30 November 2018 - Prime Minister Duško Marković noted on the occasion of the second anniversary of the 41st Government of Montenegro that the Government started its mandate in an extremely challenging environment, in 2016 - the most challenging year for Montenegro in its recent history, but thanks to the dedicated work of the entire Government an excellent result has been achieved. Nowadays Montenegro is a large construction site, it is more stable than ever and it has started accelerated economic development and improvement of the living standards, he added.
"The entire 2016 was the most challenging year for Montenegro, primarily in political and security terms. We had also challenging years in previous decades, but in that year we had the most brutal, most direct attack on the State, its institutions, its political system. It was the year in which the political will of the citizens of Montenegro was threatened to be changed in an undemocratic way in order to halt its European and Euro-Atlantic perspective. I would say that the ultimate goal was the loss and the disappearance of Montenegro as a state. At that very moment, the Government took over the mandate. You recall that the dissatisfied opposition that organised the boycott was on the streets, encouraging social and other dissatisfaction. The Government faced a serious challenge to ensure not only political but also security stability of the country, to enable its functioning. That was the political environment in which we started the mandate," Prime Minister Duško Marković said.
PM Marković, however, assessed Montenegro's accession to NATO as the greatest success of his government, saying he considers it to be the greatest achievement since the referendum that restored the independence of the country.
"There is no greater success for Montenegro in the last decade or in the last 12 years - first independence, then NATO accession. I would say that we have two key benefits from this process. Today, Montenegro is more stable than ever, although our stability is characteristic of the country in a very turbulent Balkan environment. Montenegro has always had the capacity to preserve this internal stability. However, today, our stability is much greater and of higher quality, and it is not only internal but regional, European, and, I would say transatlantic. At the same time, thanks to this stability, Montenegro has gained an unprecedented position on the international scene. Although being small, Montenegro can be a pretentious, global player. It sits around the same table with the most powerful countries of the world, not only in economic and military, but also in political terms. As a result, we have become a planetary known and there is great interest in investing in Montenegro's tourism, energy and agriculture. And for this reason we have experienced this kind of economic growth. The key benefits of NATO are stability, our international position and using of our potential for accelerated economic growth and higher living standards of citizens of Montenegro," the Prime Minister underlined.
The Prime Minister emphasised the fact that the country's membership in NATO has spurred investments from all over the world.
As to European integration of Montenegro, the Prime Minister noted that the progress towards membership of the European Union goes in line with the dynamics that is realistic.
"We would like to be in the European Union tomorrow. But that is not realistic. We must earn this membership through the reforms that we have to implement in the country and which must be sustainable, the pace of which will not depend on elections or any political party. Our progress in these six years is impressive. Today, we have 31 chapters open, it is certain that in December we will open one of the most difficult chapters in the negotiation process, Chapter 27 - Environment, for which we have to allocate approx. one billion euros by 2035 in order to secure our living space to be sustainable and to beneficial to both development and quality of life of each individual. We have temporarily closed 3 chapters. At this point, we have already provided the internal readiness to close six chapters. We have even asked these days the European Commission to start drafting reports on the fulfillment of the provisional benchmarks in chapters 23 and 24, because we think that we have met these criteria and that we need to get the final benchmarks for these chapters so that in the years to come we can start more rapid closing of the chapters," said the Prime Minister.
When it comes to the situation in the region, the Prime Minister reiterated that there is no united and stable Europe without the Western Balkans. "But the Western Balkans needs to do much more than it has done to date," Prime Minister Marković concluded.