Željana Zovko

Objavljeno: 23.6.2022.

Zovko: Progress on the European perspective for Montenegro lies in the hands of its leaders


Brussels, 23 June 2022


In this week’s plenary session of the European Parliament and ahead of the European Council summit with leaders of the Western Balkan countries, Members discussed and voted on the annual report on Montenegro. Vice Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee took the floor in the debate and expressed her support for the European ambitions of the Western Balkan country.

Zovko referred to her recent participation in a mission of the Foreign Affairs Committee to Montenegro. “I have personally witnessed the commitment and determination of the authorities and citizens of Montenegro to progress on their European path” Zovko stated. She said that Montenegro has been a front-runner among enlargement countries on its reform agenda, but that the progress has stalled and new impetus should be found.

In her intervention, Zovko also welcomed the formation of the new government that now includes the participation of ethnic minority political parties. “This is a great step forwards for the respect of minority rights in Montenegro, but work remains to be done.” Zovko stated and called for more engagement on respecting the languages, cultural heritage and traditions of local communities, especially those of the Croatian community in the Bay of Kotor. Zovko also managed to include a reference to the Croatian community in the multi-ethnic Bay of Kotor in the report and calls on the Montenegrin authorities to acknowledge their tradition.

Based on Zovko’s amendments, the report on Montenegro welcomes the constructive cooperation of the country with EU law enforcement agencies in border management and in the fight against cross-border crime. Zovko also underlined in the report the European Parliament’s concern on the increase of Montenegro’s public debt to foreign financial institutions and companies from non-EU authoritarian countries.

Zovko proposed to call on Montenegro, but also on the EU Member States, the EU delegation and the EEAS to engage in a more active and effective communication strategy that would increase the visibility of EU assistance and to fight disinformation against the EU. Another call of Zovko that was included in the final report relates to the need to resolve in a constructive way the open border disputes, including the demarcation issues with Croatia and Serbia.


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