Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Montenegro ‘Quickly’ Moving Towards EU

Montenegro is efficiently fulfilling its Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU and is quickly moving towards accession, EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn says.

Speaking in Brussels on Sunday after a meeting with Montenegrin Foreign Minister Milan Rocen, Rehn said Montenegro has strengthened its administrative capacity, implemented legal reforms and undertook efforts to combat organised crime and corruption.

"It is encouraging that the government, all political parties, the society and the social partners are committed to Montenegro's European integration," Rehn said.

Podgorica media also reported that Slovenian Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar said that Montenegro will join the community of the most-developed countries quicker than any other state in the region.

Montenegro applied for EU membership in December last year after delaying an application which was originally supposed to be submitted in June earlier that year.

Freed from the wartime baggage of its neighbor Serbia, from which it split in 2006, the state of 650,000 people signed the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU in 2007, the first rung on the ladder towards eventual membership of the bloc.

Strengthening its weak administration and fighting corruption remain its biggest challenges.

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