Montenegro is not far from the date of accession to the European Union (EU), said the rapporteur of the European Parliament for Montenegro, Vladimir Bilcik, adding that Montenegrin politicians should show that they are ready to endure reforms.
It will not be a problem for Montenegro to enter the Union if it does everything it needs to do. That country has opened many chapters, but now it needs to close them, Bilcik said at a 2BS forum on a panel dedicated to the Western Balkans.
He said there was not enough fundamental progress, which was needed to close the chapter.
This is a concern that we share and what we will talk about in Strasbourg, during the discussion on the enlargement package, Bilcik said.
He stated that the most important thing is for Montenegro to show that its institutions are functioning, adding that the Union is to be of help.
However, there must be a clear sentiment, it is important for the desire for integration to be at the core of everything, said Bilcik. He said that, in the Union, integration is treated as a marathon. Reforms are part of a marathon where you have to run well. That is why Montenegrin politicians need to show that they are ready to endure reforms. This refers to the government and the opposition, but also the entire society, stated Bilcik.
He stated that it should raise awareness on the fact that the reforms will be difficult to implement, as well as that the issues regarding the reforms must not be the subject of disagreements and conflicts. As a great sympathizer of Montenegro, I would like to see things move in the right direction. We are ready to help in every possible way, said Bilcik.
He said that no country is closer to integration than Montenegro and that this should be reflected in all public discussions.
Bilik assessed that the future is in the hands of Montenegrin politicians, but also of the European Union.
“Uvijek pomno pratimo situaciju na Zapadnom Balkanu. Mi smo i dalje glavni strateški partner investitor i ne želimo da budemo skrajnuti od drugih zemalja, tu naročito mislim na Rusiju”, naveo je Bilčik.
We are always closely monitoring the situation in the Western Balkans. We are still the main strategic partner investor and we do not want to be excluded from other countries, I think especially of Russia, stated Bilcik.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro, Djordje Radulovic, stated that, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, all the countries of the Eastern bloc declared their pro-Western orientation.
Most countries in the Western Balkans have done the same. We are moving towards European integration, not because I want it, but because the whole society wants it , said Radulovic.
He stated that the course of Montenegro does not change, regardless of the change of government.
I don’t think that the Balkans is a gunpowder keg, nor that Montenegro is a fuse on that keg. The foreign policy of this country has remained the same. We are still a reliable and credible NATO partner , Radulovic pointed out.
He said that the current government is fighting against corruption and organized crime, which, as he assessed, are as dangerous for stability and security as radicalization.
He stated that he knows that there are no shortcuts on the path towards the European Union, adding that Europeans should focus on deeds, not words.
Europeans need to be more assertive when it comes to our path to the Union. After 30 years, we have changed the government and normally a little delay is expected, before we move in the right direction , concluded Radulovic.
The Minister of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Selmo Cikotic, also spoke at the panel. He pointed out that the fact is that some ideologies and policies fight for territories in the Balkans, but that we must also admit that our countries are losing young people.
Cikotic stated that greater responsibility of state leaders is necessary, especially towards citizens and the state. According to him, the citizens of the Western Balkans are losing confidence in state leaders, which is evident.
The Minister of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina said that the tendencies for certain neighboring countries to take away a part of the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina represents a formula that is repeated throughout history, and which has never been true.
Cikotic believes that the idea of the Serbian world or Greater Serbia is a call for a new crisis, destabilization, and a new migration of people from this area.