It is very important for Montenegro to put all the differences aside and to try to find answers to some of the current challenges, and the Alliance for Europe can be a gathering point for all of us, said Montenegro’s Chief Negotiator with the European Union, Aleksandar Drljević.
During the broadcast “Fokus” on TVCG, Drljević expressed his satisfaction that most NGOs, political parties, media, universities responded to the Government’s call for dialogue.
“The goal is to try to put aside all existing political differences, to unite in the Alliance for Europe and to unite according to European values and standards, because one day when Montenegro joins the European Union, no specific government or individuals will enter, but the whole Montenegro and all its citizens”, Drljević said.
He believes that the start of the conversation represents a good signal and that the NGOs at today’s meetings received very clear and concrete suggestions on how to strengthen the system and improve institutions.
“It is very important for us to see through these talks what are the contact points and whether they could be found. I think that there is enough maturity and knowledge in Montenegro to put aside existing differences and to unite around a common goal, which is Montenegro’s full EU membership”, Drljević stated.
The Chief Negotiator believes that dialogue is the only response to the current situation in Montenegro.
“Dialogue is something that the EU insists on, and that it is also known from the previous Progress Report. It is completely normal to have different views on certain issues and various points of view, but only through dialogue we can come closer. In the previous period, I think we have, especially after restoration of independence, showed that we can gather around some crucial ideas, “Drljević said.
He adds that the dialogue that has been initiated today represents the best indicator that we are ready to work on establishing of institutions, preparing the legislative framework …
“It is up to us to demonstrate that we are at the forefront of the Western Balkans, though perhaps because of all the challenges, there has been a certain drop in enthusiasm,” the Chief Negotiator stated.
The methodology brings the novelties to Montenegro
Drljević believes that the new methodology, recently introduced by the European Commission and the new Commissioner, is in the focus.
“It is very important because it shows the additional political readiness of the newly formed European Commission and the new institutions that there is a willingness of the EU, but also of the Member States, to make enlargement policy the focus of the new Brussels administration,” Drljević said.
He explained that the methodology in the case of Montenegro brings certain novelties that relate, first and foremost, to the political importance of both the EU Member States, but also to the demonstration of willingness on our part to achieve the results that may have been missing in the previous period.
“It is based on the same principles that the previous model was based on, namely the importance of democratic institutions, rule of law, the full functionality of institutions and demonstrating that there are administrative capacities to implement certain legal solutions which are prepared by the state,” Drljević stated in the broadcast “Fokus”.
Novelties also include grouping of chapters by specific clusters, although, according to Drljević, in the case of Montenegro, this cannot be fully applied because, with the exception of one, we have opened all the negotiating chapters.
“The results may not be quite clear, but the institutions were very active, and last year we managed to round off everything that was expected from us, as far as Chapter 8. We met all the technical benchmarks that were required from us, and now that’s the thing of political will, “said the Chief Negotiator, adding that opening of Chapter 8 is possible before the May Summit.
Drljević adds that very clear and concrete messages are coming from Brussels now that enlargement policy is one of key priorities and, as he states, this is what makes us satisfied.
“We are also pleased that Croatia has taken over the Presidency, as it has been helping us for a long time through expert assistance. It is up to us to capture the rhythm and to take advantage of the positive momentum that exists at the very beginning of the work of the European Commission,” he said.
He adds that the dialogue that has been initiated today is the best indicator that we are ready to work to establish institutions, to prepare the legislative framework.
“It is up to us to show that we are at the forefront of the Western Balkans, though perhaps because of all the challenges, there has been a certain drop in enthusiasm,” the chief negotiator said.
Accountability towards citizens
Drljević pointed out that he was particularly pleased with the latest Defacto Agency survey, according to which 66 percent of citizens support Montenegro’s path to the EU.
“It is an additional responsibility on all of us to show our readiness and provide answers to all these citizens who have supported this policy.”
SOURCE: RTCG Portal