May 20, 2013

Cetinje: President of Montenegro Takes Oath of Office
The President of Montenegro, Filip Vujanović, took the oath at a ceremonial session of the Parliament that was held at the Government House in Cetinje.

After taking the oath, President Vujanović delivered an inauguration speech.

President’s speech:

Esteemed citizens of Montenegro,
High state dignitaries, members of Parliament,
Your Excellencies Ambassadors,
Esteemed citizens of the Old Royal Capital of Cetinje,
Ladies and Gentlemen

I assume the office of the President with full accountability and maximum determination to commit myself to the promotion of the utmost values of Montenegro and all its citizens.

Montenegro is privileged because history endowed it with the state whose reputation goes beyond its size and population. Centuries long fight for freedom and state or its renewal resulted in history in which we must take pride. In this area, for more than a millennium, under the rule of four dynasties, freedom and state were either conquered or defended.

By conquering and defending freedom, we fought for our state, as well. Finally, the last ruler of the last dynasty of Petrović, our Prince and King Nikola I Petrović Njegoš, crowned the glorious freedom-loving spirit of our people, both in the battlefield and in the field of diplomacy, by international recognition of Montenegro, at the Berlin Congress in 1878.

The unjustly lost state was renewed by our and South-Slavic anti-fascism. In the anti-fascism of war, but also in the multi-decennial anti-fascism of peace. In multi-decennial existence of our joint former Yugoslavia, socialist and federal. States of six equal nations and equal number of the republics. Montenegro displayed, in such Yugoslavia, its features and specificities, but it also shared common values. Certainly, the decades of the misfortunately and tragically perished federation helped us understand that independent Montenegro, one of the oldest states in Europe should be renewed.

Independent Montenegro was finally renewed by the democratic referendum of May, when for the first time, without arms, victims and tears, we attained an internationally recognized state. Such democratic renewal of Montenegro, atypical for the Balkans, preserved our people and material resources and opened up prospects for a dynamic economic development. That is why we deserved the historical privilege for Montenegro to have a freedom-loving and diplomatic and cultural identity, which all the citizens of Montenegro are obliged to preserve. It is an obligation of all the citizens, because by preserving the identity, we preserve the reputation and value of the state of Montenegro.

Montenegro will preserve its reputation, value and identity by continuing to foster the good neighbourly relations. Without open issues and with an open room for cooperation – equally, in partnership and for the common interest of all citizens. Nothing less than that, and in the interest of our neighbours, too. I shall repeat it; this will lead to further fostering of harmonious relations among nations and also to promotion of the civic character of the Montenegrin society.

We shall preserve reputation, value and identity by continuing to represent a recognizable role-model in the region and a reliable partner of the regional and global international organizations.

The same goes for the continuation of our European and Euro-Atlantic integration processes. By preserving the identity of the state, and at the same time, by associating it with the families of states – in the name of global values and a better living quality of our citizens. We are the only state of the South-Eastern Europe conducting the negotiations for the accession to the EU. In the name of the great need of our European integration, we must conduct the accession negotiations with maximum commitment and accountability. Within a wide alliance including everyone, because the European integration process is for everyone’s benefit. Thereby implying that the European standards are not only a prerequisite for integration but also a guarantee for the European living quality of our citizens.

Success in Euro-Atlantic integration processes, with an attestation of quality of the reforms and adoption of the NATO standards which we have almost reached, but evidently with the need of further strengthening of the citizens’ support. It is our duty to explain the values of the Euro-Atlantic integration to our citizens – security, economic, political aspects, as well as its importance for the European integration. Only by comprehending these values, shall we attain the majority support of the public for the NATO integration. With a realistic chance of receiving the invitation for NATO membership at the next enlargement summit.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Along with the promotion of these values of the state policy, accelerated economic growth has to be ensured, which would enable raising of the level of social care and protection. Years following the referendum, before the economic crisis commenced, demonstrated that Montenegro was attractive for investing, which enabled us to be, by all means, the leader in the region and among the leading states of Europe in terms of investments, taking into the account the size of our population. Owing to this, we recorded a significant growth in salaries and pensions, a decrease of unemployment rate, increase in the domestic product and we hope that this trend would continue, and become even more prominent. Strong impact of crisis, and an insufficiently efficient response to it, put a stop to the economic development. The crisis is obviously passing. It is global and it does not depend on us. However, the response to the crisis depends on us. That is why economic development is currently our primary responsibility.

Good investment environment is primarily a responsibility of the ruling structures. The ruling structure is responsible for adoption and implementation of decisions. Here, a decision-making crisis followed the global economic crises, instead of helping us to mitigate it and overcome it. That is why decisions have to be made with more determination and courage. Of course, in a controlled, transparent and public manner, but without delay. Unnecessary delays always, and especially in times of crises, cause damage or absence of benefits. Decisions and responsibility are up to the ruling structures, but everyone has to contribute to the good environment – the opposition parties and the civil society and media and all stakeholders in the society. With the unequivocally different responsibilities and different courses of action but with an evidently same goal – welfare of Montenegro and all its citizens. I am certain of the maximum readiness of the current Government not to miss the developmental chances, with its timely decisions. On the contrary. I shall fully support such commitment of the Government and all the stakeholders in the society.

We are obliged to use all our abundant resources. In particular, the entrepreneurial resources in production of healthy food and in tourism. This will generate new jobs, especially in the northern region, as well as improvement of the foreign trade and payment balances and overall living quality. We are obliged to use the natural and economic resources and ensure new and higher investments. We are equally obliged to improve the infrastructure, mainly in the northern region. Capital to be invested into the new infrastructure will generate the new jobs and contribute to the economic development and a better living quality.

That is why I perceive the years of the next term of office as the time of a more courageous and quicker decision-making which will, along with the accountability of the ruling structure, and everyone else’s support, ensure a better living quality for all our citizens.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Montenegro, respectable and valuable with a recognizable and eternal identity and lasting, with a strong and growing economy, with a society of high-level social protection and care is a reliable guarantee of mutual respect and harmony and overcoming of the divisions brought upon us by our history, specificities of this area and the times we live in. Countless times I have said it, appealed and besought – let us turn to each other. We are each other’s closest. We might differ in many ways. That is politics. That is democracy, finally. But, we cannot differ when it comes to the welfare of Montenegro. That welfare must unite us. Let us turn our differences into genuine wealth. In the name of a better today and even better tommorrow.

I shall dedicate my next term of office to these values. By respecting the constitutional capacity of the President of the State, with maximum personal commitment, as a President of all citizens, I shall be supporting the general welfare of Montenegro.

May Montenegro be eternal.

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