The interview with Milo Đukanović conducted by dr Dušanu Janjiću for the Journal Southeastern Europe

2018-03-20T12:31:22+00:00 09. 07. 2007.|News|

THE PLACE AND ROLE OF MONTENEGRO IN DEMOCRATIZATION AND STRENGTHENING COOPERATION IN THE WESTERN BALKANS

The interview with Milo Djukanovic, the most prominent leaders in Montenegro, the “father” of the renewal of Montenegrin statehood, former president of government, former president of the Republic of Montenegro, current president of Democratic Party of Socialists, and certainly one of the leading political figures of the modern Balkans, was conducted by Dr. Dusan Janjic, Coordinator of the Forum for Ethnic Relations in Belgrade, Serbia.

 

Dr Dušan Janjić: Can you please provide us with the summary of the most prominent political and social actors who helped bring about the renewal of Montenegro’s independent statehood?

 

Milo Đukanović:  The crisis of state policy in Montenegro in 1997 was decisive turning point in our history and was later crowned by the renewal of Montenegro’s independence. I would like to remind you that the independence movement legitimized in the 1990s within the political program of the Liberal Alliance of Montenegro, which polled between 12- 13 % during elections in that decade. However, in 1997, during a period of significant political crisis in Montenegro, the political scene was changed by a regrouping of political forces and state policy was clearly geared towards becoming autonomous in relation to the policy implemented on the state union level. Although it was not defined from the beginning as an idea for the renewal of independence, this idea was a clear imperative for an equal position within the state-union, expressed through the request for autonomy in defining and exercising Montenegrin interests within the state union’s institutions. At that time, the government of Montenegro and the president of the Republic, and afte my victory in the presidential elections, became the pillars of policy aimed at renewal of Montenegrin state independence. Thus, support of this idea from the institutions added a new quality to the economic, political and overall emancipation of Montenegro. This strengthened the independence project and caused a rapid mobilization of political structures and citizens for its implementation. In fact, since then, the political movement for the renewal of independence maintained a dynamic growth.  In the 1990s, the founders of the idea for independence, led by the Liberal Alliance of Montenegro, became impatient and unsatisfied with the pace of its implementation as managed by the Montenegrin state leadership. They criticized us and were becoming suspicious, claiming that the goal could, and must be, achieved quicker. They even warned us that slowing down the process could put Montenegro in a desperate position due to possible outcomes on the European political scene. They estimated that these outcomes could close the door on the establishment of new independent states in Europe, and especially in the Western Balkans. However, I think that clever and patient management, along with carefully planned dynamics in the last ten years, were the reasons for successful verification of independence at the referendum on 21 May, 2006. One of the most decisive moments in this process was the signing of the Agreement on Principles of Relations between Serbia and Montenegro within the State Union between Belgrade and Podgorica, with the active participation of the EU and representative Javier Solana. It was a necessary middle step between the non-functional federation of the FRY and the independences of Montenegro and Serbia. The implementation of this agreement was viewed by many people in Serbia and members of the opposition in Montenegro as being well-timed for suppressing independence and as an opportunity for preserving the state union, which had even changed its name to Serbia and Montenegro. Even then, I believed that this agreement was important only as an instrument for providing the needed time for preparation of the public in Montenegro and Serbia for the new political reality: the existence of two independent states and subsequent cooperation between them. It turned out that proper management of the independence project under the specific circumstances that existed in Montenegro, Serbia and the region, as well as efficient time management led all advocates of independence to this desired outcome. Therefore, the result and quality of the process for renewal of Montenegrin statehood was assessed positively and viewed with respect by Europe and the entire democratic world.

 

The means and model that we applied to get positive referendum results has the same value as the outcome of the referendum. There was no room for skepticism regarding the ability of Montenegrin society to peacefully go through the referendum. At the same time, this process strengthened hope among people in Europe who believed that democracy in the Western Balkans was developing, and showed that this region was able to apply the highest democratic standards in the most complex processes, including the resulting referendum on the state status. It can be concluded from this that when it comes to the main political actors and progenitors of independence at the beginning of the last decade of the twentieth century, at the forefront were certainly the Liberal Alliance and the Social Democratic Party. As of 1997, the independence idea turned into a strong movement surrounded by a sense of victory inspired by the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), as a dominant political party in Montenegro.

