Naslovnica Info Press info Podgorica high school students in the role of ministers, chief negotiators and...

Podgorica high school students in the role of ministers, chief negotiators and ambassadors

Podgorica high school students were not just students today. They assumed the roles of Minister of European Affairs, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Negotiator and Head of the Mission of Montenegro to the European Union. On the panel “What would you do in my place?”, they had the opportunity to clearly state what needs to be done in order for Montenegro to become a member of the European Union as soon as possible, how they should conduct accession negotiations, where Montenegro should be positioned in world diplomacy, and how the ambassador should represent us in Brussels.

The panel was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of European Affairs, in cooperation with the “Slobodan Škerović” high school, on the occasion of marking 100 days of the Government, with the purpose of discussing important topics for the development and future of Montenegro with those in whose hands that future remains – to young people.

The role of Minister of European Affairs was taken over by Nevena Đoković, who said that Montenegro is on the right track, and that in the coming period we can expect numerous changes, better organization and greater determination. She pointed out that pupils and students expect numerous benefits from joining the EU, that they will be able to travel, study, participate in educational and volunteer programs, such as Erasmus.

“My task is to guarantee tengible progress of Montenegro towards EU membership. Therefore, in the coming period, I have to maintain holding meetings with representatives of EU institutions and embassies of member states. Also, I have to try to improve informing the public about the negotiations, above all young people because this process concerns their future”, said the young minister.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs on this occasion was Jovan Janković, who believes that the position of Montenegro on the international level is solid, but that it must be further developed advanced progressed.

“For Montenegro, as a small country, it is important to advance relations with neighbors, but also with the countries of the whole world. As a small country, it is difficult for us to be heard on the international stage among numerous large countries with greater interests. We have to stand out better to be heard more. We should use the technique of “Niche” diplomacy”, said Minister Janković and pointed to the example of how countries such as Norway and Fiji do it”.

He also emphasized the necessity to strengthen the diplomatic staff, through increasing knowledge and skills of students, future diplomats.

Negotiations with the European Union are led by Ognjen Jovanović, who assumed the role of Chief negotiator.

“I believe that we have a very good and professional staff, but we must improve it additionally. We need to advance the organization and look over EU requests and challenges along the way. I will give 100% of myself to justify the position I cover and for Montenegro to become the next member of the EU,” said Jovanović.

He said that for joining the EU, only knowledge is not enough, but the determination is needed. “The EU will not accept any country. We need to have an organized system and fulfill the conditions that the EU sets for us in the fields of finance, ecology, culture, etc.”

Lazar Merdović, the Head of the Mission of Montenegro to the European Union, who is taking care of Montenegro’s position in Brussels, stated that we have good relations with all member states, but that we need to strengthen them even more. He pointed to the problem of environment, and the obligation to continue working on improving the conditions in this area. He indicated that Montenegro should follow the examples of Helsinki and Copenhagen, as cities that have the best standards in that area. “If we improve the ecological situation, we will be more attractive to foreign tourists, which is very important considering that tourism makes up 30% of our economy,” Merdović said.

As the young forces see their positions and what they would do if they were in their place, the statesmen watched with interest from the audience. The Minister of European Affairs in the 44th Government, Maida Gorčević, praised the high school students, convinced that they can soon succeed her and her colleagues in the executive branch.

“I listened to these young people with full pride and I can say that Montenegro has something to be proud of. You have shown enviable knowledge and I can say certainty that tomorrow you will lead the country very well. Your colleagues and professors can be proud of you,” said Gorčević.

She pointed out that all the efforts of the Government in the first 100 days of work showed that the objective is clear and unquestionable – by 2028, Montenegro will become the 28th member of the European Union.

“EU accession is a generational choice. Everything we do today is to enable you to travel, work and study freely in the EU tomorrow,” said Gorčević.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Filip Ivanović, pointed out that during today’s event, young people showed that they follow the processes well and that they understand them well. He assessed that they accurately identified benefits, but also challenges, such as ecology and personnel potential. He also referred to the significance and role of diplomacy.

“Where there is no diplomacy, there are conflicts. Diplomacy is there to make friendships and good relations between countries. It is a noble calling that strives to establish and preserve permanent peace and stability. I hope that some or all of you will be diplomats tomorrow, spreading the name of Montenegro around the world and contributing to being a respected member of the international community,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Aleksa Bečić, said that young people are the most important partner of the Government, which will continue to advance the economy and fight for the rule of law.

“Today and this event encouraged and motivated us to continue meeting the goals we talked about together. This day showed that there are no worries about the future of Montenegro with such youth,” said Bečić.

“We need you young people the most to restore the value system to Montenegro. You are relieved by the past and are lifted above division. Promote knowledge, tolerance and true values and help us bring Montenegro into the EU in 2028,” Vice President Bečić said.

The director of the Gymnasium, Biljana Vučurović, expressed her satisfaction that the members of the Government recognized the resource of the school – young people full of potential who express it every day, in classes and in the student parliament.

“These young people are proof that we are inheriting European values and I am glad that you see these children as partners on the European journey,” said the director.

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