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Minister Darmanović for Radio Montenegro: We have a clear vision where Montenegro is headed to, which will be awarded with the EU membership

Minister Darmanović for Radio Montenegro: We have a clear vision where Montenegro is headed to, which will be awarded with the EU membership
Published date: 28.04.2019 10:51 | Author: MVP

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Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. Dr. Srđan Darmanović said in the interview for Radio Montenegro that he expects a positive European Commission Progress Report, as well as that Montenegro will be the next EU member state.

“Preliminary document from November in the area of rule of law was really encouraging for us. If we receive a positive Report, particularly in the domain of implementation of interim benchmarks for Chapters 23 and 24, it would represent the more significant moment for our further EU path, than will we open in first or second semester the last remaining negotiating chapter”, underlined Minister Darmanović.

Head of Montenegrin diplomacy stated that it is certain that Montenegro is the absolute leader in European integration.

“We do not compete with others, rather we support our neighbors in the European aspirations, however it is clear that Montenegro is the first next member of the European Union.”

While expressing expectation that the last remaining chapter will be opened during this year, he mentioned EU Strategy on the Western Balkans from February last year, where it is emphasized that regatta policy is not abandoned and that those with better results will progress swifter, as well as that 2025 could be the year of next EU enlargement.

Minister Darmanović stated that it is important to start with the process of closing of chapters and that in this moment we can offer at least five or six chapters that could be provisionally closed. “It has to be understand that enlargement policy is not a one-way, rather it is a two-way process. We cannot become the EU member state by ourselves. Certainly, the primary responsibility is on us to demonstrate that our society got closer to the European legal system”, expressed Minister.

He also emphasized that we have a clear vision where Montenegro is headed to, which will be awarded with the EU membership in due time. 

Addressing the question on effects of NATO membership, Minister said that joining the Alliance was the biggest contribution of Montenegrin foreign policy after restoration of independence, since Montenegro for the first time in its history institutionally became part of the Western world and group of countries that cherish values of contemporary, civilized and democratic world. Montenegro has secured its borders, territory and state national identity because it has become a part of the most powerful military and political alliance in history, based on Article 5 of Washington Treaty, which envisages that an attack on one member of NATO represents an attack on all. It is an exceptional warranty of security for our state, which with its size would hardly implement policy of neutrality and develop its own armed forces, therefore the system of collective defence benefits us at large scale – emphasized Minister.

Head of Montenegro diplomacy said that by becoming the NATO member state we also got concrete benefits, such as the protection of airspace, conducted by allies Italy and Greece. In addition, he also pointed out many economic benefits. “According to the data of National Tourism Organization, number of tourists from NATO member countries increased by 25%, while level of investments from those countries in first six years of 2018 was 2.5 times bigger than in the same period last year. I remind you that those are the most developed countries in the world, or among the most developed ones”, underlined Minister Darmanović.
He also mentioned that Montenegro is active in many NATO international missions:

“As U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said – there is not small, only good and bad allies. We have enlarged our participation in Afghanistan, today we are also in the NATO operation on the East in Latvia, furthermore in KFOR on Kosovo, while we will have also part of our forces in Iraq that will train Iraqi security forces”, stated Minister.

When it comes to Euro-Atlantic aspirations of the region, Minister said that by resolving the dispute between Greece and North Macedonia, a path for another NATO member from our region was opened. Therefore, complete southern belt of the Western Balkans is under NATO umbrella.

“Accession of North Macedonia will contribute to that, hence Montenegro was and remains great advocate of open-door policy. We have supported our neighbors for membership to NATO, we have work diligently to help North Macedonia, particularly during the last year when we had chairmanship of the US-Adriatic Charter, since we believe that represents a contribution to stability and suppress influence of third actors in our region”, underlined Minister Darmanović.

He also emphasized that Montenegro has very good relations with all friend and partners from the region:

“In addition to NATO membership and European agenda, good-neighborly policy represents one of three pillars of Montenegrin foreign policy”, stated head of Montenegrin diplomacy and added that we strive to maintain that approach even when we have different views and interests.

Addressing the enlargement of diplomatic-consular network, Minister Darmanović said that the Government adopted decisions concerning opening Embassies in Hague and Copenhagen, as well as Consulate-General in Istanbul.

“We are planning to open diplomatic representations in Netherlands and Denmark. We do not have any representations in Scandinavia, while considerable number of our citizens live in Denmark, and that is the only Scandinavian country that is the same time member of NATO and EU. From Copenhagen we will cover other Scandinavian countries as well, while in Hague is the center of important international judicial and other institutions.” In addition, Minister Darmanović said that “Istanbul is a great economic and political center of contemporary Turkey, therefore Consulate-General could have two-folded function, which will enable protection of interest of considerable number of our citizens and contribute to economic ties between two countries.”