During day two of the official visit to the Republic of Italy, members of the Committee on European Integration held a joint meeting with members of the Committee on European Union Policies of the Italian Senate, continuing thus the cooperation established by signing of the Protocol on Cooperation on 27 March 2017.
The meeting was co-chaired by chairpersons of the two committees Mr Adrijan Vuksanović and Mr Vannino Chiti. Chairperson Vuksanović expressed satisfaction with the communication of the two committees, as well as with the undoubted support that Italy provided to Montenegro on its path to the EU, stressing the importance of preserving the civilization path towards the West, for which Montenegro has clearly opted. Senator Chiti underlined that the EU would give an impetus to the enlargement process through Bulgarian and Austrian presidency, and particularly praised Montenegro as an example of a country with strong popular support for EU membership. During the debate, the Italian and Montenegrin parliamentarians expressed their views on the current political situation in the EU, as well as on the importance of enlargement policy as a pillar of development for both - countries of the Western Balkans and the European Union itself.
At the end of the meeting, parliamentarians adopted a Joint Statement, whereat they agreed that in the context of rising global challenges, only a united Europe could respond to the specific needs of its citizens; while in terms of the EU enlargement, they expressed their clear support for the progress of the candidate countries in accordance with the actual level of progress during the negotiations. Parliamentarians expressed expectation that Montenegro would become a member of the Union during the next legislative mandate of the European Parliament. They agreed to hold the next meeting of the two committees in Podgorica.
The meeting in the Senate was preceded by meetings with Mr Erasmo Palazzotto, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, as well as with Mr Raffaele Cantone, Director of the Anti-corruption National Authority.
At the meeting in the Chamber of Deputies, Mr Palazzotto said that at the present moment the European Union should not rely exclusively on economic integration, but should work on a strong unification of European nations, while respecting cultural and linguistic differences. In this context, he supported the European path of Montenegro and said that the reform process carried out by our country should be valued through full EU membership. At the meeting in the Anti-corruption National Authority, the interlocutors emphasised the importance of strengthening the rule of law and anti-corruption activities, as fundamental reform tasks in the process of EU accession. Mr Cantone expressed pleasure with the cooperation with the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption through the Twinning project, pointing out that Italy was ready to offer human resources and expertise to Montenegro for the purpose of fighting corruption.
Delegation of the Committee visiting the Republic of Italy consists of Chairperson of the Committee Mr Adrijan Vuksanović and members Ms Marija Ćatović, Mr Mihailo Anđušić, and Mr Momčilo Martinović.