 

Dr Dušan Janjić: Many politicians in Europe, including Javier Solana, were in favor of maintaining the state union of Serbia and Montenegro and turning it into a “functional federation”. The most frequently used arguments were the economic capacity of Montenegro to be a sustainable state and the fear of possible conflicts as a result. To what extent were these realistic and were they partially a result of the need for EU politicians to somehow compensate for political inefficiency in communication with Belgrade?

 

Milo Đukanović : At that time I assumed, and now I am convinced, that any doubts about the economic sustainability of Montenegro expressed by some representatives of the international community were aimed at discouraging us from independence, and were not  a result of grounded judgment about Montenegro being an unsustainable economic system. Although there were those who did not have any doubts about the economic sustainability of Montenegro, the most important creators of European policy were decisive and consistent in their efforts to discourage Montenegro from independence. In my opinion such an approach was influenced by several factors: First, the tragic “Balkan experience” that came with the dissolution of the former SFRY caused grounded doubts in Europe about the sustainability of Balkan states and their ability to solve important political issues, such as that of state status, in a democratic way while at the same time preserving security and political stability. The second factor has to do with the relations with Serbia. Brussels’ policy towards Serbia contained an obvious feeling of conscious guilt caused by the tragic context in which the international community, provoked by Milosevic’s actions, decided to bomb a country in the heart of Europe at the end of the 20th century. Although forced by Milosevic’s policy, I view this act by the international community as a serious defeat and recognition of weakness.

Another characteristic of European policy towards Serbia was a prejudged solution to the status of Kosovo. These were the reasons for the definition of some kind of strategy according to which the democratic stability in Serbia should not be provoked by raising issues that might be interpreted by its public as another defeat. It was assessed that the independence of Montenegro could be interpreted that way. Europe knew that strong hegemonic structures in Serbia viewed Montenegro as their own property. The third reason for discouraging the independence idea was fear that approval of this idea could be misinterpreted by the domestic public in some European states and might inspire disintegration. These were the circumstances that influenced some of the most important creators of European policy to be very persistent in opposing the independence of Montenegro. In this context, they made public statements about the economic non-sustainability of Montenegro and the possibility of ending up in war in the case of a unilateral referendum. The strength of the efforts put forth to discourage Montenegro from independence can be viewed in some details of the unsuccessful attempts to harmonize the economic systems of Montenegro and Serbia. At that time, economic experts in Europe proposed to their colleagues in Montenegro that the replacement of the Euro with the Dinar would be beneficial. Faced with persistent and aggressive efforts to frustrate the independence process, we remained committed to endure. Our commitment was not based on a romantic wish, but on a realistic belief that we need independence to be able to manage our European and Euro-Atlantic future in a responsible way. In this process, in addition to commitment, we expressed another feature of Montenegrin policy – we approached our goal without rashness and major confrontations. We were aware of being actors in a fight of David and Goliath. Hence, we did all we could to preserve the opportunity for making our idea reality, and at the same time not to aggravate relations with those who were important to us in the future steps of implementation of our strategic goals on the way towards European and Euro-Atlantic integrations.

 

Dr Dušan Janjić : There is no doubt that Montenegro today represents a “successful example” of nation-state building. It is cited as a “good example” of negotiations, in which Slovak diplomat Miroslav Lajcak palyed an important part. Yet, the role of governmental and political opposition was crucial. How do you view the role of the opposition during the most crucial phases of the process?

