The 17th meeting of the European Union‑Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee (SAPC), held today in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, ended with the adoption of the Declaration and recommendations, as well as a joint statement by President of the Parliament of Montenegro Mr Ivan Brajović and MEP Mr David Martin.
It is noted in the joint statement that peaceful gathering represents a democratic right of Montenegrin citizens, and that all opposition MPs should take an active and constructive role in the work of the temporary parliamentary committee whose ambitious work plan is important for the European path of Montenegro. It is also expected from the opposition MPs to fully continue parliamentary dialogue and participate in the upcoming SAPC meetings. This committee welcomes the results already achieved so far and stresses that the overall priority for Montenegro now is to focus on meeting the interim benchmarks for the rule of law-related chapters 23 and 24, which also remain essential for closing the already opened negotiating chapters - it is said among other things in the Joint Statement of co-chairs.
In his introductory speech, President of the Parliament of Montenegro Mr Ivan Brajović said that only the work done within the institutions could yield acceptable results for all participants in political life in Montenegro.
- The opposition’s requests most often refer to the additional strengthening of the rule of law, and they agree with our priorities. However, it is obvious that certain opposition parties only declaratively advocate for the improvement of the electoral environment, and are fundamentally continuously trying to move the political dialogue away from the Parliament - said among other things President Brajović. He emphasised that by bypassing institutions of the system we did not contribute to the strengthening of the state, its institutions, stability and development.
- I believe that, just like many times before, realistic consideration of possibilities and rationality will prevail, as well as that all democratic and pro-European forces in Montenegro will continue to create prerequisites for further development of our country, by fulfilling the necessary criteria and standards for the EU membership - concluded President Brajović.
The following had introductory remarks at the SAPC meeting: Chief Negotiator for Montenegro's Accession to the European Union Mr Aleksandar Drljević, on behalf of the Romanian presidency of the Council of the EU Ms Gabriela Ciot, on behalf of the European Commission Mr Thomas Hagleitner, and on behalf of the European External Action Service Ms Maura Clune.
In their capacity as rapporteurs, Mr Adrijan Vuksanović, MP, talked about the status of the accession negotiations, progress in the field of the rule of law, and the freedom of media and the EU-Montenegro relations, Ms Marta Šćepanović talked about the activities of the Committee on Further Reform of Electoral and Other Legislation, and on behalf of the EP Mr Jozo Radoš. Sustainability and challenges of economic and fiscal reforms were the topic of reporting for member of the Parliament of Montenegro Ms Daliborka Pejović and Ms Mairead McGuinness, MEP.
Numerous former MEPs took part in the discussion on the items of the agenda, as well as members of the ruling majority of the Parliament of Montenegro Mr Tarzan Milošević, Mr Luiđ Škrelja, Mr Obrad Stanišić, while Mr Ranko Krivokapić was the only MP from the opposition, just like in the previous SAPC meeting. Mr Nedžad Drešević, MP, also participated in the SAPC meeting.
The adopted Declaration and recommendations were primarily oriented towards the activities that should be undertaken in order to strengthen parliamentary dialogue, institutions and the rule of law on Montenegro’s path towards the EU.
The next SAPC meeting will be held in Podgorica in October 2019, with new SAPC members from the European Parliament, following its May elections.
Video: Address by President Brajović - SAPC
Video footage - SAPC