Slovakia to give Montenegro a helping hand in the accession process
“We consider Montenegro's progress in the accession process to be very positive. The country has become a driver of European integration in the Western Balkans region and has also set a good example to other candidates for EU membership,” stated Minister Lajčák.
At the same time, he emphasised that Slovakia continues to support Montenegro's accession process by providing both political and practical support in sharing its own integration experience. He also called for the continuation of necessary reforms, and especially their implementation. He highlighted the importance of fair and free parliamentary elections scheduled for this autumn, with the participation of all relevant stakeholders.
Montenegro has already opened 22 chapters, representing about two thirds of the total number. During the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of this year, the country would like to open other chapters.
Minister Lajčák therefore inquired how Slovakia can help to maintain the desired dynamics of the negotiation process with Podgorica and asked what Slovakia can do during its Presidency to increase the visibility of the whole enlargement process, which will be one of Slovakia's priorities when leading the Union.
Both partners agreed that the EU's dialogue with the Western Balkan countries should place greater emphasis not only on national reform processes and on meeting the accession criteria, but also on the issues of radicalisation and the rise of extremism in the region.
The Montenegrin partner, Aleksander Pejović, was also received by the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic and the Government Plenipotentiary for the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU, Ivak Korčok. He also praised the example of Montenegro in the European integration process, referring to the country as a stabilising element that contributed to good neighbourly relations in the region. In this context, he emphasised that the enlargement process was the EU's most effective tool for transformation and that this was the reason why Slovakia would promote it during its Presidency of the Council of the EU.