedoms, with focus on free and professional work of the media and protection of private property.
The SAPC will continue its work tomorrow at 9:30, when it will be focusing on topics such as good neighbourly relations and regional cooperation, as well as economic development.