Euro-Atlantic prospect for Montenegro
Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle met Igor Lukšić, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Montenegro, in Berlin. Lukšić also serves as Deputy Prime Minister of his country. The talks focused inter alia on Montenegro’s aspiration to accede to the EU and NATO.
Foreign Ministers Lukšić and Westerwelle
The German Foreign Minister assured his counterpart: “We want Montenegro to one day be a fully fledged member of the Euro-Atlantic community.” The country has made considerable progress on this path, Westerwelle added.
Montenegro applied for membership of the EU in 2008; on 26 June 2012, the EU decided to launch accession negotiations as Montenegro had met the necessary conditions. Minister Westerwelle emphasized: “We remain committed to European prospects for the countries of the Western Balkans.”
Grateful to Germany
Igor Lukšić thanked Germany for the “energetic support” for the country’s aspired integration into the EU and NATO. Even today, Montenegrin soldiers working under Germany’s regional command in northern Afghanistan are proving Montenegro’s commitment to the international community. Lukšić voiced Montenegro’s wish to “always be part of the solution” to future international questions. In December 2009, Montenegro was invited to take part in NATO’s Membership Action Plan (MAP), a programme to provide advice and practical support for countries wanting to join NATO.
Need for further reform
The German Foreign Minister emphasized the importance of further reform in Montenegro indicating that the aim has to be “to anchor European standards firmly in central fields such as the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary”. He added that the rule of law, transparency and an efficient administration are also important for German businesses wanting to invest.
Montenegro gained its independence on 3 June 2006 thus ending the State Union with Serbia which had succeeded the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Montenegro has since been recognized under international law around the world and has joined numerous international organizations, including the World Trade Organization (WTO) in November 2011. Montenegro is now aspiring to accede to the EU. Shortly after accession negotiations were launched, the first accession conference was held on 29 June 2012. The first chapter was completed and closed as early as 18 December.
Lukšić also visited Berlin in the summer of 2011 when he was still Prime Minister. Foreign Minister Westerwelle visited the Montenegrin capital Podgorica in August 2011.
Last updated 20.02.2013