14 April 2019 - Hungarian Ambassador to Montenegro József Négyesi estimated that it is realistic for Montenegro to become a full member of the European Union by 2025.
The Ambassador said that Hungary follows the political developments in the Western Balkans with special attention and that the dangers of slowing down the integration process are completely clear to them.
“That's why we advocate that the European Union, and also the members themselves, despite the numerous existing challenges, make the decisions necessary to accelerate the integration of the countries of the region as soon as possible", said Hungarian Ambassador to Montenegro József Négyesi in an interview with Pobjeda daily.
He pointed out that there is significant progress in fulfilling the preconditions for Chapter 23: Judiciary and fundamental rights and Chapter 24: Justice, freedom and security.
Asked whether he notices that there is a delay in EU enlargement policy, he says that Hungary's position on this issue is clear. "It's never enough to emphasize that enlargement is a process that represents the road to a united and stronger Europe, whose intensity and efficiency, however, is subject to change," Négyesi said.
If the situation continues to develop as in the past, the Ambassador believes that the year 2025 represents the real deadline for the accession of Montenegro to the European Union.
"The accession to the European Union, above all, depends on the readiness and effort of Montenegro. My previous experience tells me that Montenegro does not lack political determination or professional knowledge. Therefore, according to my assessment, if Montenegro maintains the current tempo of preparation, it can become a full member of the EU by 2025, "he said.
According to Ambassador Négyesi, the Hungarian Government aims to provide all available support to Montenegro in the interest of faster accession to the EU, and at this moment two Hungarian EU experts work in Podgorica to assist the Montenegrin Government in the process of EU integration.
In regards to cooperation between the two countries, the Ambassador said that the key area for strengthening relations is the economy, especially agriculture.
"Thanks to excellent political relations and a favourable investment climate, Hungary has indeed become one of the largest investors in Montenegro since the restoration of Montenegro's independence. The total value of foreign direct foreign investments from Hungary to Montenegro over the past decade exceeded 500 million euros," Négyesi said.
The Ambassador also assessed that Hungarian companies are satisfied with the business climate in Montenegro. The most important Hungarian investors include OTP Bank and Hunguest Hotels, which have had positive experiences in Montenegro. This is evidenced by the fact that most of the present Hungarian companies are planning to expand their activities in Montenegro, and Négyesi hopes that this will result in new Hungarian investments and the arrival of new Hungarian companies to Montenegro.