June 2012: Montenegro has officially started negotiations with the EU

Statement by ALDA President, Oriano Otočan

“One more important step toward the European future of the Balkans has been made by Montenegro, the smallest country that gained its independence in 2006.

Since 2003, when the Thessaloniki Agenda was adopted, the EU enlargement in the Western Balkans has remained a top priority of both governments and citizens in these countries. Intensified monitoring over the progress made particularly with regard to respect for human rights, the rule of law and democratic institutions has brought forward deep structural reforms in societies that have only recently closed, perhaps one of the most tragic page in their history.

Despite the raging crisis in Eurozone and the so called “enlargement fatigue”, the Western Balkan remains to be incorporated sooner or later into the EU .The process of harmonisation with the EU standards has in the meantime become a clearly regulated set of procedures which all the candidate countries must comply with. Accession negotiations last as long as it is necessary, or as long as the criteria set in the accession chapters are fulfilled.” […]