 

Milo Đukanović : Political opposition developed alongside the process and reached full maturity after the referendum. I refer to the opposition reflected by the SNP. After signing the Belgrade Agreement and the initial phase of negotiations on the referendum, an intention of all parties was to obstruct the process by using the authority of Serbia and the international community, primarily the EU. Their expectation was that Mr. Vojislav Kostunica, former president of the FRY and current prime-minister of the Republic of Serbia, who was their “point of correspondence” in Belgrade, would support the idea of preventing the referendum. They were persistently trying to create an impression among key representatives of the international community that it would not be possible to hold the referendum in a peaceful and democratic way. The goal behind these attempts was to prevent its being held or at least managing to postpone it by claiming that a fragile Balkan stability should not be provoked. On the other hand, we had a very strong foundation in the constitutional state union acts and we consistently demonstrated the necessary flexibility by accepting solutions that were less favorable for us. We did it purposefully in order to avoid obstructions and create conditions for a constructive process that would make the referendum epilogue acceptable to a majority of the political public in Montenegro. In time, the opposition that at first oriented itself toward obstruction to the referendum split. I particularly refer to the fact that the SNP supported the creation of a friendly environment for holding the referendum. The truth is that they did it fearing that the threshold of 55 percent was an insurmountable obstacle for us, while we were convinced that it would be passed. This is how the critical mass of political support to the referendum process and propositions were created, leading us to the result that was finally recognized by all. This showed the necessary political responsibility of key opposition players, resulting in the preservation of political stability in Montenegro and an atmosphere conducive to holding parliamentary elections and continuing the democratic development of Montenegro without significant tensions.

 

Dr Dušan Janjić: What in your opinion are the main trends that will mark the political scene in Montenegro? How will your political party, the DPS, reform in the future? How will the relations between DPS and SNP, once a single political party, develop? How do you view the emergence of the Serb List on the political scene of Montenegro?

Milo Đukanović : Regrouping on the political scene of Montenegro is a necessity and in some way this process has already started. The definition of the state status closed one issue that had occupied the full attention of the Montenegrin democratic public. Now, we have created a stable political environment for the next four-year period. This enables focus on the implementation of a European and Euro-Atlantic agenda.

This will definitely be the most important topic of political dialogue on the  Montenegrin political scene in the coming period. It implies economic development and quality of living standard of citizens. I estimate that this issue will be the focus of attention for parliamentary parties and the overall public in Montenegro. Although SNP was the biggest opponent to my policy and government, I wish it had better understood the process from the very beginning, since it was a political party with substance. SNP missed the opportunity to abandon the infertile idea of preserving a non-functional state union and lost the initial opportunity to become opposed to a government that is forced to implement deep and politically unpopular reforms with social implications that could not be avoided in any society in transition. SNP failed to understand political reality and did not have the political capacity to turn from a way that was undoubtedly wrong, although it had clear signals of this after signing the Agreement on Principles of Relations between Serbia and Montenegro within the State Union and especially after the first couple of years of its implementation, when it became clear that the state union was not functional, as was confirmed by the European Commission as well.

The reform government did not have any other alternative but to decisively implement reforms. At the same time, it was an ideal opportunity for opposition parties to criticize such a government. SNP did not use this opportunity. Once the most important opposition party, it became the biggest looser on the Montenegrin political scene as many of its members turned towards radical political parties structures, like the Serb List. The emergence of the Serb List in some ways meant a revitalization and beautifying of the same political entity that existed in the political life of Montenegro in 1990s. At the same time, it was SRS that was well represented in the Montenegrin parliament. This can be interpreted as a restoration of the right wing on the Montenegrin political scene. However, in the future, the same as in the 1990s and now, this idea will not get serious support. Substantial redesigning of the Montenegrin political scene will take place with a clear definition of opposition parties using social and demagogic rhetoric to oppose the necessary reform policy of the ruling coalition. The government will continue to implement reform policy that will bring us closer to our strategic goals.

 

Dr Dušan Janjić: It is obvious that during the constitutional debates the Serb List will insist on a concept according to which the Serbs are constitutive nation. Do you think that this concept brings ethnic divisions in the Montenegrin society? What are the consequences of accepting or rejecting this concept?

