Zovko calls on the government of Montenegro to increase its efforts on European integration
Brussels, 18 May 2021
Members of the European Parliament voted this week in their plenary session on the annual progress report on Montenegro and debated on the relations with the country. Željana Zovko, Vice Chair of the Committee of Foreign Affairs and co-rapporteur of the Instrument of Pre-accession Assistance (IPA III) called for increased efforts of the Montenegrin government on their European perspective.
“The Western Balkans are like a rollercoaster. Those who were up can be down any minute later. This is what we witnessed in the last twenty years with the progress reports from these countries that aspire to become a member of the European Union.” Zovko said and added that in the last report the Parliament praised Montenegro as the most advanced and promising country that was offering hope of success in the enlargement negotiations.
Zovko stressed that Montenegro should step up its efforts in improving the rights of national minorities. Respect for languages, cultures and traditions is of key importance and are part of the European values. She also called on the government of Montenegro to resolve outstanding bilateral issues with its neighbours and to comply fully with succession issues, especially with regard to military assets.
“In order to achieve a full reconciliation with its neighbors, Montenegro must intensify its efforts in punishing war crimes and clarifying the fate of missing persons.” Zovko said.
Finally, Zovko reminded her colleagues that the EU has mobilized substantial financial and material help to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and via IPA funding. According to the MEP, the EU needs to increase the visibility and emphasize the impact of its assistance.