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Montenegro welcomes EU’s Western Balkans growth plan: Advancing reforms and enhancing citizens lives

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The European Union’s (EU) plan for the Western Balkans will be an effective mechanism for initiating reforms and improving the quality of life for citizens, stated Minister of European Affairs Maida Gorčević.

During the ministerial meeting on the Growth Plan: Growth and Convergence for the Western Balkans held in Tirana, she emphasized that Montenegro highly appreciates the announced additional support through the new Growth Plan.

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“We believe that this will be an effective mechanism for initiating the necessary reforms to get our accession process back on track, and to show our citizens that, in addition to everyday political discussions, EU accession is actually the best way to improve the quality of life through intensive work and concrete, visible results,” said Gorčević.

As per the Ministry of European Affairs, Gorčević presented the reform measures, activities, indicators, and results planned by Montenegro through the draft Reform Agenda for the EU Instrument for Reform and Growth.

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She reminded that the government adopted the draft Reform Agenda in early December of the previous year, containing fundamental measures in four policy areas and 22 sub-areas with about 90 reform measures.

“During January of this year, we formulated more than 300 activities as necessary steps for implementing reform measures in the four priority policy areas: business environment and private sector development, digital and energy/green transition, human capital development, and the rule of law,” said Gorčević.

Explaining further, she stated that even before adopting the new ambitious plan, Montenegro proposed to EU partners that, due to the demanding, complex, and expensive set of reforms required within the EU accession process, increased EU support is necessary to support the Montenegrin economy and intensify economic growth.

Gorčević stated that there is an undeniable commitment to preparing the Reform Agenda and collaborating with the European Commission, which will be necessary for the implementation of the Growth Plan.

“In the case of Montenegro, the total amount of potential funds is 413 million EUR, distributed as follows: 137 million through EU grants and 275 million through favorable loans,” Gorčević announced.

MEPs stated that the meeting, held for the second time in Tirana, was an opportunity for ministers of European affairs from the Western Balkans to exchange views on the current status of state preparations for participation in the EU Growth Plan for the Western Balkans, as well as steps towards approaching the Union’s single market.

“Ministers discussed the current state of preparation of the Reform Agenda and analyzed the planned reform measures and how their implementation will contribute to achieving accelerated economic convergence for the region,” the statement said.

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