Newsletter 1/2010 - Our South East Europe
A STATESMAN'S VIEW: Interview with Milo Đukanović, Prime Minister of Montenegro
“Cooperation among the countries of the region in all areas is the only right response for its future”
Mr Đukanović, how do you comment on the level of cooperation in the region bearing in mind that the countries are in different phases when it comes to EU integration? Where do you see the role of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) in this respect?
The future of the countries from the region is the EU; there is no alternative to this. Neither the countries from the region nor the European Union question this fact. The memories of conflicts that took place in this region are still vivid. I believe that the justification basis for this perspective should be found precisely in that fact. Integration is the only reliable guarantor of stability and prosperity of Western Balkan countries.
The efforts of each country should not be neglected in this regard. Each country should enter the European Union in line with its own merits, i.e. when it fulfills the conditions.
In addition to the overall reforms, which
Through a policy of good neighbourly relations and active participation in all important regional initiatives, Montenegro demonstrated a responsible approach to the region’s development and is thus recognized internationally as a factor of peace and stability on the Balkans and a constructive partner of international community in the efforts to achieve lasting political stability as well as prosperity of the region in which we live.
Bearing in mind the importance of regional cooperation in the EU association process, I would like to welcome the decision of the Government of the Republic of Croatia to give to its neighbours the relevant documents translated into Croatian. This symbolic gesture of the Croatian Government represents a significant contribution to EU approximation of the entire region and will surely reduce costs and save time thus facilitating the job of our administration.
Establishment of the Regional Cooperation Council as a new framework for regional cooperation is certainly a positive step forward of the countries from the region aimed at ensuring future progress of South East Europe. Its role is to support and strengthen cooperation among countries of the region in the areas of economic and social development, infrastructure and energy, justice and home affairs, security cooperation, building human capital and parliamentary cooperation.
When do you expect
Dynamism of European integration process goes as planned. After submission of the responses to the EC Questionnaire in December 2009, we received additional inquiries from the EC to which we will promptly provide responses. Meetings with EC working bodies are being held on regular basis in
I would like to remind that an EC mission for human rights visited
As of December 2009,
By entering the Membership Action Plan (MAP),
The plan is, after establishing the National Team for ANP Development, to complete the development of the first ANP and present it to NATO by September 2010, when its one-year implementation begins. The fact that MAP assisted nine countries thus far to become members of NATO speaks sufficiently of its importance. I wish to remind you that development of the Annual National Programme and the Progress Report is performed in coordination with NATO.
NATO membership, in parallel with progress towards the EU, will give this region the necessary stability. Almost all Western Balkan countries seem to be aware of this. We expect that BiH joins us in MAP soon and then, in line with the fulfillment of obligations undertaken, that we become full NATO members.
To what extent did the global economic and financial crisis have impact on the situation in
Global economic crisis did not bypass
The Montenegrin Government responded to the crisis in a way an efficient state should respond, quickly and timely, in three directions. Assistance was first directed to the banking sector – as, in fact, the crisis in
The overall package of measures of fiscal, monetary and social policy for overcoming the financial crisis amounted approximately to 10% of the GDP. Through government guarantees, we have provided almost 7% of the GDP as support to the banking sector and economy, which is above the average of other European countries.
The crisis also required certain fiscal adjustments as well as stabilisation of public finances. The Montenegrin Government has a prudent and conservative public finance policy. We have reduced public spending (by approximately EUR 230 million) in the previous period, increased capital investments and planned the 2010 budget realistically.
In 2010, we expect a slight growth of economy by around 0.5% of the GDP and believe that this year would be a kind of preparation for the economic recovery as of 2012.
Having in mind that the overall economic ambience in
Our region is potentially the only one in
This project positions
The project is the crowning feature of thus far cooperation between
According to the preliminary agreement, the cable will be placed between Tivat and Peskara and the contractor will be Italian company ‘Terna’ in cooperation with Montenegrin ‘Prenos’.
Together with ‘Terna’, ‘Prenos’ will finance construction of power line towards
As you can see, cooperation among the countries of the region in all areas is the only right response for its future.
Milo Đukanovic is currently serving his fifth term as Prime Minister of