 

Milo Đukanović : I view this idea as retrograde. It is not possible to talk about Serbs as a constitutive nation without mentioning others who are an integral part of the multiethnic and multicultural Montenegrin scene and who are also authentic on the Montenegrin social scene. The retrograde feature is reflected in the following fact: instead of advocating the continuation of the development of a civil concept that proved its viability in the difficult years of the former Yugoslavia, the Serb List proposes a federation of national communities. This idea showed serious weaknesses in the last decade of the 20th century and led to tragic crisis on the territory of the countries of former Yugoslavia, with the exception of Montenegro. I also believe that the Montenegrin democratic public will show maturity and assume an adequate position towards those retrograde ideas in the final stage of enactment of our supreme legal act, the new Constitution of Montenegro. The constitution will legally verify the multiethnic vitality of Montenegrin society that has been confirmed in daily life and that raises the hope of having a multiethnic society in the Balkans.

Dr Dušan Janjić: Montenegro is viewed as a “successful example” of relations towards Albanians and the relation of the Albanian minority towards the country in which they live. This especially relates to successful political cooperation and an agreement between Albanian leaders and your government. How do you view this relationship and will the “Malesija Case” (the arrest and forthcoming prosecution of the organizers of a paramilitary formation) have any negative impacts on Albanian and Montenegrin relations?

 

Milo Đukanović: Montenegro has been recognized in this region as a state that not had problems with integration of the Albanian national community into social life, while all other had problems to a certain extent. I shall remind you of many international conferences on the “Albanian complex” in the Balkans. It was always nice to listen to representatives of the Albanian community from all Balkan countries when they made positive statements about Montenegrin policy towards the Albanian and other minorities who live here. Multiethnic harmony in Montenegro is not a product of the new and unexpected skill of present Montenegrin state policy. It is a part of a long tradition originating from the time of the Petrovic Dynasty. Since that time, Montenegro started to nourish good relations with minorities, including the Albanian minority, and expressed a high level of trust towards Albanians, Muslims (nowadays Bosniaks and Muslims), in the Montenegrin Royal Court. The Montenegrin tradition provides a good foundation for the present policy of building and improving multiethnic democracy in Montenegro. On the other side, there was an incident that occurred in Malesija on 9 November of this year, one day before the parliamentary elections. I believe that it is an isolated incident that will not have any negative impact on future multiethnic relations and the trust of the Montenegrin state towards its minorities. I think that in its overall state policy Montenegro demonstrates an honest intention to provide equal chances for minorities and the majority. In return, minorities show respect for Montenegro and view it as their own country. This quality will not be impaired by this isolated incident. Nevertheless, the fact is that this incident occurred during a time of political stability. During the legal process this incident has revealed, like some other incidents in the past, the important role of the diaspora and its attempts to destabilize multiethnic communities. Montenegrin citizens, state authorities, and countries in which diaspora acts, should pay attention to this fact. I don’t think that this incident can damage the quality of relations between Montenegrins and Albanians because I am convinced that a majority of Albanians in Montenegro do not share the idea behind the incident. It is the idea of ethnic and religious cleansing of the territory occupied by Albanians. I do not think that Albanians who live in Montenegro share this idea, or that the state of Montenegro can fall for provocation and identify this incident with the attitude of an entire minority group. This incident was a dangerous game with serious signs of terrorism in its projection. It should not be identified with all Albanians in Montenegro. A group of paramilitaries showed up in Malesija, but it could have been any other place. In any case, the state of Montenegro will always combat it with the same energy and efficiency in order to keep it on the level of an incident that cannot impair the core values of Montenegrin multiethnic society. After the police operaton “Eagle’s Flight”, I met in New York with President Moisiu, and in Tirana I met with the prime-minister of Albania Sali Berisha. Recently, in Podgorica I met with the prime-minister of Kosovo Agim Cheku. I mention this meeting because of the importance of the Albanian community in the Balkans. All of them confirmed the vitality of relations between Montenegro and Albania and the Albanian people, based on principles. I believe that the thoughts that we exchanged confirm that we all have the same goal – to keep our region free from any form of extremism.

