The content of this chapter, its importance for the Montenegrin citizens, the achievements so far and the remaining challenges were discussed by the State Secretary for European Integration and Chief Negotiator Ambassador Aleksandar Andrija Pejović, Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Montenegro Ian Whitting and the head of the Working Group for Chapter 18 Gordana Radojević.
The Chief Negotiator Ambassador Pejović stressed the importance of this chapter for all other negotiation areas, especially in the fields of economy, social policy and industry. He presented the principles for the functioning of the European statistical system and stressed that quality data is essential for the use of European Structural Funds.
Ambassador of the United Kingdom Ian Whitting talked about the role of statistics in explaining the social and economic trends and stressed its importance for decision-making and policy implementation. He added that statistics is the basis of a well organised society.
Head of the Working Group for Chapter 18 Gordana Radojević talked about the dual role of statistics in the negotiation process, and how it is intertwined with other negotiation chapters. He presented the timetable for the harmonisation with the EU acquis in this area, as well as with the European statistical regulations, and reminded the audience that the progress in this area will depend on the progress on other negotiating chapters. Radojević emphasised that until now this chapter generally received positive evaluations in the Progress Reports, which she expects will remain the case also in the future.
The public discussion was also a chance to exchange opinions on the importance of statistics for other chapters, such as science and research, agriculture, environment and others.