European Parliamentarians support reform progress in Montenegro
Today the committee on foreign affairs in the European Parliament welcomed the progress in Montenegro’s reform process as part of its path towards EU accession. It recognised reforms undertaken by the Montenegrin government in areas such as public administration, the fight against corruption, the workings of the judiciary and money laundering.
The report assessing Montenegro’s process was drafted by ECR MEP Charles Tannock.
He said: “Montenegro remains the good news story of the Western Balkans as the most advanced of the Candidate Countries. As ever, the report looks to offer constructive criticism in areas where we see the need for improvement but also to note progress as and where we see it. As Montenegro seeks to join NATO this year, I believe that it is an important time for the country’s Euro-Atlantic integration process and it is vital the European Parliament takes this opportunity to show our strong support for that process”.
Montenegro will most likely join NATO later this year, when all allies have ratified the accession protocol signed last year. Russia has expressed its opposition to Montenegro’s future membership of NATO. During the Montenegrin elections last October, 20 Serbian citizens were arrested and accused of planning to assassinate the then Montenegrin Prime Minister, Milo Djukanovic, as part of a coup attempt. Recent reports point to possible Russian military intelligence involvement, with two Russian nationals already named by the Montenegrin Authorities.
The Montenegrin Foreign Affairs Minister, Srdjan Darmanovic, visited the European Parliament yesterday and told MEPs that investigations into the alleged coup were ongoing. He assured them that although Montenegro sought good relations with Russia, it would not sacrifice its relations with the EU.
Mr Tannock finds the possible Russian plot worrying: “If proven, we can see such attempts to be part of a broader pattern of trying to destabilise Western Balkan countries in their Euro-Atlantic aspirations. This is therefore a very important time to support Montenegro and its EU ambitions”.