PODGORICA, 9 May 2017 – The Delegation of the European Union in Montenegro marked Europe Day at a central celebration in the EU Info Centre. In his opening speech, the European Union’s Ambassador to Montenegro, Aivo Orav, restated the benefits that Montenegro receives not only from integration into the EU, but also from the accession process.

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“EU integration is not something that is only talked about by politicians and bureaucrats – this is something that the citizens of Montenegro can already feel and see. You have our support to continue on the path towards full membership. Montenegro belongs to the European Union and the European Union belongs to Montenegro,” said Orav.

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Speaking about the results of the negotiation process, Miodrag Radovic, the Secretary of the Ministry of European Affairs, said that Montenegro has a right to celebrate Europe Day.

“Today, Montenegro is a leader in the region in the accession process and is pleased to welcome the integration of its neighbours. The successes achieved in the previous period clearly show that our country is on the right path, the path of democratic reforms, economic stability and a European future,” said Radovic.

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The Mayor of Podgorica, Slavoljub Stijepovic, said that Podgorica is fostering peace and stability.

“Podgorica is an example of a European city which represents European values, multi-nationality and multi-ethnicity. It is up to us to realise this idea of our ancestors, and convey it to our descendants. Fate has given us a springboard for these most important events. We are creating, advancing and adopting European standards. There is no segment of the city administration, which is not deeply committed to this goal,” added Stijepovic.

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Within the rich programme, young pupils from 10 primary schools in Podgorica played with each other in “Games Without Borders”. Almost 200 children of all ages, together with their parents and teachers, had the chance at a fair of the embassies of EU member states (Sweden, Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece and Bulgaria) to taste traditional dishes prepared by representatives of the embassies of these EU countries.

Attendees were given all the information they asked for on Montenegro’s path toward European Union by representatives of the Ministry of European Affairs, and visitors were able to learn about Montenegrin tourism at the stand of the National Tourist Organisation.

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The Symphony Orchestra of the Vasa Pavic Arts School for Music and Ballet, in addition to the national anthems of Montenegro and the European Union, performed Mozart’s “Eine kleine Nachtmusik”.

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This year, Europe Day was marked, in accordance with tradition, by musical concerts and a series of activities carried out in cooperation with the embassies of EU member states, the EU Info Centre and local partners. The central celebration was preceded by two concerts: on 5 May in Niksic, in cooperation with Bedem Fest, a party with live DJs was organised to mark 30 years of the existence of the EU’s Erasmus programme, and a day later, on 6 May, Europe Day was celebrated in Podgorica with a concert featuring the Viva Vox choir.