June 13, 2013

Bratislava, Summit of the Heads of States
President of Montenegro, Filip Vujanović, is staying in Bratislava, where he participates in the 18th Summit of the Heads of States of the Central European Countries.
Twenty Heads of States participate at the Bratislava Summit.

President Vujanović delivered an address today at the first plenary session of the Summit:

President’s address:

Your Excellencies,
Dear Friends,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to express respect to all the participants at the Summit, and I especially thank the President of the Slovak Republic, H.E. Mr. Ivan Gašparovič as the host of the 18th Central Europe Summit of Heads of State for the excellent organization of the Summit.

It gives me pleasure to express my greatest respect for the 20th Anniversary of the establishment of the sovereign Slovak Republic. We are very glad to see the progress made by Slovakia in this period. Slovakia is not only an example of a successful transition, but a prominent member of the European Union with a strong economy which provides a high level of prosperity to its citizens.

The membership in the European Union is a foreign policy state priority of Montenegro. Therefore, we are working with full commitment in the process of accession negotiations. We have already closed two chapters, and we believe that this autumn we will open two new, very important, chapters: chapter 23 “Judiciary and fundamental rights” as well as chapter 24 “Justice, freedom and security”. Our progress we see in the achievement of our best interest, but also of European aspirations of the Western Balkan region as a whole. In this regard, the accession of Croatia to the European Union, the first enlargement of the Union after the Treaty of Lisbon, opens a new phase in the European integration and it is a great encouragement for all in the region.

The EU membership is our goal because it provides the platform of full progress of democracy and economic development. The enlargement process, as well as the Union itself, has been confirmed as a transformation force, not only at a national level but beyond, thus enabling the best mechanism for the dialogue and decision-making. This is particularly important for the Western Balkan countries. Within the EU, Germany and France have overcome the multi-decennial tensions and became the best political and economic partners; in the EU, the democracies of the post-communist countries have been renewed and strengthened; in the EU, the Baltic countries have managed to implement all of their potentials and values of small systems and they rapidly transform their economies. In a word, the EU is the best that Europe has had; the EU is a vertical of the European values, the foundation and driving force of our common future.

We are aware of the reserves of one part of the political public in the Union in view of the new enlargements. We know that the not only political will and enthusiasm are sufficient for the enlargement. The enlargement is now equally the issue of the internal policy and decisions which impact the lives of the citizens of the EU members. Therefore, the attention and a detailed evaluation of the governments and leaders of the European Union are reasonable with regard to what the Union gets with the accession of the new members, who will be the citizen and a full-fledged member of the system of values and standards that have been carefully built in the EU for decades, and what is the added value that the new member state brings to the EU and their citizens.

The EU member states from the Central and South-East Europe have a special role nowadays in preserving the EU enlargement agenda. Montenegro acknowledges and takes part in all the initiatives that make us jointly closer to that goal – from the Central European Initiative in 1989, as framework for promotion of the inter-state political, economic, cultural and scientific cooperation of these states, to the Mediterranean Dialogue and Eastern Partnership. All these valuable initiatives give a framework for resolving practical issues, which have to make closer and prepare the candidate and aspirant countries for the full EU membership.

Europe today faces challenges of colossal economic and financial problems: recession or weak economic growth, national and public debt level, unemployment and social protection system weakening. Unemployment among youth is a particularly difficult issue. The European Union institutions, expectedly and beneficially, have not failed to get involved. The implemented measures and solidarity among the member states produce results. Nevertheless, these challenges require a long-term and gradual approach and imply deep changes in analysis and implementation of strategies for the future. One thing is certain, only the united Europe is a choice for the future of our states in a globalized world.

Montenegro has faced the global economic crisis effects. The fact is that it occurred a bit later due to strong investment cycle and sector of services, especially tourism sector, with a clear chance to overcome the same fast.

The Government has took vigorous action by introducing efficient austerity measures and tax policy measures for the purpose of financial consolidation as well as stimulating employment measures, especially for the youth. In making a concept of these steps we followed adequate programs of the European Union and other relevant international organizations and institutions and we held intensive consultations with them.

Of course, we are aware that these measures are not sufficient in order to renew the continuous economic growth. Therefore, Montenegro continued to promote the advantages for investment in its economy, which has already generated results. Austerity measures are justified, but they can not replace the beneficial effect of the economic growth.

In the ambience of global market and ahead of global limitations in terms of character of economic growth, in the sense of international obligations, which all of us have to respect, there is no dilemma that the growth must be permanent and sustainable. It can be realized only with synergy provided by the intensive international cooperation. In that respect, I believe that the Central European states would strongly promote joint activities. I experience today’s event as a demonstration of dedication to cooperation among our states and stimulus to our institutions for further joint engagement.

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