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European Commission

MEMO

Brussels, 15 May 2013

Montenegro: With R.Krivokapić about challenges on the road to accession

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, met with the president of the parliament of Montenegro, Ranko Krivokapić, in Brussels today to discuss the situation in the country and the accession negotiations.

Commissioner Füle noted that accession negotiations, including the screening process, are progressing well, but stressed the importance of maintaining momentum on the implementation of the necessary reforms.

"Progress in the accession negotiations now requires swift adoption of constitutional amendments strengthening the independence and accountability of the judiciary as recommended by the Venice Commission. More generally, the Montenegrin parliament plays a central role in strengthening public trust in the country´s institutions," he said.

At the same time Commissioner Füle underlined that the number of challenges was accumulating on the political front in Montenegro and the time has come to address them. He noted that one of those challenges is the trust of the citizens in state institutions stressing that other challenges include the reform backlog, the necessity to strengthen the rule of law and proper judicial and political follow-up to the audio-recordings affair.

Commissioner Füle also remarked that in a few weeks Croatia should join the European Union and this is a powerful signal for the whole region. He expressed hope and expectation that with the negotiations with Montenegro at full speed this country's progress towards the EU will send the same positive message to the region as the forthcoming accession of Croatia.


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