28-Feb-2017 @ 12:00
Reforms to Montenegro’s public administration and justiciary, as well as progress made in the fight against corruption and money laundering, were welcomed today by MEPs as part of the country's path towards EU accession.
The European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee approved a report by Conservative Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Tannock assessing Montenegro’s reform procress. His findings will now be considered by all MEPs in March.
Dr Tannock 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 is expected to join NATO later this year when all allies have ratified the accession protocol signed in 2016. Russia has expressed its opposition to Montenegro’s membership.
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 jeopardise its relationship with the EU.
Dr 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. It is therefore a very important time to support Montenegro and its EU ambitions.”« Back