Prime Minister of Montenegro

Speech made to the Assembly

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Dear Mr Chairman, Secretary General Jagland, President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, and members of the Parliamentary Assembly, it is my pleasure to have this opportunity to speak to you on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Montenegrin membership of the Council of Europe. In the past 10 years, Montenegro has worked hard to achieve its strategic priorities, of which I would like to give a brief reminiscence.

On 5 June 2017, Montenegro became a fully-fledged member of NATO. That came not only as a result of the committed work of the government I represent but was an achievement of all the governments that preceded this one that had our NATO membership on their agendas as a priority foreign policy goal. It is also the result of the efforts of the entire Montenegrin society. Our NATO membership is the legacy we are leaving to future generations that, for the first time in the history of Montenegro, have an opportunity to work in peace and stability on achieving the goal of having a better and higher-quality life.

As for the European integration agenda, Montenegro has opened 28 negotiation chapters and temporarily closed three. We are ready to open another three or four chapters by the end of year, and thus practically to finalise that part of the accession process. We expect that that will be followed by the extensive closing of the chapters. We therefore believe it is realistic to expect that, in the following four to five years, we will manage to do what it takes to prepare our country for European Union membership.

“We’ll continue to be a constructive partner, implementing Council of Europe recommendations on a national level.”

There is no doubt that we have achieved significant results in the last decade, but there is also no doubt that we face numerous challenges. That is reflected to a significant extent in the monitoring and post-monitoring reports adopted in the Council of Europe. To remind everyone, the Parliamentary Assembly’s monitoring of Montenegro was abandoned in January 2015. The challenges we have recognised are identical to the ones identified by the co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly in their post-monitoring visits. Dealing with those challenges will bring us a step closer to European Union membership. That is why we, as a candidate for membership, appreciate the communication between the Council of Europe and the European Union. We find that the strategic partnership based on the memorandum of understanding is particularly important and purposeful for our goals.

We have had significant results in respect of strategic judicial independence and efficiency, and in respect of the legislative and institutional set-up. We have achieved concrete results in combating corruption and organised crime. We are committed and consistent in implementing the recommendations of CPT, GRECO, ECRI and MONEYVAL, and the recommendations of the committees dedicated to the protection of minority nations and languages. We are improving our efforts to combat discrimination. We are developing our society to be an inclusive society with equal opportunities for all, including LGBT people, people with disabilities, displaced and internally displaced persons and all other vulnerable categories. In co-operation with the Venice Commission, we are developing and adapting the legal framework for that. However, I would like to use this opportunity to mention the challenges that my government remains focused on.

This year’s report by the Secretary General on the state of democracy, human rights and the rule of law recognises that all European societies face growing populism, which, I believe, reduces the room for genuine debate about the problems. It also generates polarisation through the promotion of the narrow interests of political agents, and that does not lead to progress but, rather, takes us back to the past, to the things we should long ago have learned to avoid. In that respect, it is with regret that I have to say that the full complement of our national delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly is not here. The representatives of the opposition have boycotted the Assembly and also the national Parliament of Montenegro. The October 2016 election results have been recognised by this Parliamentary Assembly, the OSCE, the ODIHR, the European Union and the entire international community. Only the Montenegrin opposition does not recognise them. In spite of numerous invitations, the opposition will not come to the national parliament and use it as the place for genuine political debate that it alone is. Such behaviour is irresponsible, and shows how the lessons from our past have not been learned.

At a decisive time for Europe, when it is faced with the challenges of populism, migration, terrorism, religious radicalisation and financial crisis, among many others, boycotting the national parliament and this Assembly deepens the crisis of parliamentarism. It endangers democracy, weakens the role of parliamentary diplomacy and erodes the values on which all our European societies are based. It seems that not all of us have learned that it is only through democratic elections that power can be taken, that one has to work hard to develop an international reputation and that to participate in dealing with European problems one has to be here in this Parliamentary Assembly – one has to participate actively in debates and dialogue.

The behaviour of our opposition leads to an additional polarisation of our society, including the polarisation and politicisation of the media. The process of increasing the awareness of decision makers about citizens’ right and need to know must go hand in hand with the professionalisation of the media scene and the development of pluralism in the sector. Montenegro recognised that mechanism in the early stages of its restored sovereignty. We took the first necessary step by decriminalising defamation. At that time I thought, and I still think, that the government should be proactive in that respect, regardless of the fact that we have yet to accomplish the professionalisation of the media. It is a process that takes time, and we have not yet completed it, even though we had very optimistic expectations at the beginning.

