07 July 2019 - "The Western Balkans Summit in Poznan confirmed a clear European perspective of the Western Balkan countries. That message was conveyed by both the EU and the member states of the Union," Prime Minister Duško Marković told the press at the end of the Summit.
"There is no doubt that the enlargement policy is one of the best EU policies and it contributes to the stability of progress and development. It would be impossible to leave 18 million Western Balkan citizens out of the European space. There is no logic or justification for that. Today, it has been clearly stated that the vision of enlargement to the Western Balkans is alive and that in the Western Balkans we should continue to work to fulfill our obligations," Prime Minister Marković stressed.
The Cabinet of the Prime Minister reported that Marković also added that the sixth Summit of the Western Balkans confirmed the vision of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel as an extension to the enlargement policy. PM Marković said that the Berlin Process contributed to the new values of the Western Balkans as a whole and each country individually.
"We in particular focused on the implementation of the connection agenda, as the infrastructure connectivity is the key to the overall development of the Balkans, especially each country individually. We expressed satisfaction with the degree of infrastructure projects implementation and the approved funds. Montenegro has withdrawn more than EUR 170 million and we are set to continue this way in the future," Prime Minister Marković underlined.
For Montenegro, he added, this Summit is particularly important. The Memorandum on the creation of preconditions for the construction of the International Institute for Sustainable Technologies in South East Europe was signed. Montenegro is the initiator of this project. CERN, European Commission and the Science Commissioner pledged support to this project. The serious efforts of the Government, primarily of the Ministry of Science, have yield results today, and this testifies to the fact that the Western Balkans steadily progress towards the EU.
When asked by journalists whether he talked with Prime Minister Ana Brnabić about the Draft Law on Freedom of Religion, Prime Minister Marković said that he opened the issue with his Serbian counterpart.
"Prime Minister Brnabić asked me what it is about. I said that this is about drafting the law as a programme and constitutional obligation of the Government, based on the standards and principles of not only national legislation but also the Council of Europe," said PM Marković, stressing that the issue of religious communities in Montenegro is currently regulated by the Law of 1977.
"There is no reason for confrontation between the two countries on this issue. We agreed that we should discuss these and other issues directly at the institutional level, and that we will not raise tensions between the two states because we do not need them, " the Prime Minister pointed out.
The Prime Minister assessed the brief conversation with his Serbian counterpart Brnabić as beneficial, hopeful that in the coming days, the conditions will be created for discussing these issues as two neighbouring and friendly countries.
Read more about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.