Montenegro on the Way to the EU

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Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, together with the Centre for Civic Education, organized in Podgorica on November 16 a round table, “Montenegro on the way to the EU: progress and challenges”.

Taking part in the round table were the Montenegrin deputy Prime Minister, Gordana Djurovic, the representative of the European Commission in Montenegro, Eric Trotemann, and the coordinator of the Stability Pact for South-eastern Europe, Goran Svilanovic.

The event was moderated by Nedjeljko Rudovic, BIRN coordinator for Montenegro.
The starting point for the discussion was the “EU’s progress report for Montenegro”, published earlier this month, reflecting on the country’s achievements, and the challenges that remain on its way to the EU.

The overall assessment of Montenegro’s progress was positive. Goran Svilanovic said that Montenegro, despite its efforts, should wait for Serbia on the way towards accession to the European Union.

“Montenegro has made significant progress towards accession, but Brussels should consider its application for the status of candidate for membership together with Serbia and Albania next year,” said Svilanovic.

Djurovic stressed the readiness of the administration in Podgorica to take all necessary steps as part of the process of EU accession in next five years. She said that “European integration processes and dynamic development of society are the choice of the people of Montenegro,” and that the government was truly dedicated to the final goal, full membership.

The European Commission’s representatives presented the results from latest report on Montenegro’s progress towards the EU, and said that the problems of corruption and organized crime remained the biggest issues in Montenegro. “It is necessary to have a wider consensus on all key issues during the implementation of reforms in all areas of society,” said Mr. Trotemann.

The audience actively participated in the two-hour debate.

Reports about the event were broadcast in the main news on TVCG, IN TV, Montena TV, MBC TV. MINA News Agency and daily newspapers Vijesti, Dan, Pobjeda and Republika also published extensive reports on the event.