I also think that self-regulation of the media must become a reality in Montenegro. The Government of Montenegro supports the Council of Europe’s activities related to the promotion of the freedom of the media. We support a platform to promote the protection of journalism and the safety of journalists. Our position is that we will co-operate even in situations where we do not fully agree, because we are aware that we will be closer to meeting the needs of our citizens as the mechanisms of control get stronger.

Montenegro has ratified 84 Council of Europe conventions and has signed five more that are in the process of ratification at the national level. I know that this has been heard many times, but I reiterate that the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms has been, and will continue to be, a guide for us all. It should remain our starting point and our goal. The European Court of Human Rights is of the opinion that there are no systemic violations of human rights in Montenegro. Our constitutional complaint has been recognised as an effective legal remedy. We recognise that the Court is the basis of the system for the protection of human rights and we are therefore consistently implementing the recommendations of the key declarations on the Court’s reform. We also show a wholehearted willingness to accept and implement the principle of shared responsibility. We understand the process for the appointment of a new judge from Montenegro to the Court and are aware that by submitting a list of the best candidates from among those who apply we will influence the quality of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in the long run.

I would like to use this opportunity to express my support for the six-month Czech presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and my congratulations on its having selected the priorities so well, particularly in the fields of the rule of law, the protection of vulnerable categories and, the one I would like to say a few more words about, the strengthening of gender equality. In 2013, Montenegro ratified the Istanbul Convention, which tackles one of the country’s most sensitive issues. That ratification reinforces our national legislation and policies that have the aim of zero tolerance towards violence against women and domestic violence. An encouraging signal in this field came only a few days ago, when the European Union signed the Istanbul Convention in front of this room, confirming that there are still reasons to worry but that there is also a willingness to combat violence against women. Through our policies aimed at the economic empowerment of women, the promotion of women’s participation in political life and in managerial positions and the strengthening of awareness of gender equality at the local level, we are working to transform what is perceived as a traditional society into one of equal opportunities for all.

An equally sensitive topic for Montenegro is that of respect for the rights of LGBTI people. During the last decade, Montenegro worked in a committed manner to raise awareness about respect for the human rights of LGBTI people, not only through legislation but through special programmes of training in the implementation of the laws. In co-operation with the NGO sector, the government worked on strengthening the visibility of LGBTI people and also on providing support to victims of discrimination. Through such policies we achieved a lot, in practice, in a very short time. We have come a long way in the three years since Montenegro’s first gay pride in 2013, which was a serious challenge for public peace and order and caused protests, attacks and incidents. In 2016, gay pride took place without incident in a peaceful atmosphere.

Dear parliamentarians, allow me to draw your attention to some of the key challenges the Western Balkans region faces today. Since the restoration of our statehood, good neighbourly relations in the region have been a priority in our foreign policy. We want to be connected with our neighbours. We want to use to our benefit our common history, the fact that we understand each other when we speak in our own languages and have similar cultural matrices and almost identical behaviour patterns. That is the capital we have invested in joint co-operation projects in the field of international law, in our joint border crossings, in our joint diplomatic representations and particularly in our joint efforts in the energy and infrastructure field. We have started to implement our ambitious plan to develop the road infrastructure that our region lacks, and that is why we in the region need clear, continued support for our regional co-operation, which we expect to come from the European Union in the form of a stronger financial presence. It is also the most significant indication that the enlargement policy remains a priority of the European Union. In that respect, we look forward to the Western Balkans Summit, which will take place in Trieste on 12 July, within the Berlin process for the promotion of peace, stability and shared values.

We believe that the Council of Europe is the optimum framework for the protection and promotion of human rights, the rule of law and democracy. It is important that the Secretary General should analyse the state of democracy in our country annually and identify the challenges that we face. The strength of that mechanism lies not only in the identification of good and less good practices, but in the combination of expert observation and constructive political pressures. Montenegro fully supports this approach to drafting the report, and we consider it one of the important European control mechanisms. We will continue to be a constructive partner, implementing Council of Europe recommendations at a national level and complying with the commitments that we made when we signed the Council of Europe conventions.

