Naslovnica Info EN Interviews GORČEVIĆ FOR STANDARD: It is time to show we are a country...

GORČEVIĆ FOR STANDARD: It is time to show we are a country determined to complete the path to the EU, there is no more space for declarative support or simulation of reforms

The priority of all priorities, especially in the field of the rule of law, is the preparation and implementation of the Action Plan for fulfilling the recommendations from the latest EC Report, said the Minister of European Affairs Maida Gorčević in an interview for the Standard portal. She points out that if we want to get the final benchmarks for chapters 23 and 24 in 2024, then the focus of the work of all institutions in the next six months must be to complete the work and overcome the challenges that were stated in the EC Report.

As Minister Gorčević says, the Ministry of European Affairs expects a lot of work in the coming period. Priorities and plans will be directed in 3 key directions:

“The first is aimed at accelerating reforms in all areas, especially in the rule of law. In that area, we expect the preparation and implementation of the Action Plan for fulfilling the recommendations from the latest EC report. It is the priority of all priorities, particularly in the field of the rule of law. If we want to get the final criteria for chapters 23 and 24 in 2024, then it is clear that in the next six months, the focus of the work of all institutions must be to complete the work and overcome the challenges stated in the EC Report”, says Gorčević.

She states that parallel with that, the Ministry will work on strengthening the negotiation structure and the administrative capacities necessary to carry this process through to the end.

“Another significant segment of our work is related to the continuation of the successful attraction of funds from the EU, especially in the part of the finalization and later implementation of the Reform Agenda for obtaining funds from the Growth Plan for the Western Balkans. Also, in that part, we will continue to work on strengthening the capacity for writing and implementing projects, which is a prerequisite for obtaining EU projects”, she explains and adds that the third direction concerns the connection and networking with all segments of society, local self-governments, the civil sector, the academic and the business community in promoting European standards and values, informing citizens about European integration and their inclusion in the process.

Minister Gorčević says that the period of stagnation of Montenegro on the way to the EU cannot be linked only to the last three years.

“You will remember that back in 2019, in some circles, the balance clause was mentioned. But my intention is not to talk about what happened in the previous period. The most important thing is to look to the future, and to work and achieve results”, says Gorčević.

According to her, we should make the most of the favorable situation in the EU regarding the enlargement policy and prove to the EU and the member states that Montenegro can and wants to be a credible partner and a reliable member of the EU.

“The results in the first two months of the mandate of this Government and the Parliament demonstrated our determination to intensify and improve the negotiation process, speed up the implementation of reforms and continue to deliver good results”, says Gorčević and adds that in the coming period, we will focus on the recently adopted report of the European commission whose evaluations and recommendations will serve the Ministry of European Affairs as a road map for the next year.

Gorcevic says the Government is strongly committed and determined to persevere in that field, and the first results achieved by the Parliament in terms of key appointments in the judiciary, as well as the ratification of three agreements from the Berlin process, convince her that in the coming period, together, we can speed up and complete negotiation process.

Key directions aimed at fulfilling the obligations from the Berlin Process

Apart from European integration, one of the foreign policy priorities of this Government is nurturing good neighborly relations and improving regional cooperation.

“Montenegro is a member of numerous regional initiatives and, through bilateral and multilateral initiatives, projects and activities, we make a significant contribution to regional cooperation. Also, as the country that has made the most progress in the EU accession process, we provide support to our neighbors with the aim of better and faster integration of the entire region into the EU. Therefore, we welcome all other regional initiatives, which can speed up the EU membership of all our neighbors”, commenting on regional initiatives such as the Open Balkans.

“After achieving membership in the NATO Alliance, our next main foreign policy goal and key focus is towards membership in the EU. In that part, our key directions and actions are aimed at fulfilling the obligations from the Berlin process, which represents a strong mechanism for implementing reforms and accelerating the EU accession process”, the minister is clear.

Gorčević states that in all the meetings she had with representatives of the EU institutions and member states, messages were conveyed to her that Montenegro has strong support and a unique chance to become the next member of the EU, if it intensifies reforms and shows results, and that apart from political and technical, there is also the generous financial assistance we receive from European partners, in order to implement all demanding reforms with quality and on time.

The EU wants to see functioning institutions that deliver tangible results

“I appreciate that there is a very positive climate regarding EU enlargement and that we have their full support to speed up the process and after 11 years of negotiations, enter the final phase of the process and provide the citizens with the long-awaited EU membership. I sincerely believe that we can achieve this in the mandate of this Government”, claims Gorčević.

When it comes to the expectations of European partners, they want to see functional institutions that deliver tangible results.

“Through the last EC Report, Montenegro received clear guidelines for continuing the European path. There is no space for declarative support, nor for simulating reforms. Now is the time, and this is what European partners rightfully expect from us, to show that we are a country and a society that is committed and determined to complete the European transformation and pave the way to full membership in the EU”, explained Minister Gorčević.

She also referred to the negative evaluations stated in the EC Report by the rapporteur for Montenegro, Tonino Picula.

“This Government respects and treats with care the evaluations and recommendations of all European partners. In this sense, along with the European Commission, which is our most important partner in fulfilling our obligations on the way to membership, support and cooperation with European parliamentarians is very important,” she said and added that the report presented by the rapporteur for Montenegro, Mr. Picula, covers the period before the constitution of the current convocation of the Assembly and the formation of the 44th Government.

“I agree that due to the problems identified in the report, Montenegro missed certain opportunities in the previous period, but now we are determined to move forward and do everything necessary to become the next member of the EU,” Gorčević said.

As she says, I think that we, in the first two months of the mandate, have shown that with a clear vision, determination, dialogue and cooperation we can overcome the key criticisms from the aforementioned report and work together to speed up the negotiation process.

“Now we have stable and functional institutions that deliver essential results, which confirms that in Montenegro we once again have dialogue, cooperation and consensus on issues of national interest, which is promising and I expect it to continue,” says Gorčević.

Regarding the possible date of Montenegro’s entry into the EU, Gorčević said that it is very ungrateful to forecast the time of accession because, apart from internal dynamics and success in implementing reforms, it is often influenced by external political factors, the situation within the EU, and global events.

“In this sense, it is important for us that in the coming period, during the mandate of this government, we implement all the reforms, achieve measurable results and show that Montenegro managed to use the negotiation process in the best way and adequately prepare for membership”, concluded Minister Gorčević in an interview for the Standard portal.

 Portal Standard 


Interview of Minister Gorčević for the regional portal European Western Balkans

Authorities in Montenegro expect to receive the IBAR – Interim Benchmark Assessment Report for Chapters 23 and 24 related to the rule of law...

Meet Aleksandra Martinović, owner of two doctorates in the field of food biotechnology-microbiology

What do you do? I owned two doctoral dissertations in the field of food biotechnology-microbiology. I am currently employed as the director of the first...

Gorčević and Miller: Montenegro has an opportunity to become the next member of the...

"Apart from appointments in the judiciary, we are aware that it is necessary to complete the remaining reform processes in the area of the...

67 projects were approved within the First Call of the Interreg IPA ADRION program

At the 8th meeting of the Committee for Monitoring the IPA Adriatic-Ionian Program (Interreg IPA ADRION), held in Zagreb on 19th and 20th of...

Gorčević at the SAA Committee: the Government’s priority is to speed up reforms and...

"The absolute priority of this Government is to accelerate reforms and guarantee Montenegro's membership in the EU. This is our strategic obligation because we...