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Montenegro Has Problems With 'Open Balkan' Initiative

December 3, 2022
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Montenegrin Minister of European Affairs Jovana Marovic (L) at the Government session in Podgorica. Photo: Government of Montenegro

The Montenegro European Affairs Ministry has openly criticized the 'Open Balkan' initiative being pushed by Establishment powers on nations in the region.

“The project doesn’t have a road map, strategy, institutional framework, nor an agreement establishing it which guarantees an equal relationship and position of the countries participating in it… It rests on the relations of charismatic leaders and the procedure between high-level summits is not sufficiently transparent,” the analysis said.

At a summit in 2019, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, North Macedonia’s then-PM Zoran Zaev and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic committed themselves to working together on the initiative. They also invited other Balkan countries to join, but Montenegro, Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina have not done so, reported Balkan Insight.

Bosnia and Montenegro have both said they see no particular benefits from it, as easing travel and trade are already covered by the wider CEFTA trade agreement between countries in South-East Europe, while Kosovo’s leader, Albin Kurti, has said that he would prefer an improved version of the CEFTA agreement.

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