I emphasise the importance of the fact that the Riga protocol will soon come into effect. We have already introduced some amendments to our criminal code to make travelling abroad to fight on foreign battlefields a criminal offence. Allow me to assure you that we follow and implement with due care your recommendations – not only those that relate directly to Montenegro, but those that relate to the wider region.

We are aware that the challenge that you are facing has repercussions for our society, and for our joint institutions and organisations. I firmly believe that if it is resolved efficiently, it will strengthen us all and encourage us in our efforts to preserve democracy not only as our heritage – that goes without saying – but as an ideal that we have to defend and advocate every day. Thank you for your attention and for the constructive dialogue that I expect to follow.


Thank you very much, Prime Minister, for your most interesting address. Members of the Assembly have questions to put to you.

I remind members that questions must be limited to 30 seconds. Colleagues should ask questions and not make speeches.

Mr SCHENNACH (Austria), Spokesperson for the Socialist Group (interpretation)

Prime Minister, we are very concerned about the new Balkan virus of boycott, and perhaps we can find solutions to it. It is good to hear that you are strengthening relations with the former Yugoslavian area. After the events of last year, and given your current membership of NATO, how will you shape your future relations with the Russian Federation?

Mr Marković, Prime Minister of Montenegro (interpretation)

We have had some problems with the translation and I could not hear the whole question, but I understood the essence of it. It referred to our new position as a NATO member and our relations with Russia. This is not a dilemma for Montenegro. When we chose to join NATO, we did not have a hidden agenda that Russia did not know about. The Russians have traditionally and historically been our friends, and they knew what our agenda was.

When we restored our independence in 2006, we adopted a declaration of independence in the Montenegrin Parliament and we defined our two key foreign policy priorities: European integration and integration into NATO. In partnership with NATO, we established a programme of accession – a membership action plan – of five cycles over five years. That was a public process, which was transparent to those both within and outside the country. During that period, Russia made no serious remarks about our process of integration into NATO. Even if Russia had made remarks, they would not have changed our decision.

We see our integration into NATO not as a threat to our partners and friends, but as a way of helping us to strengthen our values, improve our society and give our citizens a better quality of life. Quality of life is at a low level in Montenegro and the western Balkans. We lag behind developed Europe, not because we are not competent or we have no vision, but because we had the misfortune to have to deal with our differences through wars. We then had to go through the reconciliation process after those wars, counting the people who were lost and the resources that were destroyed. Just when we thought that everything was fine, we had to deal with new conflicts.

Montenegro has said no to the continuation of such conflicts in the western Balkans. We want to cherish the values of Europe and the world, and we have chosen to do so by becoming a member of the European Union and NATO. Unfortunately, when we were about to finalise the latter process, Russia decided that it could not accept it and started to obstruct the process in the least democratic way possible. That posed a threat to our constitutional system, our security and our democracy. Russia made public and financial threats, and used political and intelligence pressure, but Montenegro resisted that pressure and is now a member of NATO. The political elite and our citizens proved their dedication and commitment to that decision. That is why we are here today, and that is why we were in Washington on 5 June. Today, we celebrate the results of our 10 years of co-operation with the Council of Europe.

That is also why we opened 28 chapters in the negotiations with the European Union. We believe that Russia will understand what is going on in the Balkans and the priorities and wishes of the Balkan nations, and that they will understand that nobody can dispute that this is our sovereign right. We will use our NATO membership to ensure peace, prosperity and stability in Europe and the world.

Earl of DUNDEE (United Kingdom), Spokesperson for the European Conservatives Group

While recognising the good progress that, as a European Union candidate, Montenegro is already making to meet the necessary requirements, what further steps will be taken to reform public administration, fight organised crime and corruption, and promote freedom of expression and human rights standards?

Mr Marković, Prime Minister of Montenegro (interpretation)

Yesterday, in our collegiate body meeting that I chaired, we concluded that Montenegro should enter a new stage of negotiations with the European Union. In the last five years, we have made significant progress. For a small administration of modest capacities, it is extremely difficult to lead in parallel two processes of negotiations. It was a serious challenge, but we are very proud of the result that we have achieved. We opened 28 chapters and closed three, and intend to open all the other chapters by the end of the year. But that is not our final goal.

Our goal is to work in a more dedicated way on closing the chapters. We must try to close all the chapters that we have opened in the next five years, so that we can start the process of formalising our membership of the European Union. We must do that to improve our society, strengthen our institutions and make them sustainable, and create new opportunities for the development of our economy. Integration is needed, but we must also strengthen our economy, raising the level of development, increasing employment and creating better opportunities for the young.

