July 25, 2013

Slovenia: President of Montenegro at the Leaders Meeting of the Brdo Process
President of Montenegro Filip Vujanović participated today at the Leaders Meeting of the Brdo Process held in Brdo near Kranj, Slovenia.

Address by H.E. Mr. Filip Vujanović, President of Montenegro at the Plenary Session:

Your Excellencies,

First of all I would like to express my thanks to the President of the Republic of Slovenia H.E. Mr. Borut Pahor and President of the Republic of Croatia, H.E. Mr. Ivo Josipović for the initiative for this Meeting.
Meeting of the presidents of the Western Balkan countries with the EU member states is a valuable chance for achievement of these goals.

Your participation at this Meeting, President Hollande, is a huge encouragement, and I would like to express my high appreciation for your decision to be here with us today. I share your opinion that the Meeting is being held in a key moment after accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union.

I think that the Western Balkan region has ensured stability and that there are no real challenges which would put it at risk.

Therefore, European integrations, as a strategic interest of all Western Balkan countries, are of paramount importance for each state individually, and for the region as a whole. By affirming individual treatment of each state as the most justified and efficient method, we must at the same time be committed to the extensive regional cooperation.

Montenegro has been continuously and consistently affirming the values of the European integrations. We are now the only country which conducts accession negotiations. We have opened and temporarily closed two chapters, with the expectation to open 23rd and 24th chapters by the end of the year, which generally relate to the rule of law and fundamental rights and which will be harmonized by the end of the EU accession process.

Having in mind the complexity and length of the EU accession process, opening of these chapters would encourage further process of the EU integration of Montenegro. This would, at the same time, give a fresh impetus to other Western Balkan countries to speed up their integration related activities. By opening of these chapters, the EU itself would keep the status of the enlargement process active, adding to its dynamics and sending a message that the EU perspective of the Western Balkans is clear.

We are proud that we have no open issues with our neighbours and countries in the region, which would be a burden for Montenegro and the region.

We expect that this Meeting will encourage regional projects that should affirm regional cooperation in the best possible way. Having in mind the needs and resources of the region, it is without a doubt that the projects in the field of transportation and energy infrastructure are both a chance and priority. It is in these fields that Montenegro has important inter-state infrastructure projects which are either underway or could be launched if the adequate financial support from related European funds or banks is provided. These projects are exactly focused on transportation and energy infrastructure. Therefore, I believe that a message of support from this Meeting for the infrastructure projects of regional importance would be further encouragement for their implementation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Remaining open issues of the countries of the region should definitely be resolved through the dialogue and agreement between the states facing these issues. Montenegro has given a good example with two agreements that were recognized as good regional message. The Belgrade Agreement concluded between Montenegro and Serbia with the assistance and support of the EU, was a step before the referendum on independence of Montenegro, which to a certain extent guaranteed referendum success and acceptance of the referendum outcome. Agreement between Montenegro and Croatia on interim regime of use of the Prevlaka Peninsula has proved that this kind of regime has been functioning for 11 years without problems and that relations between the two countries are not burdened by the issue, but that it creates a basis for its lasting solution. ThatÈs why based on its own experience, Montenegro has been promoting the value of agreements. Remaining open issues- implementation of the agreement between Belgrade and Priština with the support and assistance from Brussels, solving of current open issues of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as a long-lasting and for Macedonia blocking open issue of its name- should be resolved through dialogue and agreement.

I thank once again President Hollande for an open support and clear message that he sees Western Balkan countries as partners.

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