At the Intergovernmental Conference held earlier today in Brussels, Montenegro opened two more chapters in the accession process with the EU, namely the chapters 14 and 15, relating to “Transport Policy” and “Energy,” respectively.
Delegation of the European Union, on behalf of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, was headed by Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg Jean Asselborn, and the Montenegrin delegation was represented by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister Foreign Affairs and European Integration Igor Lukšić.
The EU carefully analysed the current level of preparedness of Montenegro for the opening of negotiations in chapters 14 and 15. The conference underscored that Montenegro needs to continue to make progress in aligning with EU acquis and its implementation in these chapters. Furthermore, the EU noted that there are benchmarks that need to be met in order to temporary close these chapters.
Following the Intergovernmental conference, Montenegro's Foreign Minister Lukšić pointed out that the opening of the negotiations is the result of resolute reforms and activities, meaning that Montenegro is ending this year with good results in the field of European integration, where, after three and a half years of negotiations, it opened 22 chapters. He stressed that these chapters are extremely important for the entire Montenegrin society and its citizens, as they concerns citizens' needs when it comes to mobility, better connections, access to energy, energy efficiency and environmental protection. In that regard, it was noted that the start of negotiations in these areas means finalising the initiated reforms aimed at providing tangible benefits to citizens.
"As to the Chapter 14 - Transport policy, we will continue harmonisation with European norms and standards which will result in better quality of transport services, more secure transport, better infrastructure and more effective protection of passenger rights. With regard to the Chapter 15, Montenegro will focus its efforts towards achieving energy policy objectives of the European Union relating to security of supply, sustainability and competitiveness. We will enable the Montenegrin citizens to see tangible benefits of the negotiations, such as providing a higher quality of service, affordable prices and energy savings," said Deputy Prime Minister Lukšić in Brussels.
EU accession negotiations were opened in June 2012. Twenty two out of 35 negotiating chapters have been opened so far, and 2 of them provisionally closed. Future accession conferences will be planned in accordance with the appropriate dynamics with a view to further boosting the process in the first half of 2016.