It is not in our interests for politicians to be happy with the integration process and praise the number of chapters. What is important is to make changes in the real world and help the citizens of Montenegro feel they have a better quality of life. We know they will not feel that immediately or even over a five-year period, but we must put the process into their hands in the following five years.

We must therefore do everything possible to improve the functioning of the rule of law and make our judiciary more efficient. We must reduce corruption to the lowest possible level, too; we do not have the ambition to eliminate it from our system as that is impossible, of course. We are realistic about that, but we do want to reduce it to a level where it will not detract from the functioning of the institutions.

We must also improve human rights; we must ensure higher quality protection of human rights. We want to create a society of equal opportunities for all. That requires us to stabilise our economy, make our public finances more sustainable and improve our business environment, giving more opportunities to the domestic business world and to foreign investors, which we need; we need foreign investment in tourism, the energy sector, agriculture and infrastructure. These are our goals.

We want the rest of the process of integration to offer real opportunities to our young people in particular. We do not want them to leave Montenegro. That is our key interest and our key goal.

Ms PALLARÉS (Andorra), Spokesperson for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe

You explained well the big challenges currently facing your country. Addressing them is not going to be easy with a divided parliament, so, on the boycott of the Montenegro Parliament, what steps are you taking to open dialogue with opposition parties to construct stability in your country?

Mr Marković, Prime Minister of Montenegro (interpretation)

We tried to establish that dialogue immediately after the election results were proclaimed, and immediately after the opposition said it would boycott the parliament and not recognise the election results.

I remind you that we started the elections through a specific, unique model. In order to ensure the adequate implementation of the new election registration, with electronic identification of the voters and the meeting of other requirements so that the citizens can trust the election process, we invited the opposition to become part of the government before the elections were organised. We established the government of electoral trust. We did not need to do so, because we had a majority, but we still gave the opposition the positions of ministers of finance, agriculture, labour and social welfare and of deputy prime minister and minister of the interior. We gave them all the key ministries they claim can be used for political purposes and achieving advantage in elections. That is the atmosphere in which our election took place.

The turnout was huge. More than 2 000 observers were present, and all the reports, including that of the Council of Europe, say these were the best organised elections. The 73% turnout showed that citizens trust the election process, and the vote showed that the ruling parties won and that the opposition had an excellent result. We invited them to come to the parliament, because they belong there. As prime minister to be, and as the prime minister later, I invited them to take part in the government, although they did not have any right to take positions in the government on the basis of the election result. But I knew at that time, as I know today, that there is no democracy or progress in society if there is no cohesion in society. So the door to the government is open to them, but we cannot talk about repeating the elections so that they can take the positions in the institutions. We cannot do this outside of the institutions, as that is where the dialogue about all outstanding issues must take place.

I offer this invitation to the opposition even today. We need a dialogue; that is in the interests of our state and our citizens. The language of blackmailing and not recognising the election results is something we will not accept. That is not democratic; it endangers our stability, our political system and our sovereignty. This government cannot risk that.

Mr HANŽEK (Slovenia), Spokesperson of the Group of the Unified European Left

Throughout history, the Montenegrin people have defended their independence from various enemies. This is confirmed by the magnificent poem “Gorski Vijenac” by Vladika Petar Petrovic Njegoš. Montenegro will allocate €110 million for armaments due to its NATO accession. How do you assess that the citizens of Montenegro will accept this, taking into consideration that the government has not given them the chance to decide through a referendum?

Mr Marković, Prime Minister of Montenegro

Let me say first that we have the expenses for the army, even without NATO; we have costs for maintenance and equipment. We allocate 1.6% of our GDP to the army. The agreed rate of financing by 2024 is 2% in NATO, so there is nothing dramatic about financing Montenegro’s army as a member of NATO. Our annual contribution will be only €400 000. That is not a burden for Montenegro; we see it as an investment in the future, in stability and peace. Without stability and peace, there is no progress, no security for the individual, the family or the State. Without security, we cannot progress, and we are fully aware of what we want to achieve in the future.

