June 07, 2017


Brussels: Montenegro 29th NATO member country
President of Montenegro Filip Vujanović delivered the speech today at the NATO Headquarters at the Flag-Rising Ceremony marking MontenegroÈs accession to NATO.

Former Prime Minister of Montenegro Milo Đukanović as well as current and former Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers of Defense attended the ceremony as members of the official delegation.

The address by the President of Montenegro:

Mr. Secretary General,
Excellences, Ladies and
Gentlemen,

It is indeed an extraordinary honor and pleasure to be celebrating the most important milestone today, the greatest success for Montenegro since it regained independence. A long-waited and well-deserved day. I believe that 7 June will also be remembered as an important day for the Alliance. Eight years since the last enlargement, Alliance now has a new member.

The flag of Montenegro will now proudly stand in front of NATO as a symbol of secure and prosperous future of Montenegro, which now fully belongs to the Euro Atlantic family of nations. Today everything is about the future, a future that now looks brighter for Montenegro. I will therefore mention history on this occasion just to say that this is truly a historic day for Montenegro.

Ever since 2006, when Montenegro returned to the map of Europe, we have worked steadily toward this goal. There were many challenges, difficult and sometimes painful decisions and reforms. Hard work and commitment are always adequately valued. We have overcome many obstacles, and in this process, we have become a better country. Rest assured, we will continue to work to improve ourselves even more. This is not the end, but a beginning of new Montenegro. A country that will continue to strive to be better and further its path towards EU integration for a better society and prosperity for its people. A country that will be more secure and safe, with a new chance to realize its potentials for the benefit of its citizens, with more opportunities for economic growth. A country that will continue to be a credible friend, constructive neighbor, a good example in difficult environment that brings more stability to our region. A country that will contribute to the best of its capacities and abilities to address the challenges Alliance, Europe and the world are facing today.

An ally you can count on. An ally that counts on you.

The importance of this day is momentous not just for us but for our region too. Another country of the Western Balkans and South East Europe is joining the greatest military Alliance in the world, thus contributing to peace and stability on the south of Europe. With Montenegro in NATO the Northern Mediterranean coast from Turkey to Portugal is part of the Euro Atlantic community. One of the most successful and transformational NATO policies - the open door policy is being reconfirmed today. This vividly sends a strong message that the perspective of membership is alive and that hard work is rewarded.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We wouldnÈt be here today without tireless efforts of hundreds of people in all spheres of our society that worked together and believed together in our NATO future. Today with us here are former Prime Minister Milo Đukanović and current and former Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers of Defense, so I take this opportunity to express my respect and appreciation to them.

But we also wouldnÈt be here without you. I want to express the gratitude of Montenegro for the help and support we have received from our friends and allies. I want to thank NATO and the Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg for his continuous and strong support, advice and friendship, which reflects his vision and knowledge he has about the region and importance of NATO open door policy. I want to thank the member countries from the region that have seen our success as their own: Slovenia, as our contact country for four years, was a great support on our road, but also Croatia and Albania. Our special gratitude goes to Hungary too, the last contact point country for Montenegro.

I would also like to thank all other NATO countries, which have been great supporters and provided us with expertize, knowledge, assistance and advice, even criticism when needed, be it here or back home, within the mission in Afghanistan, in building our defense and security sector or strengthening our political system and rule of law. I want particularly to thank all the NATO members for the efficient ratification of the Protocol on Montenegro’s accession.

We share our success with you, as we are happy to share this great day with all of you.

Dear friends,

The new era for Montenegro begins today. Montenegro will be a responsible Ally, who will uphold, promote and protect the values of the Euro Atlantic community to which it rightfully belongs. Back in December 2015 when we got the invitation we stated that was a beginning of a true friendship. Today, we are at beginning of a valued alliance, based on strength, solidarity and unity.

With our flag forever in front of the NATO, may Montenegro be eternal.

Thank you!


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