Press corner

b_200_150_16777215_00_images_stories_pridruzivanje.jpgPODGORICA, November 10, 2010 -The Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood policy, Mr. Stefan Füle, has formally submitted the Commission's Opinion on Montenegro's application for membership of the European Union to the Montenegrin Prime Minister, Milo Djukanovic.

 

We are at the beginning of a very important road for your country", said the Commissioner, announcing that in this Opinion the European Commission recommends that the Council grant candidate status to Montenegro.

"This decision of the EC should not be seen only as an expression of respect of the achievements of Montenegro on its European path, but it should also be seen as an encouragement to continue and accelerate the work on several priorities, such as the rule of law", said Commissioner Füle.

Responding to a journalist's question on when Montenegro might be given a date for the start of negotiations, the Commissioner answered: "That is the most common question. Give us a date. Give us a calendar. I won't. I am not in business of sharing calendars. I am in the business of sharing the homework. As soon as you fulfil your homework, the EC will make clear to the member states that the time has come to start accession negotiations".

Commisssioner Füle said that Montenegro should work on achieving key priorities defined in the Opinion in order to be able to open the door to accession to EU integration. In other words, as the Commissioner explained, Montenegro should establish a strong track record and make sure that the system functions well.

He repeated that the credibility is at the core of the new enlargement package, adopted yesterday by the European Commission. He said he was very pleased to visit a country that contributed to this credibility principle and he congratulated the Government and the Prime Minister on the results achieved so far.

Commenting on the EC's positive opinion, the Prime Minister, Milo Djukanovic, said: "The ninth of November was a big day for Montenegro. At the same time," he added, "the recommendation is a message of encouragement for the region which says: the doors of enlargement are open".

"We are well aware that the objectives set out in the EC Opinion are very demanding, but we are determined to meet them", said the Prime Minister, adding that Montenegro has demonstrated its ability by getting the positive recommendation as a result of previous hard work.

 

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