Montengro ‘Could Be EU Candidate by Year’s End’

Charles Tannock, the European Parliament’s rapporteur on Montenegro, has said that the European Commission will likely complete its report on Montenegro’s readiness to become an EU candidate by the fall, which could allow the country to obtain EU candidate status by the end of this year.

Tannock also said: “I understand that the opinion of the European Commission can be delivered in the fall, and I could get the draft report in October.”

“I would not exclude this possibility, because I expect a favourable opinion of the European Commission, and my report will be like that, if the information I have at the moment is correct,” he said.

Montenegro submitted its EU candidacy application in December 2008. In July 2009, the EC gave the Montenegrin authorities a questionnaire that serves to assess a country’s readiness to meet the commitments required by EU membership.

Montenegro returned the questionnaire in late December 2009, and the EC is now due to deliver its opinion on the responses of the Government of Montenegro.

Tannock went on to say that delays sometimes occur but that Montenegro’s goal of becoming an EU candidate is worth working on.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele, who recently visited Montenegro on his Balkan tour, said that Montenegro was now facing a more demanding EU integration phase, and that concrete results were necessary in the fight against corruption and organised crime in the country.

Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic said on the occasion that the government’s priority is to fulfill the political criteria that will bring Montenegro closer to the EU and NATO.

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