- Published on Wednesday, 27 June 2012 17:28
- Written by BC & Agencies
EU foreign ministers agreed today that Montenegro can start EU accession negotiations on June 29, it was said at the ministerial meeting held in Luxembourg.
The Council adopted the assessment of the European Commission that Montenegro has reached the necessary degree of compliance with the criteria for EU membership, says the Council's conclusions, in which Montenegro is urged to intensify its efforts in fighting organized crime and corruption.
Montenegro will officially start EU membership negotiations on June 29, by opening a chapter related to the rule of law and basic human rights.
EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele welcomed the decision with a message on his Twitter account.
According to reports, Germany and Belgium were among those who were in favor of giving Montenegro a date for the talks, while Sweden was of the opinion that it must be additionally determined whether strong guarantees were in place that the authorities in the Balkan country were implementing, and would fulfill the conditions related to the rule of law.
Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt clarified after the meeting today that Brussels will start membership talks with Montenegro "only after in-depth screening".
He was further quoted as saying that the EU would carefully monitor the country's reforms concerning the rule of law, and will then based on this - and reports of the European Union law enforcement agency Europol - decide on whether to commence the negotiations