The Security and Defence Committee today has met with a delegation of the NATO Defense College from Rome, headed by its Commander Lieutenant General Chris Whitecross.
The focus of the discussion of members of the Security and Defence Committee with representatives of the delegation of the NATO Defense College, which had 80 members from 33 NATO member states and partner countries, were the obligations and priorities of Montenegro as the newest member state as well as its position in the Western Balkans region.
Addressing the guests, President of the Parliament Mr Ivan Brajović said that what made Montenegro proud was the recognition that after 11 years since the renewal of its independence it had met the requirements for NATO membership. Mr Brajović pointed out that Montenegro had earned its status as a new Alliance member through its responsible foreign policy of fostering good neighbourly and regional relations, as well as, as he noted, its unambiguous orientation towards the values of developed Western democracies. Mr Brajović also added that NATO membership had created preconditions in Montenegro for its long-term security and stability, and thus a much more favourable investment environment and economic progress.
- Montenegro takes its role in NATO seriously and responsibly. On its part, through the activities of the Security and Defence Committee and the Permanent Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the Parliament of Montenegro shows its commitment to common goals. We will use every opportunity - and the NATO Defense College and your stay in Montenegro are certainly one - to learn how to use enormous NATO resources for the good of our country and for the benefit of other NATO members, as well as for the common good - concluded the President of the Parliament of Montenegro, with the conviction that, in the near future, NATO would get more friends from the region, as well as that the Western Balkans would become an even stronger and safer region in terms of security.
President Brajović also participated in the discussion on the main challenges of the Western Balkans countries on their path to the EU and NATO.
In his introductory speech, Chairperson of the Security and Defence Committee Mr Obrad Mišo Stanišić informed the NATO Defense College members about the activities of the Security and Defence Committee in the period since its becoming a new member of the Alliance. In that context, Mr Stanišić said that the democratic control of armed forces in Montenegro, through the gaining of independence, got its essential meaning and the possibility of democratic access to all domains of security. As he pointed out, this increased the Parliament's responsibility regarding the most sensitive issues in the defence and security sector. Mr Stanišić noted that Montenegro’s membership in NATO additionally strengthened the stability of the region, and thus the entire Europe. As he pointed out, Montenegro's progress in political terms clearly showed that the doors of the Alliance were open to the aspirants, and added that Montenegro would strongly advocate for their membership in that political and security structure.
Members of the NATO Defense College were interested in Montenegrin priorities as the new Alliance member, as well as its specific contribution to the Alliance and the global developments. Answering the question, the Chairperson of the Security and Defence Committee said that Montenegro was a credible and reliable NATO partner, whose value as a member was best seen through its maintaining of peace and stability in the Western Balkans region.
When asked about the specific benefits that Montenegro had gained through the virtue of its NATO membership, Chairperson of the Security and Defence Committee Mr Obrad Stanišić said that the positive effects of membership were numerous and that they mostly related to the inflow of foreign investments, with particular reference to Montenegro as a tourist destination.
The mission of the NATO Defense College is to contribute to the effectiveness and cohesion of the Alliance via its role as a centre of education and research on transatlantic security issues.