"I thank my colleagues who have given me the confidence by appointing me as the EP rapporteur for Montenegro. Of all the candidate countries, Montenegro has moved farthest in its negotiations with the European Union and, as rapporteur of the European Parliament for Montenegro, I will advocate strengthening its ties with the EU so that it becomes a full Member as soon as possible. It is of strategic interest for Croatia to have other Union members at all its borders. We need to transfer our experience and know-how, that we have made as the last country that entered the EU, to the countries in the region and I believe that in Podgorica we will have good partners on their path to the Union", Picula said during his appointment today.
He stressed that the endorsement of Josep Borrell by the EP as a candidate for European Commissioner for Foreign Affairs, who placed the Western Balkan countries in the top of his priorities, further strengthens their European perspective.
In its negotiations with Montenegro, the EU emphasizes reform in the rule of law,independent judiciary, freedom of the media, and a more effective fight against crime and corruption. Chapters 23 (Justice and Fundamental Rights) and 24 (Justice, Freedom and Security) are priorities for this country. Currently, most of the 83 provisional benchmarks in Chapters 23 and 24, which relate to improving the legislative and institutional framework, have been met.
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