“Montenegro is ready to open the remaining three negotiating chapters this year and to fully focus on meeting the conditions for the completion of negotiations in all negotiating chapters in the forthcoming period, Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Pažin announced at a meeting with European Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Johannes Hahn at the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels.

As announced by the Government, Pažin expressed Montenegro’s full readiness to enter into the next, final phase of the negotiation process by obtaining final criteria for closing negotiations in the most demanding negotiating chapters 23 and 24 regarding the rule of law.

‘We think that we have met the largest number of benchmarks and that we are able to discuss with partners in the European Commission that during this year. It will be proposed to the Council to measure Montenegro to close the negotiations in PP 23 and 24,’ Pažin said.

Commissioner Hahn welcomed Montenegro’s reform efforts and expressed the expectation that Montenegro will continue to be a model for other countries in the region in terms of the quality and speed of adoption of European standards and values. In that sense, he stressed that Montenegro remains a leader in the region in the process of European integration.

‘He pointed out that the European Union is firmly committed to partnership with Montenegro, stressing that further progress towards full EU membership will be based solely on the individual merits of candidate countries,’ the government said.