06 November 2018 - The prime ministers of Montenegro and Finland, Duško Marković and Juha Sipilä, agreed at the working meeting, which took place in Helsinki, that Montenegro has made strong progress in the European integration process and that the process will be continued with the full support of Finland, which will take over the presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2019.
Prime Minister Marković welcomed the merit-based approach depending on concrete results achieved by each individual country, adding that, in addition to Finland’s support, Montenegro also expects the support of other Nordic countries.
The Prime Minister of Finland said that Montenegro has made significant progress over the past ten years, highlighting that it has done the best job in the region, which, in his words, is clearly visible. Prime Minister Sipila expressed his Government's position that Montenegro is welcomed into the European Union once it has fulfilled the necessary standards.
Prime Minister Marković informed his Finnish counterpart about the comprehensive economic reforms the Government of Montenegro has undertaken with a view to achieving fiscal consolidation, as well as the numerous development projects that are being implemented with the aim of raising the living standards of citizens and a higher quality of life.
The Prime Minister of Finland noted that Montenegro is now a very attractive investment destination, while Prime Minister Marković stressed that the country has seen obvious democratic and development transformation, in particular after joining NATO and achieving significant progress in the context of EU membership.
The Prime Minister expressed his gratitude to Finland for supporting the EU integration of the Western Balkans, thus contributing to the stability of Europe. "The European perspective should be open to the entire region. This strengthens democracy throughout the region," PM Marković said.
Speaking about the process of Montenegrin European integration, the Prime Minister said that Montenegro made a major step forward in the rule of law and in all significant areas during the negotiations with the European Commission in the past six years.
PM Marković said that the Government of Montenegro believes that the Grand Committee, which has the power to make decisions on all issues of Finland's participation in the European Union, will contribute to Montenegro's progress in the integration process by supporting the enlargement policy.
PM Marković also expressed the belief that the Finnish EU presidency will mark a new phase in the negotiating process of Montenegro, which is precisely the opening of negotiation chapters.
"These talks aim not only to bring Montenegro closer to the EU but also to gain a higher level of trust in Montenegro and new partnerships for Montenegro on its path to the EU," Prime Minister Duško Marković concluded at the end of his working visit to the Republic of Finland.