Dr Dušan Janjić : The consequences of Kosovo’s future status for the region – Will the definition of Kosovo’s future status expected in the next few months have an impact on Montenegro? Will it have a destabilizing or stabilizing effect?

Milo Đukanović: I have always viewed the solution of problems as promising and positive thing. The region of the Western Balkans has another problem that has been carried over from the  troubled past period, which objectively obstructs the implementation of our strategic goals on the way towards European and Euro-Atlantic integration. It is the issue of Kosovo, the only security problem in our region. Therefore, it is important to find a sustainable solution for this problem as soon as possible… I will certainly agree with all who warn that it is not wise to rush and apply quick solutions that are not well thought out. The political approach to this issue and the way it has been treated so far cannot be qualified as efficient and effective. On the contrary, it can rather be qualified as too relaxed. I think that after the adoption of Resolution 12/44, the international community shifted its attention, assuming at first that the resolution itself was some kind of solution. Yet, from one year to another it was becoming more obvious that the space for different solutions for the status issue was getting smaller. As a matter of fact, this space was much wider before 1999 than it is now. The solution of the Kosovo status issue will bring stable political environment in the Balkans and create preconditions for a more dynamic regaining of trust that should result in taking full responsibility for the future of the Western Balkans. This will improve stability in Europe as well. I always opposed the opinions that viewed the Balkans as a hopelessly inferior region that will need tutorship forever. Generations of people in the Balkans have sought to take care of themselves. The international community is deeply involved in the Kosovo issue and its solution will create conditions for Balkan countries to take full responsibility for their European and Euro-Atlantic future. The solution of this final problem will strengthen the commitment of local political officials in each Balkan country to reach European goals. In that case, the association of the Western Balkans and Europe will be accomplished in the next ten years. Of course, this process is linked with some risks. I will elaborate two of them: One risk is linked with Serbia. I think that the risk in Serbia increases with every Serbian government that is unwilling to undertake the necessary preparation of the local public for the epilogue of the Kosovo problem. It is not wise to prejudge the solution and I will not do that. I can only say that it would be reasonable and constructive to let those who have been directly involved finish this task. These are the leaderships of Belgrade and Pristina with UN representative Mr. Ahtisari. It is clear from the policy applied by the international community so far that the Kosovo status issue will be defined in the first months of the next year. It is also clear that the international community is not willing to revise the solutions defined by UN Security Council Resolution 12/44. We know that Serbia is not exercising any state functions in Kosovo. I think that responsible politicians in Serbia today should have an obligation to prepare the Serbian public for the outcome. Instead, they pander to nationalists and radicals by keeping alive some illusions and manipulate the public for political purposes. Therefore, Serbia is essentially unprepared for the solution that will come.  This can create a state of shock in the public and waste more precious time that we will need in order to meet the standards required for EU integrations. And this is a country that should become a key stability factor in the region – if not a locomotive, then at least an important compartment of the train traveling towards Europe. It is in our common interest. It is clear to Montenegro, and I know from contacts with other politicians that it is clear to Croatia, Macedonia and Bosnia that this train will not make progress towards Europe at the speed it could, without Serbia being part of it. The second risk is linked with developments after the Kosovo status definition. The new definition of Kosovo’s status must not become a generator of a retrograde idea of the 1990s: ethnic-based integration. If anything like that happens, the only words we can bitterly say: welcome to the 1990s. It would bring back the dilemmas in Bosnia and revive tragic memories in the region. Regardless of the future status of Kosovo, we must all be aware, including the international community, that it must not trigger revitalization of the aforementioned retrograde idea. I point this out not because I have doubts that the leadership in Tirana understands it. On the contrary, I know that they understand it perfectly. But, the case of Malasija showed that retrograde ideas can come from suburbs and some very remote places. It proved that distance is not an obstacle for retrograde ideas, which, unfortunately, have often found fertile ground in the Balkans and were successful enough to waste more than a decade of our future.

