Municipalities play a very important role in the adoption and application of European standards and values and that’s why they should continue implementing projects which bring benefits to the local communities and their residents, it was said during a round-table discussion “Local self governments in the negotiation process – successes and challenges on the way towards the EU”.
General Secretariat of the Government and Community of the municipalities of Montenegro organized a round table, considering the role of local self-governments in the EU accession, as well as the need for increasing cooperation between state and local authorities.
Chief negotiator, Mr Aleksandar Drljević, said that EU accession, as one of the key foreign policy priorities of the Government, was not achievable without active participation and considerable contribution of local self-governments.
“Reforms being implemented at the local level are an important prerequisite for the implementation of regulations that we tend to harmonize with the acquis communautaire, adoption and application of European standards in different areas and for the efficient use of available EU funds”, said Mr Drljević.
Mr Drljević called on the representatives of local self-governments to keep enhancing their capacities and prepare for the EU membership. He said that programs of regional and territorial cooperation represented special opportunity for local self-governments and their development.
Secretary General of the Community of Municipalities, Mr Refik Bojadžić, thinks that including representatives of local self-governments into the negotiation structure is of paramount importance for the credibility of the process.
“Municipalities have a great insight into the current state of affairs and the level of readiness of local self-governments for the implementation of EU standards in all areas. They are responsible for the application of EU regulations and standards and they provide visibility of the benefits accrued from the European integration through concrete projects and the results of the EU support”, said Mr Bojadžić.
Mr Aivo Orav, Head of the EU delegation to Montenegro, also pointed out the importance of local self-governments to the overall progress.
“The Government assumes ultimate responsibility for the preparation of development strategy, whereas local self-governments are responsible for the implementation of concrete activities”, said Mr Orav.