March 15, 2019

Azerbaijan: Former President of Montenegro at the Baku Forum
Former President of Montenegro Filip Vujanovic participated at the VII Global Baku Forum organized by Nizami Ganjavi International Center from Azerbaijan. Former President Vujanovic delivered speech at the panel Western Balkan - Vision 2030:

New narrative and vision for Western Balkans could be created only if we respect geographical, historical and overall common values of this region.

First geographically, the Western Balkans, surrounded by members of the EU, is strategically important part of Europe. The Western Balkans is crossroads of the significant roads, region of extraordinary values and great resources. The Western Balkans must be part of the EU. It is a clearly proclaimed by the EU from Thessaloniki 2003, to the EU Strategy for Western Balkans by 2025, adopted last year in Sofia.

Second historically, during the last century the Western Balkans had five wars - two Balkan wars, two World Wars and war during disintegration of former Yugoslavia. All of these wars were with numerous war crimes and victims, massive emigrations and a great destruction. During the last and this century we have been spending decades for different interpretations of history and it has been always in favour of damage for present time and future.

And third, the economic and scientific potentials, as well as cultural, of the Western Balkan are enormous and unused.

On these basis the new narrative for Western Balkans is necessary and vision 2030 is clear. The narrative of the past makes distance between states and nations and among citizens, slowed down integration and development. The new narrative should relieve and secure European integrationís for Western Balkans and should affirm dialogue and mutual understanding. The new narrative should not allow for Western Balkans to be the victim or hostage of history, and must mobilize all potentials in science, all experts and creative youth, who should stay in the region and dedicate themselves to it.

Exactly this type of narrative Montenegro nourishes, from Belgradeís agreement, which provided MontenegroČs independence, through temporary border agreement with Croatia on peninsula Prevlaka, to border agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo. Montenegro has shown that the base of the compromise is in dialogue, which is a model of coexistence and future.

Montenegro will keep leadership in European integrations and, by respecting of the individual treatment, contribute to the regionís European integrations. Montenegro does not want to sacrifice its present and future for the past times. Montenegro is ready to affirm regional cooperation and the European integration using EU experts support and all its creative potential, especially respecting the interests of youth.

I will finish by expressing my satisfaction that the former presidents and prime ministers of Western Balkans,Slovenia and Croatia have decided to form a club in Podgorica, Montenegroís capital, which will act on the bases of the New Narrative for the Western Balkans Vision 2030. As a cofounders of Podgorica club, Slovenia and Croatia, as members of the EU, are our bridge between the EU and the Western Balkans

Next month in Montenegro, the EUís experts, scientists and academicians will give their view on relations in the area of science, research and innovations on the Western Balkans.

Believing in the New Narrative for the Western Balkans Vision 2030 I am expressing to you my highest respect.

Thank you for your attention.

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