Dr Dušan Janjić : The issue of Western Balkan sub-regional cooperation was raised by itself. In this context, a lot is expected from Montenegro considering its favorable political position. Montenegro can become an important actor promoting regional cooperation and security. What are the priorities of Montenegro in relation to the Western Balkans?

 

Milo Đukanović: The most valuable source of credibility for Montenegro in the region and before the international community is its presence in preserving its multi-ethnic life. It is self-explanatory when stating that Montenegro is the only state of former Yugoslavia that did not experience a war during the last decade for the twentieth century. People never fled from Montenegro to seek refuge abroad. During the war in the former Yugoslavia, many refugees of different religions and nationalities found shelter in Montenegro. In 1999, we had 120,000 refugees, or over 20 percent of the total population of Montenegro. Montenegro managed to preserve the idea of a multiethnic community at a time this idea was buried in the Balkan region troubled with ethnic and religious wars. Therefore, I believe that the affirmation of the multiethnic model of living in this part of Europe represents the biggest moral value of Montenegro. Historical relations between Montenegro and Serbia were very close. Apart from that, it is important to understand that Serbia, as the largest and most populated country, and a country with huge economic potential, must become the key factor of stability and positive dynamics in the Western Balkan region heading towards EU. For that reason, and especially because of our historical relations, Montenegro, although a small country, must take an initiative for the development of friendly and open relations with Serbia, based on new foundations. The country should become a role model for other countries in the region seeking intensified relations with Serbia and with each other. This is necessary in order to ensure sufficient homogeneity of regional structures for the fulfillment of European and Euro-Atlantic goals. I think that Montenegro can play this positive role through its own example and initiatives.

It is important for our common European and Euro-Atlantic future that people in the region understand that we must cooperate with each other. There is an increasing awareness that people living in the region should develop closer relations. By establishing constructive cooperation between all sectors, we can help ourselves so that Europe and other friends in the world can support our integration into the modern world.

In the future Montenegro will nourish an active policy of good neighborly relations and regional cooperation, as an integral part of our European and global integration and EU policy towards this region. It is in the interest of national and regional development and stability. Therefore, it is important to continue with active measures to enable free movement of people, goods, services, and capital by implementing Southeastern Europe Free Trade Agreement. Other regional initiatives in the energy sector, infrastructure, investments, environment, combating corruption and all forms of organized crime, visa regime and other projects should also be raised.

It is to the advantage of small economies to develop regional cooperation and to try to integrate in the regional context. The small economies of the countries in the Western Balkans do have outside opportunities or choice if they want to use their strong development and investment potential. In the circumstances of strong international competition and globalization, the attractiveness for business and investment is measured by the regional context, rather than in a national framework.

 

Therefore, encouraging regional cooperation and active participation in it, on the state and business levels, is becoming increasingly important. When the strategic goal of all countries is to become members of th EU, we must ensure a higher level of economic freedom within the national and regional framework, so that we can get closer to the level of freedom in the EU. This means that we must develop the principles of an integrated market, and simultaneous functioning of all markets – goods, services, labor, capital and information. The strategic development and policy of Montenegro are based on these principles. We are governed by the following premise: if our aspiration is to join EU as soon as possible, we cannot apply protection measures in our mutual cooperation.

 

Dr Dušan Janjić: How do you see the dynamics of Montenegro’s association with NATO and the EU?

 

Milo Đukanović: We see ourselves associating with the European and Euro-Atlantic integration process as a reward for the results achieved in the implementation of the highest standards in all sectors.

Therefore, we are not strained by deadlines for association with the EU and NATO. Our main concern is to implement the standards that are applied in the developed world as soon as possible. Our goal is to provide our citizens the same economic, political and security conditions that exist in othe Euro-Atlantic countries in the twenty-first century. Montenegro has more than enough economic potentials to ensure the same quality of life. We have shown that Montenegro has enough wisdom to nourish its stability and create conditions for rapid economic development. When Montenegro reaches all of its goals, the logical reward will be membership in NATO and the EU in the near future.

