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Hungary Calls for Speedier EU Membership for Montenegro

By Tom Szigeti // 2017.12.20.

Speaking at a press conference in Podgorica, Hungarian Foreign Minster Péter Szijjártó called on the European Union to speed up accession talks with Montenegro. He added that Hungary would like the EU to open the three remaining chapters of accession talks and conclude them within four years.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó (right) shaking hands with Dusko Markovic, Prime Minister of Montenegro, December 19 (Photo: MTI/Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)

Reinforcing Hungary’s long-held stance, Szijjártó said that his country is a resolute and dedicated supporter of Montenegro’s EU integration. The right-wing politician also claimed that the security of the Western Balkans is a genuine European security interest, and that the fastest way to achieve this goal is EU integration. The minister’s comments also come on the heels of the bloc’s decision to take further steps on the accession of both Montenegro and Serbia earlier this month. 

Szijjártó argued that Montenegro has deservedly become a member of NATO, and it also deserves to become an EU member. The Foreign Minister added that

Podgorica is a pillar of stability in the Western Balkans, therefore the country’s EU integration would significantly contribute to the region’s stability, which has a significant influence on the security of the entire European continent.

Commenting on economic cooperation between Montenegro and Hungary, the minister claimed that Hungarian companies are in ongoing talks on investing in Montenegro’s banking, energy, and tourism sectors. He added that Hungary’s Eximbank and Montenegro’s development and investment fund have signed a framework agreement, which will enable the necessary funding for companies to develop trade links.

Szijjártó also noted an educational agreement which will enable thirty Montenegrin students to study in Hungary on state scholarships.

Szijjártó met Srdjan Darmanović, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as the country’s ministers of European Integration, Education, and Economy. The Hungarian politician also paid courtesy visits to President Filip Vujanović, Prime Minister Dusko Marković and House Speaker Ivan Brajović.

Szijjártó’s visit to Montenegro comes on the heels of his recent trip to Skopje, where he similarly called for integration of Macedonia into the European Union and NATO.

Via MTI and Hungary Matters

Images via MTI