Montenegro making steady progress towards EU accession
Whilst addressing the European Parliament Plenary Session in Strasbourg, Parliamentary Secretary Dr Ian Borg, together with European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, signed another five legislative acts under the Maltese Presidency.
The signed acts concern the regulation of the European Parliament and the Council in implementing the bilateral safeguard clause and the stabilisation mechanism of the Trade Agreement between the European Union and its Member States on one part, and Colombia and Peru on the other. Another signed Regulation regards the reinforcement of checks against relevant databases at external borders. The Directive on the combating terrorism and replacing Council Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA is another signed legislative act. The last legislative act concerns the Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on official controls and other official activities performed to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health, plant reproductive material, and plant protection products.
During the signing ceremony on the agreed legislative laws between the EU Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, Dr Borg, together with President Tajani, also signed a €1,818,750 deal from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for the 1,096 workers that lost their jobs from six companies in the regions of Drenthe and Overijssel in Netherlands.
Dr Borg also opened the debate on the Council and Commission’s statements on EU enlargement. He said Montenegro is continuously making steady progress in the EU accession negotiations and maintains its good cooperation with the EU and its neighbours in the region. Dr Borg underlined the commitment in this regards, and hopes to move the accession negotiations forward under the Malta Presidency by opening and provisionally closing those negotiating chapters which are technically ready with Montenegro.
When speaking about Council and Commission statements on the follow-up of TAXE recommendations and update on the reform of the Code of Conduct Group on Business Taxation, Borg explained that the Presidency is striving to move systematically forward, on the basis of a clear roadmap for the Council’s work in the field of tax evasion, fraud, and tax avoidance at EU level.
Dr Borg also discussed the EU security agenda one year after the Brussels attacks. He said that the EU has come a long way, and had since adopted a number of legislative instruments and other measures to prevent and fight terrorism. However, Parliamentary Secretary Borg reiterated that Europe must do more to protect its citizens and contribute to peace and stability in its neighbourhood and beyond. This includes committing sufficient additional resources. In his concluding remarks, he emphasised that the Presidency is continuously striving to improve to close gaps and to enhance our security, including by assessing our structures and policy, which can contribute to ensuring that EU policies are fit for purpose.