9th meeting of the Joint Consultative Committee

A two-day meeting of the Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) of Civil Society between the European Union and Montenegro was held in Budva, where representatives of the European and Montenegrin delegations discussed the most important topics regarding the public health and freedom of movement of goods, as well as the situation in civil society in Montenegro.

The Joint Declaration was adopted with concrete suggestions and recommendations to the Government in order to fulfill the final criteria in chapters covering the area of health protection and freedom of movement of goods, which are of particular importance for the quality of life of all Montenegrin citizens. The JCC has also prepared a number of recommendations for the Government of Montenegro regarding the support to the civil sector and emphasized the need for equal treatment of all civil society organizations.

 

Minister of European Affairs Aleksandar Andrija Pejović presented to the members of the Committee the current moment in the negotiations, pointing out the internal readiness to open the remaining chapters, and working on the fulfillment of the final criteria that will allow stepping forward into the next phase of the negotiations – closing the chapter. He pointed to the importance of civil sector participation in the negotiations, highlighting their contribution to the work of the working groups, as well as the preparation of documents crucial for the negotiation process. In this context, he pointed out that the meetings of the Joint Consultative Committee represented a valuable contribution to the affirmation of cooperation between state authorities and the civil sector, as well as the support of the civil sector to the accession process.

Chief of the Head of the Unit for Montenegro at the EC General Directorate for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Thomas Hagleitner, spoke about the current situation in the accession process. He praised Montenegro for the steady progress it has made in the accession negotiations, pointing out that the pace of movement towards membership is determined by continuous progress in the rule of law. He also welcomed Montenegro’s commitment to fiscal consolidation.

Co-chair of the Committee, Srđa Keković emphasized the importance of exchanging views between social partners and government representatives and expressed the belief that the JCC would be a good forum in the future for other topics relevant for further progress of Montenegro in the negotiation process.

The co-chair, Violeta Jelić, expressed her belief that the Declaration adopted at today’s meeting will have an echo in Montenegro and emphasized the importance of JCC as a mechanism for exchange of ideas, experiences, guidelines in the overall process of European integration.