10 June 2019 - By joining the European Union, Montenegro wants to be in the company of allied European countries that cherish and protect human dignity as their highest value, Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Pažin said for the Government of Montenegro at the opening of the plenary session of the Club of Venice in Bar.
"This value is exactly on what modern Montenegro was built and why we see our membership in the European Union as a natural continuation of the historical process of affirmation and preservation of the civil and European identity of our country," the Deputy Prime Minister said.
He stressed that current and future members of the European Union must be aware of the shared responsibility for the success of the United Europe project.
"We have no ambition to join the European Union before we are fully prepared to fulfill all our obligations and enjoy the full benefits of fully-fledged membership. However, we must all be aware that we share a common destiny as Europeans. That the future of European countries, the competitiveness of our economies and our way of life depend to a large extent on the success of a European project, for which we have a common responsibility," DPM Pažin emphasised.
By this occasion, he also estimated that it is very important for citizens to understand the significance of this historic mission of the European Union, as well as to understand the alleged alternatives to the European democratic values, which are offered to them.
"Advocating the accession of new members to the European Union based on merit is, in fact, the affirmation of a key EU mission – the spread of peace and prosperity across the European continent. On the other hand, greater support from the European public for admitting new members to the EU will strengthen the Union's internal cohesion and significantly strengthen the credibility and substance of its basic principle – united in diversity," Deputy Prime Minister Pažin highlighted.
He pointed out that today the EU's generations born and raised in the period of peace and prosperity, unprecedented in the history of the old continent, challenge the very purpose and key values of a united Europe, and reminded that, also in Europe, there are generations who, not so long ago, grew up in significantly different and unfavourable circumstances, in which some of the basic human needs were considered luxury.
Furthermore, the Deputy Prime Minister stated that this could be part of the reason why people in the southwest of Europe generally support the European Union more. He added, however, that the support that the European Union enjoys in the region of Southeast Europe is not only a matter of ideals, values or a common identity, but also a very specific progress in improving the quality of life and the standard of living.
"Take Montenegro as an example. Since we, as an independent state, began our path to the European Union in 2006, the average salaries and pensions in Montenegro have doubled. Today, our citizens travel freely throughout Europe, our students, lecturers and scientists participate in numerous study and research programmes, while our farmers receive significant expert and financial support from European funds," DPM Pažin said.
The Club of Venice is a European professional network that gathers senior public communications professionals from EU member states and institutions, and more recently the candidate country for EU membership. Montenegro is the first country outside the European Union to host the plenary session of the Club of Venice in 33 years of the existence of this prestigious European forum.
The plenary session of the Club of Venice in Montenegro discusses the issues of communication strategies for engaging citizens in European politics, experiences from recently held European elections, combating misinformation, communication of enlargement policy and development of communication capacities and practices of European institutions, member states and candidate countries. This is the first event of this kind that gathered government officials from EU member states and institutions after the European Parliament elections.
Read more about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.