Centre for Civic Education (CCE), in cooperation with Embassy of Kingdom of Netherlands, has organised today an informal meeting within the framework of European Café with MPs of Parliament of Montenegro, from various MP clubs, and members of Committee for European Affairs of House of Representatives of the Parliament of Kingdom of Netherlands.
During the European Café Daliborka Uljarevic, CCE Executive Director, emphasized the importance of the support of the Kingdom of Netherlands to the Europeanization of Montenegro and assessed: ’The process of European integration remains the most important motor of the necessary reform interventions even in the deeply divided Montenegrin society. However, to be fully effective, it is necessary that all social structures, regardless of their differences, are involved in order for the process to have full legitimacy and quality.’
Malik Azmani, Chair of Committee for European Affairs of House of Representatives of the Parliament of Kingdom of Netherlands, addressed the participants on behalf of the Dutch delegation and highlighted: ‘It is necessary to have different views on developments in Montenegro, since, in my opinion, this is an essence of democracy’. He pointed out that ‘this visit of delegation of Kingdom of Netherlands is important for debates which are currently being conducted in the Dutch Parliament on EU enlargement’ and concluded that he hopes that members of the Committee will use the information and assessments they obtained in today’s meeting in these debates. He expressed special thanks to the CCE for efforts made to enable pluralistic framework for discussion of MPs.
During today’s event, Montenegrin MPs, from ruling and opposition parties, gathered at one place and exchanged views on current state of affairs and political developments in Montenegro with their colleagues from Netherlands. The focus was also on quality of negotiation process, possibilities that the EU Enlargement Strategy opens, and how i.e. will Montenegro be able to meet its obligations on its European path to become a member state by 2025. Furthermore, challenges in system reform and manners of their overcoming were discussed. In this context, there were talks also about the role of parliaments within the negotiating process, both in the EU acceding country to and in the EU member states. Moreover, during the meeting, representatives of the two parliaments also discussed bilateral cooperation between Montenegro and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, both parliamentary and wider cooperation between the two countries.
On behalf of the Committee for European Integration of House of Representatives of the Parliament of Kingdom of Netherlands, meeting was attended by Malik Azmani, Chair of the Committee, Anne Mulder, MP for People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy – VVD, Kees Verhoeven, MP for Democrats 66 – D66, Bram van Ojik, MP for GreenLeft – GL, Frank Furselaarb, MP for Socialist Party – SP, Stieneke van Der Graaf, MP for ChristianUnion – CU, Pieter Omtzigt, MP for Christian Democratic Appeal – CDA and Jeffrey van Haaster, Registrar of the Committee. Additionally, ambassador of Kingdom of Netherlands HE Henk van den Dool and Political Advisor in the Embassy Luuk Nijman were also in the Dutch.
From Montenegro, the meeting was attended by: Aleksandar Damjanovic, independent MP, Danilo Saranovic from Democrats, Dritan Abazovic from URA, Momcilo Martinovic from DPS, Nedjeljko Rudovic from URA, Ranko Krivokapic from SDP, Slaven Radunovic from DF, as well as Sanja Bulatovic, Advisor in the Committee for European Integration of Parliament of Montenegro and Jelena Mitrovic, International Secretary in SDP.
Today’s European Café was a meeting of MPs of various profiles from the Dutch and Montenegrin parliament, with the aim of contributing to the strengthening of dialogue of all structures that should intensify the process of European integration of Montenegro.
Over the past three years, CCE has organized a series of European Cafés between representatives of civil society, youth and national and international actors in the negotiation process. The guests of the European Café have so far been: Ambassador Mitja Drobnic, the then Head of the EU Delegation to Montenegro, Aleksandar Andrija Pejovic, the then Chief Negotiator for Montenegrin EU accession negotiations, Gudrun Elisabeth Steinacker, the then Ambassador of the FR Germany to Montenegro and Zoran Pazin, Minister of Justice in the Government of Montenegro and Vice President of Government of Montenegro, followed by representatives of the opposition of the civic profile – Miodrag Lekic, President of DEMOS, Aleksa Becic, President of the Democrats of Montenegro, and Dritan Abazovic, President of the United Reform Action (URA). Our guests also were Jozo Rados, MEP and member of the EU-Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee (SAPC), Milivoje Katnic, Chief Special Prosecutor in Montenegro with associates, Ambassador of the FR Germany to Montenegro Hans Günter Mattern, Ph.D. Srdjan Darmanovic, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Montenegro, as well as the ambassadors of the Slovak Republic and the Republic of Croatia in Montenegro, Roman Hloben and Veselko Grubisic, and Danijel Kalezic, President of the MB of Queer Montenegro, Valentina Minic, MP of Democratic Montenegro and Milos Nikolic, MP of Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS).
Milos Knezevic, PR/Programme Associate