November 17, 2012


President Vujanović in Budva
President of Montenegro Filip Vujanović gave today introductory speech at the Panel Discussion organized by the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, which was held in Budva as a part of the Annual Meeting of the German Travel Association DRV.

The Panel was focused on Montenegro and its neighbouring states – the role of the EU integration process for the stabilisation and development of the region.

Here is the speech of the President Vujanović:

Esteemed Professor Lindner,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my privilege and pleasure to address you today at the Meeting of a great value for further development of Montenegro tourism. It is my hope that the meeting marks a huge step towards return of German tourists to Montenegro in a much higher numbers than it was the case in previous years. I firmly believe the representatives of the German Tour Operators gathered here will identify Montenegro tourism capacity to welcome and host a new generation of Germans coming to our coast and the mountains. I am confident that Montenegro has a lot to offer to tourists to make themselves familiar with our culture, history and customs, and to enjoy the natural beauties of our country at the same time.

Firstly, I am proud to say that Montenegro is a stable country progressing steadily towards EU membership through the actual accession negotiation process. It is widely understood as well that Montenegro will become a NATO member country at the first NATO enlargement Summit. Our approach to the integration processes with the highest priority has resulted in a well justified attribute of Montenegro as the integration leader in the region of West Balkans. We have been making huge efforts all these years to adopt and implement the integration standards, and we will continue doing it in the same way.

The people of Montenegro have the experience of the West and East. Its ethnic and religious diversity is an enormous wealth we know well how to treasure. We did so in the latest turbulences on the Balkans as well, avoiding the last war there. The price we had to pay to do so was very high in terms of economy, but our inter-religious and inter-ethnic relations have been strengthened yet again and I am proud to say that we live in a well-balanced society, respecting the Human Rights and approaching to the minority issues in the affirmation of the Minority Rights.

The above imply pursuing good-neighbour policies. Indeed, Montenegro approaches its neighbours with friendship and readiness for cooperation in all fields. It is a great inherent value of Montenegro to have minority nations which are a bridge towards our neighbours. Consequently, Montenegro has no open issues with its neighbours and it will continue to be so, I am fully convinced.

Our state neighbourhood policies are focused on developing an organic cooperation among all the countries in the region. The present exchange of our cultures is a very prolific, but we do everything to make it even more plentiful. In the field of economy Montenegro has been applying European policies of an open market, working with its neighbours to develop joint projects, increase economic exchange and encourage companies to approach third markets in a joint manner. We make efforts to enhance on cooperation in addressing the security issues and in opposing crime. The results we have reached so far are quite good but we work tirelessly to make them even better.

This has led me now to the issue of EU integration process and its role in stabilisation and development of the region. In that respect I would like to stress the fact that European integrations is a necessity of the region.

EU integration process implies adoption of the founding documents of EU regulating relations between member states and functioning of EU institutions. Transfer of member states’ competencies to EU institutions is conditioned by the culture of dialogue and rational behaviour.

The complexity of EU accession process, and above all the responsibility of a country to its fulfilment, its response to its requirements and measuring advance mechanisms, makes no alternative to individual treatment of a country undergoing the process. Yes, we speak often of the region as a whole, but the responsibility must be precisely allocated to all the countries. Otherwise, the process can produce a negative effect to the relations among the countries and slow down the pace of the reforms. Cooperation and mutual support yes, but the responsibility must be located where it belongs.

An important aspect of EU integration process is progressive inclusion of a candidate country economy into EU market. Underlying reforms are evidently healthy for its economy. The higher competitiveness means more economic stability. On the other hand, the countries of the region require support in reshaping their economies. EU investments are a prerequisite to an advance. By saying so, I do not mean a miracle casted upon the region, but the investments fully founded in the rules of a market economy.

At this point I would like to express the gratitude of the citizens of Montenegro and my own for the support Germany has been giving us unselfishly in an extended span of years in adopting and implementing EU standards and in regard of economic recovery, in particular through infrastructure projects. It is with a great satisfaction that I can say the German companies have been successfully operating in Montenegro already. I believe that their success is the best recommendation for other German companies to invest in our economy.

At the end I would like to thank the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations for encouraging economic cooperation between our countries, and its Executive Director, Prof. Dr. Lindner, for personal contribution in that direction. I thank you for the organisation of the panel and the opportunity given to me to address it.

Thank you all.


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