As for the referendum, we have had a dialogue about NATO membership for five years. It is not only about meeting the requirements – political, defence, intelligence or any other criteria. There have been five years of discussion in Montenegro about whether NATO membership is in our interests, giving everyone an opportunity to say whether they are for or against NATO, and why. For five years, we had a public, open debate about NATO membership.

A referendum has a consultative character; it is not binding, and we would have spent money and political resources discussing the same issue that we have been discussing for five years. Parliament has the right to decide on this question, and there is a required majority for NATO membership. Parliament is the reflection of the will of the citizens of Montenegro, so we did not violate any rule of democracy or any democratic procedure. Our decision is based on the constitution and democratic standards.


We will now take questions in groups of three. The first question is from Mr Ariev from Ukraine, but he is not here, so the next question is from Mr Corlatean of Romania.

Mr CORLATEAN (Romania)

Prime Minister, a number of years ago I was extremely privileged to work on behalf of Romania with the Montenegrin authorities on the different strategic projects in Montenegro, first with the Foreign Minister, Igor Lukšic. I congratulate you sincerely on your accession to NATO and on the important democratic reforms you have promoted, including in the intelligence domain, and on defeating the hybrid war on the Montenegro State coming from Russia. Can you identify one or two domains for European Union accession? They are much more complex and you might feel the need of friendly assistance and support from some other member State.


The next question is from Mr Özcenk, Representative of the Turkish Cypriot Community. He is not here, so I call Ms Bilgehan.

Ms BILGEHAN (Turkey) (interpretation)

At the last election, I went your beautiful country as an observer. You had a quota for female candidates, but generally they were at the bottom of the list. Nevertheless, I hope many of them were elected. As you said, Montenegro has ratified the Istanbul Convention on violence against women and was indeed the first country to do so. Have you carried out any reforms in education on violence against women?

Mr GHILETCHI (Republic of Moldova)

Prime Minister, I am very glad that you are here today and that relations between the Republic of Moldova and Montenegro are going well. The Foreign Minister’s recent visit to Moldova proved very good. You mentioned several challenges; there are many similarities between the Republic of Moldova and Montenegro. How do you face those geopolitical challenges? We are faced with them almost every day, so it would be good to hear you share your experience with us.

Mr Marković, Prime Minister of Montenegro

Allow me to express my gratitude to the MP from Turkey. I agree that the friendship between our two countries is very strong and is developing on several different fronts. We have excellent relations at the highest political level but we also have strong economic co-operation. I want to focus particularly on the rights of women. I said earlier that Montenegrin society is very traditional, just like other countries in the western Balkans. For a long time, our attitude was that women should stay at home. Of course, everything has changed in that respect, and we want to turn those traditional relations into something else. We want to use the power of women to develop our society and economy, and all our policies aim to do so. We have an increasing number of women in very important managerial positions, not only in protocol but in decision-making positions. I am very happy with that, as I have shown by example. When I was Minister of Justice, all heads of departments were women – that is why I can say that I was a very successful Minister of Justice. We have mechanisms to ensure that this policy is sustainable and that it contributes to the development of our society.

I thank my dear colleague from Moldova for his question. I agree about our relations. I have mentioned how strange the Balkans are. We live next to each other but not together; most frequently we talk about our differences, not the things we have in common. How is it possible that Montenegro, with its small population, could find the model to be a friend to everyone in the region and to develop a good partnership with the European Union, the United States and China? There is the ability to recognise the interests of the individuals and to meet their needs. We are there not to generate problems but to solve them, to ensure that dialogue is the key element of searching for solutions when we come across challenging, difficult and demanding questions.

Montenegro is increasingly taking initiatives. We offer good proposals to improve the situation in our country, the region and beyond; we do not bring problems to the table. We have always been able to take responsibility for tough decisions. I will give one example from my region. You remember when Kosovo proclaimed independence; it was a traumatic question in the region, particularly for Serbia, our neighbour and friend. We have excellent relations with that country – we are more like family than friends – and have had for centuries, but Montenegro was the first in the region to recognise Kosovo, and it almost ruptured our diplomatic relations with Serbia. Our ambassador in Serbia was almost declared persona non grata.

We did not make that decision because we wanted to inflict damage on Serbia; we did it because we knew it was an important decision for the region. Some 80% of our citizens were against it at the time, but we thought that it was good for the region. If we had accepted the atmosphere at that time, we would not have the good relations with Kosovo that we now have, or such excellent relations with Serbia – they are the best they have been for 30 years. Today, as you can see, Serbia and Kosovo can discuss their issues. Small Montenegro had leaders who could see beyond its borders and think outside the box. That is how we look at circumstances in the region and the world, and that is how we act. As you can see, it brings benefits for us.

