28 April 2019 - Montenegrin Minister of Foreign Affairs Srđan Darmanović said that he expects a positive report by the European Commission on the progress of Montenegro towards the EU and that the country will definitely be the next EU member.
"The preliminary document that was created in November in the area of the rule of law was very encouraging for us. If we get a positive report, especially on the implementation of the provisional benchmarks for Chapters 23 and 24, that would be a significant moment for our further path towards the EU, even more significant than the question whether we will open the last negotiating chapter in the first or the second semester," Darmanović said in an interview with the TVCG.
On this occasion, Darmanović also said that there is no dispute that Montenegro is an absolute leader in the region when it comes to European integration. He added that Montenegro would open the last negotiating chapter this year, and reminded of the previous February report of the EU on the Western Balkans pointing out that those who achieve better results will move faster and that by 2025, EU enlargement might occur.
"It must be understood that the policy of enlargement is not a one-way but a two-way process, and we cannot become an EU member just by our effort. Of course, the primary responsibility is for us to show that our society is closer to the European legal system," Darmanović pointed out.
Speaking about the effects of membership in NATO, the Minister said that joining the Alliance was the greatest achievement of Montenegro's foreign policy after the restoration of independence, because Montenegro, for the first time in its history, became an institutional part of the Western world and part of the group of countries that have the values of modern and civilized and democratic world, most of whom were defenders of freedom and during the Cold War.
He emphasized that Montenegro has very good relations with all the friends and partners from the region: "The policy of good neighbourly relations, in addition to NATO membership and European agenda, is one of the three pillars of Montenegrin foreign policy”. The Head of Montenegrin diplomacy also assessed that the country is continuously trying to maintain this kind of approach even when its friends have different views and interests.