 

Invitation to the Partnership for Peace program is a very important recognition for Montenegro and an important incentive to intensify the pace of our reforms. We will soon sign the Partnership for Peace Framework Document, and after a regular procedure we will sign the Stabilization and Association Agreement. By that time, Montenegro will have institutionalized relations with NATO and EU, and I believe that the success of all coming phases will depend only on our ability and capacity to implement the standards that are required for membership. Montenegro is a small system that is convenient to administer, and as such has serious advantages which its leadership will know how to use to qualify us for EU and NATO membership. It is my opinion that all Western Balkan countries should become members of the EU in the next decade.  It is not wise to predict whether it will be achieved in seven or nine years,  but I claim that the entire Western Balkans, together with Montenegro has moved towards full EU integration.

 

Dr Dušan Janjić: The political and institutional framework of reform in independent Montenegro looks optimistic. Tell us please about the investment perspective. Are you satisfied with the achieved level of economic development and what type of projects can be expected as a part of a Montenegrin offer to domestic and international businesses?

 

Milo Đukanović: I am very happy with the pace at which our economic policy is implemented.

The last few years were characterized by full macroeconomic stability. The inflation rate will remain within the range of 3 percent. I expect zero budget deficits at the end of this year, increase in tourist activities, which have already increased by 20 percent in the past three years, and GDP growth of 7 percent. I want to point out that we have achieved significant results in decreasing unemployment in Montenegro. Five years ago, the unemployment rate was 32%, while this year it will not go over 14.5%. These achievements speak of macroeconomic situation in Montenegro which is moving toward stable and normal levels. This is bringing an increased number of SMEs and more entrepreneurs who are interested in starting businesses in Montenegro. The significant interest shown by foreign investors and the increased level of investments that has been achieved are of special importance for Montenegro. In terms of the FDI per capita in 2005, Montenegro was first in the region and third in Europe. This year, the situation is even better because we have a high level of investments whose structure is changing in the desired direction. In 2005, the majority of investment inflows in Montenegro were achieved through the privatization process. In the same year, the telecommunication company Telecom was privatized. This year the structure of investments has changed towards Greenfield investments. This is another proof of the confidence by the foreign investors. As you know, Greenfield investments as rule come at the end and are the expression of investors’ trust in the stability and capacity of the country they are investing in. The structure of foreign investors has also been improved. Today, we have attracted quality investors in the field of tourism, such as Aman resorts, as well as one of the key investors worldwide in terms of gold production, Peter Monk. The aluminum production company Rusal is another important investor. In addition, very serious investors are interested in the construction of water supply and waste water treatment systems along the coast. Our investors are respected foreign companies, which raises confidence and optimism that Montenegro, in addition to becoming a stable country, has entered a phase of dynamic economic development and growth. Further privatization process is ahead of us and our goal is to complete this process by the end of this government’s term. In the next year, we expect to finish the privatization of the tourist and financial sector, and start the privatization process in the transportation sector. We will also intensify preparations for the privatization of the energy sector and utility enterprises by applying a combined model, which includes concessions.

 

Our planned investment activities are very dynamic, mostly through the reconstruction of existing infrastructure and the construction of new capital infrastructure. Special emphasis is placed on creating conditions for building a road that connects the Serbian and Montenegrin sections of the Adriatic – Ionian highway. Ahead of us is the implementation of an environmental strategic documents – Master plans for water supply and waste water treatment along the coast, solid waste management, sewage and waste water treatment in central in north Montenegro. We will intensify cooperation with key international partners in the sector of environmental protection.

 

The implementation of the master plan for the development of tourism by 2020 will be focus of our activities. We shall create all necessary preconditions for the utilization of potentials in this strategic sector, and implement a set of activities aimed at strengthening institutional capacity in all sectors.