I thank our colleague Mr Corlatean, the former minister from Romania, and his country for their support of Montenegro during NATO and European Union accession. I went to Romania as minister of justice to learn about its experience during the European Union accession process, and I found it very helpful. Thank you for everything.

Ms FINCKH-KRÄMER (Germany) (interpretation)

My question concerns relations with Kosovo. There is a section of the border whose status remains unclarified and emotionally charged. What chances do you see of reaching some agreement with Kosovo on a clear and mutually acceptable border?

Ms HOFFMANN (Hungary) (interpretation)

Prime Minister, I congratulate you and your whole nation on your accession to NATO just a few weeks ago. Hungary has always supported your aspiration to join NATO, and we believe that Montenegro will now play an important role in stabilising the Balkan region. What form do you think your co-operation will take with NATO operations already under way?

Mr KROSS (Estonia)

Prime Minister, last year an assassination attempt was made against your predecessor, Milo Ðukanovic. We understand that it was most probably orchestrated by the Russian military intelligence service. Can you update us on the investigation into this incident? Have you had any co-operation at all from the Russian side, and what will be the outcome of the investigation? Also, what is your general assessment of the current threat from the Russians towards democracy and constitutional order?

Mr Marković, Prime Minister of Montenegro

The question of the demarcation of the border with Montenegro is finished. We did this with a joint commission between Kosovo and Montenegro. The demarcation of borders was based on realistic documents and facts. All the members of both sides of the commission signed the document, and it was not disputed. The Montenegrin Parliament ratified the agreement. The Kosovan Parliament has not yet ratified it, but we think that that is due to internal disagreements unrelated to its attitude towards Montenegro. That is why Montenegro did not send any message that would have made the situation in Kosovo more difficult.

I have spoken with European officials in Brussels, asking them not to make demarcation of borders a condition for visa liberalisation for citizens of Kosovo. That was our proposal. Maybe it was not logical, but we asked them not to make that a condition. However, it is for the European Union to decide its own policy. We believe that constituting the Kosovo Government will solve the problem in one way or another. We are not anxious about it; we are very patient. We want to help our neighbours to resolve the situation, not to make it more difficult for them.

On the second question, from Ms Hoffmann from Hungary, we have had several operational programmes on various levels with NATO. Our co-operation is very good. Our army has a number of programmes that it implements with NATO. Before we were a member, we participated for several years in NATO ISAF missions, and now we financially support the strengthening of the national forces for defending Afghanistan and combating terrorism there. Our programmes with NATO go as planned, and we prove to be a credible partner, able to respond to the challenges.

On the attempted coup, the special prosecution service has brought an indictment that the court has confirmed, and the first hearing is scheduled for 19 July this year. The indictment has been brought against the leaders of the Democratic Front, as their political organisation was instrumental in causing the terrorist actions in Montenegro aimed at assassinating our former Prime Minister, destroying legitimately elected powers and stopping our membership of NATO. Those threats have not stopped, and we are concerned about them. We do not understand why they exist, or why Russia has such an attitude towards Montenegro. Russia says that the reason is that we introduced sanctions on Russian citizens, but we just joined the European Union in imposing sanctions on Russia for the annexation of Crimea.

A couple of days ago, we closed negotiations on chapter 30 of the acquis communautaire, which means that we have to align our foreign policy with European Union policy. Russia treats only Montenegro in that way; that is not how it treats other countries that introduced sanctions against it. We are determined to preserve Montenegro’s right to decide its own future independently.


We must now conclude the questions to Mr Markovic. Prime Minister, thank you very much for your address, for sharing your views and for the answers you gave to questions. You highlighted the important progress that Montenegro has made as a member State of the Council of Europe and on the path of Euro-Atlantic integration. It was important to hear your views about the political situation and the challenge you face. It is important to maintain constructive dialogue between the majority and the opposition, both inside parliament and outside. I wish you, your government and the people of Montenegro every success. Congratulations once again on the 10th anniversary of membership of the Council of Europe. Thank you very much.

Mr DIVINA (Italy)

Mr President, I would like to ask my question …


I have already said that we have finished. The Secretariat will explain the process to you.