Montenegro becomes an associate member of the EU

Montenegro becomes an associate member of the EU
# 02 May 2010 01:38 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. The tiny Balkan country of Montenegro became an associate member of the European Union (EU) on Saturday, reported Montenegrin state radio and television network RTCG, APA reports quoting Xinhua News Agency.

According to Gordana Djurovic, minister for European Integration, the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU took effect on May 1, having been ratified by all 27 EU member states. As of June, Montenegro will be able to participate directly in the Council of SAA.

Djurovic stated that the associate status will now put additional pressure on domestic institutions to meet the standards that lead to eventually EU membership.

"From the perspective of Montenegro, it means that all the provisions of the SAA are in force as of May 1 and that we must cooperate even closer with the EU in defining all sectors of economic policy...human rights, the justice system and internal affairs," said Djurovic.

While Montenegro’s associate status should accelerate the process of EU integration, Djurovic declined to offer a deadline with respect to full membership, saying the process did not depend entirely on Montenegro’s efforts but on the EU and its readiness to accept new members.
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THE OPERATION IS BEING PERFORMED