Podgorica, (MINA) – The progress of the Western Balkans countries towards the EU is achieved under pressure, and is more technical than essential, it was heard in a panel discussion held in Podgorica on Monday.
The panel discussion “Why the EU should care for rule of law in the Western Balkans” was organized by the European Fund for the Balkans (EFB), Balkan in Europe advisory group, and the Politicon Network.
It was stated during the conference that the EU should be consistent in sending its messages to the countries of the region.
Chief negotiator Aleksandar Drljevic said that the countries in the process of EU Accession should be aware that everything they do, in particular in the field of rule of law, they do for themselves, and that their citizens would have most benefits from that.
He remarked that Montenegro is committed to fulfilling provisional benchmarks from chapters 23 and 24.
Regarding priority activities in the following period, he said that those would be strengthening of institutions and raising their capacities, in order to achieve better results.
“Of course that media freedoms is recognized as one of the key priorities towards which we must strive in this process. Without freedom of speech and solving the cases of attacks against journalists we cannot expect progress in the following period”, Drljevic added.
Jovana Marovic of the Politicon Network said that all that the Western Balkans countries did by now is done under pressure.
“And Montenegro, in terms of negotiations in the last 7 years, achieved most”, Marovic added, adding that this progress is technical and not essential.
According to her, the fact that the law is adopted does not mean that it is equal for all and that the institutions that implement it are independent and unbiased.
BiEPAG coordinator Florian Bieber said that the EU citizens are mostly satisfied with the EU, but are not in favor of enlargement.
“It would not be possible that Montenegro, Serbia or any other country to join the EU without the support of the citizens of the Union”, Bieber emphasized.
He stressed out that the rule of law is the main argument and the guarantee that those countries would not disturb stability of the EU.
Commenting on the protests in the street of Belgrade, Podgorica and Tirana, Bieber said that those are not political protests, but the protests for the rule of law.Longer version of article is available on a link MINA ENGLISH SERVIS