28 May 2019 - Prime Minister Duško Marković opened the 2019 Games of Small States of Europe - the biggest sports event ever hosted by Montenegro, saying that diversities of Europe - from its northernmost to the southernmost parts - gathered in Montenegro, and that, with the motto of the International Olympic Committee "unity in diversity", they represent the heritage Montenegro traditionally fosters.
"We in Montenegro believe that diversity is actually our greatest asset. Due to that, our state has survived through centuries cultivating all our differences in religion, national affiliation, and cultural heritage. We share the ideas of European visionaries who, after World War II, reversed historical trends, accepting that diversities do not pose a threat; that they are natural and that there is only one answer to them: to respect them! That is why Montenegro has found its place among the countries that share these values and that is why, after the restoration of independence, the thirteenth anniversary of which was celebrated the other day, we courageously and without hesitation embarked on the path of European and Euro-Atlantic integration. I believe that during your stay in Montenegro, you will recognize this pro-European enthusiasm among our people, as well as our traditional values and specificities, of which we are proud and which we lovingly cherish. All of our diversities, from the northernmost to the southernmost parts of Europe, gathered in one place these days – that is the wealth that these Games bring us. That is why these are the small states games only in the light of the numbers. But, in many other respects - great and special European nations," Prime Minister noted.
The Prime Minister said that the organisation of the Games is a special honour for Montenegro's Olympic Committee, for the towns in which competitions will be taking place, for the whole of Montenegro, which since the restoration of independence has attached special importance to sports in promoting the State on the international scene, as well to the construction of sports infrastructure throughout our country.
"We pay special attention to the youngest talents and top athletes, by awarding stipends and rewarding the successful ones, taking into account also the medal winners after completion of their careers. What the state gets in return is the remarkable success of our clubs and national teams, disproportionate to the objective size of our sports populace and resources. That is why many in the world recognize Montenegro, above all, by natural beauties and top athletes," PM Marković underlined.
The Prime Minister wished athletes that their competitions took place in the spirit of chivalry, saying that there are no small and big athletes in sports, but that everyone has an equal chance of winning.
"Many of you are in Montenegro for the first time. I wish that you enjoy the beauty of our country and the hospitality of our people. I wish that you take the blueness of our sea and our sky in your eyes from Montenegro, and Montenegrin sincerity and friendship in your heart. I wish that you return to Montenegro in the future," Prime Minister Marković concluded.
The opening of the Games of Small States of Europe was also attended by President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović, Prince Albert of Monaco, Captains Regents of the San Marino Nicola Selva and Michele Muratori, princesses of Luxembourg and Liechtenstein, President of the European Olympic Committee Janez Kocijančić and ministers of sports of seven participating countries.