Even though the negotiation process might seem endless, I don’t think that the EU’s commitment to the enlargement process, promised back in the 2003 Thessaloniki Summit, is just a dead letter. Montenegro got the official candidate country status in 2008. In normal circumstances, the decision on its accession should be made between 2025-29. In my opinion, it would be catastrophic to halt the whole process now when Montenegro has achieved so much, an expert for the integration of post-communist countries to NATO, Bruce Jackson, told in an interview with Pobjeda daily.
The more you are closer to the EU, the larger number of the U.S. investors will come to Montenegro – emphasized Mr Jackson. He also explained that Montenegro needs to work hard on reforms and that NATO membership can never ever replace the EU membership.
“It’s completely wrong to believe that NATO can replace the EU, or that the U.S. and NATO can put pressure on the EU to accelerate deadlines or reduce the number of requirements. That would be impossible. Despite lost time on the Macedonian issue, the Western Balkans is generally doing a good job with Brussels,” noted Mr Jackson.
He reiterated that of all countries that joined NATO and EU after the end of the Cold War, none has moved so fast towards the West as Montenegro has.