European Movement in Montenegro has organized event regarding presentation of guidelines for Advocacy Strategy for the EU Integration of the Western Balkans.
This initiative, throw common cooperation of eight research organizations from Visegrad group and Western Balkans countries, enable to present comprehensive overview of national policies of communication and advocacy of European integration to the interested public in all eight countries, as well as to develop guidelines to formulate national and regional advocacy strategy of faster integration of the region into the European Union.
Opening remarks were given by Minister of European Affairs, H.E. Aleksandar Andrija Pejovic, President of European Movement in Montenegro, Momcilo Radulovic and Charge d’Affairs of Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro, Emile Mabita.
Minster of European Affairs, Alesandar Andrija Pejovic, emphasized that realization of the Advocacy Strategy for the EU Integration of the Western Balkans can be a significant contribution to the promotion of the results that the Western Balkans achieved on the path towards the EU, creating better images and their positions among the member states and ensuring the successful continuation of the accession process. He believes that the strategy comes at the right time, especially bearing in mind, as he said, the current challenges facing the EU and why enlargement policy is no longer high on her agenda.
“Montenegro is, ten years after the restoration of independence has come a long way to accession to the EU and become a leader in the region with 26 open chapters, 2 of which are temporarily closed. This gives us extra responsibility to look at more carefully advocacy strategy and our contribution to the creation of better prospects for the entire region “, said the minister on this occasion.
The President of the European Movement in Montenegro, Momcilo Radulovic said that the strategy to advocate the accession of the Western Balkans EU presented in Brussels, Prague, Belgrade, Skopje and Tirana.
The strategy was created as an initiative of a group of four NGOs from the Western Balkan countries and four organizations from the Visegrad Group countries” explained Radulovic.
Advocacy group Western Balkans 6, as he specified, is an initiative of civil society organizations from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia and Kosovo.
“This initiative aims to improve the integration process of the Western Balkans into the EU,” said Radulovic.
According to his opinion, the image of the region in this process is one of the priorities which the group will deal with.
“The goal is to get through the promotion of regional cooperation point to the importance that the Western Balkans region has for the EU and to return the issue of enlargement, as one of the priorities of the EU agenda,” pointed out Radulovic.
He noted that the Advocacy group WB six launched joint Web portal (wb6.info) containing relevant information about region and it’s expected that those, as he said, information could contribute to a better representation of the region in the Brussels institutions and the member States.
Charge d’Affaires at Delegation of EU to Montenegro, Emil Mabita, believes that the advocacy of the Western Balkans towards EU membership is very important, estimating that it will be useful. “But, you first need concrete results to show that the integration process has a positive influence on the daily lives of citizens and that Montenegro and other Balkan countries are able to fulfill the obligations of EU membership. After that, we can talk about advocacy which gives good arguments which confirm that you’re ready to enter the club,” said Mabita.
After the opening remarks, guidelines for Advocacy Strategy for the EU integration of Western Balkans were presented by Mila Brnović, Program Coordinator in the EMiM and Jelica Minic, President of the Forum for International Relations of the European Movement in Serbia.