Handjska-Trendafilova at the 17th EU-Montenegro Joint Consultative Committee: ReSPA is supporting Montenegro's and region’s PAR and accelerated entry into the EU via different support mechanisms, specifically targeting implementing recommendations outli
7 December 2023, Brussels, Belgium
The Meeting, opened by Oliver Ropke, President of the European Economic and Social Committee, Aurel Laurenţiu Plosceanu, Deputy President of the European Economic and Social Committee, and Maida Gorčević, Montenegro's Minister of European Affairs, was co-chaired by Decebal-Stefanita Padura and Gordana Đurović.
The main topics of discussion included the current status of relations between the EU and Montenegro, focusing on the 2023 European Commission Report on Montenegro and an overview of progress within the Berlin Process. Michael Miller, Head of the Unit for Montenegro at the General Directorate for Neighborhood and Negotiations on EC Enlargement, and Ambassador Petar Marković, Head of the Mission of Montenegro to the European Union, presented these updates.
The Meeting emphasised reviewing commitments under Cluster 1: Fundamentals of the accession process. This involved assessing public administration reforms and evaluating the state of civil society in Montenegro, including aspects of social dialogue. Director Handjiska-Trendafilova provided insights on the main challenges in PAR in Montenegro and the region and outlined an overview of overall ReSPA's support to the region and Montenegro's government, including a blend of capacity-building and learning multi-modular programmes co-created with prominent EU and EU MS institutions, fostering exchanges between Montenegro's civil servants and their counterparts from the EU MS and the region and by providing on-demand technical assistance.
The meeting adopted a Joint Declaration, which is to be forwarded to the EU-Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Council, the EU-Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee (SAPC), the European External Action Service (EEAS), the European Commission and the Government of Montenegro.