Friday, 19 December 2008

Montenegro applies to join the EU

Montenegro's Prime Minister, Milo Djukanovi, was in Paris this week to submit an application from Montenegro to join the EU. The Prime Minister met with the President-in-Office of the European Council, Nicolas Sarkozy, to whom Montenegro's EU application was submitted. This will be sent to the European Commission which will then assess whether Montenegro meets the conditions of membership and make its recommendation to the Council as to whether or not Montenegro should become a candidate country. It is then for the European Council to vote unanimously on the Commission's recommendation and in doing so open formal negotiations.

Having achieved its independence on 3 June 2006 and now two and a half years later has lodged an application to join the EU. I wish Montenegro well in its application and look forward to the day when an Independent Scotland joins Montenegro at the top table not only in Brussels but also in the UN in New York and in other international organisations and is able to have its own distinctive voice, take its own decisions and work together with the international community in addressing such key global challenges as international development, climate change, economic governance.

I've met with the Montenegrin Ambassador to the EU on a number of occasions in Brussels to find out how Montenegro is faring since achieving its independence and have also helped Montenegro mark its national day on 13 July by holding out a hand of friendship from Scotland

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