Dritan Abazović, president of our member party URA and Prime Minister of Montenegro since April 2022, is driving huge changes in a small Balkan country. The self-proclaimed ‘Montenegrin and European’ is also a member of a small Albanian-speaking minority and is the first Prime Minister from a minority.Termed the ‘Montenegro phenomenon’, his plans for Montenegro include ridding the country of corruption and pursuing a pro-European agenda.
URA was established in 2015 and represents all ethnicities and stands for a European, ecological and democratic Montenegro. At the 30th European Green Party Council in Tampere in 2019, URA had just been accepted as a candidate member party of the European Greens. Now, they are in government and leading the country!
Govor jedinog @europeangreens
premijera u svijetu @DritanAbazovic na 35. kongresu u Rigi🇱🇻 pozdravljen ovacijama!
Zeleni talas se širi 🌍! ✅ pic.twitter.com/R00JjEmnsB— Građanski pokret URA (@pokretura) June 3, 2022
Watch now: Keynote Speech at the 35th European Green Party Council
Abazović represents a new era for Montenegro. He is steering a pro-EU government dedicated to fighting against corruption and building political stability for the country.This month, we had the pleasure of hosting him at our 35th European Green Party Council held in Riga, Latvia. During his Keynote Speech, he stated:
“30 days ago, Montenegro started to have for the first time in history the first Green prime minister. Nothing is impossible. This is the message of Greens: if you believe, have the wish, work hard, and promote really good things at the end of the day everyone can succeed.”
Fighting corruption and building a socially just and sustainable Montenegro
When Dritan Abazovićwas elected, minority parties agreed on a cooperation agreement which set Montenegro on a new path. Dritan Abazović is fighting for a civic, ecological and European vision for all Montenegrins – achieving the democratic reform that Montenegro needs, combatting corruption, and working towards European integration. On the URA party’s fight against organised crime and corruption, Abazović states: “We are trying to give our contribution to promote the rule of law and new values. We are proud of what we have achieved in a year and a half.”
The challenges for the country are clear. Firstly, it will be finding consensus in the parliament to achieve a functional judiciary system that fights corruption and organised crime. He states: “No one is untouchable anymore. Everybody is responsible for what they have done.” Abazović also emphasised the need to bring new democratic values to the country and bring justice, whilst also advancing Montenegro’s project of integration into the European Union.
Montenegro’s vision for a resilient and democratic Europe
Since gaining independence, Montenegro has mostly conducted a pro-Western foreign policy. It is a fully-fledged member of the NATO alliance since 2017 and has also petitioned to be a European Union member state. But this is the first government in which there is a minister for European integration, Jovana Marovic, who is working towards the integration and European Union accession process.
The greatest battle in the whole world is led in Ukraine, and we have demonstrated that small Montenegro can be a proponent of great sound initiatives. 🇲🇪❤🇺🇦@ZelenskyyUa @Denys_Shmyhal pic.twitter.com/nvQOH5OW5j— Dr Dritan Abazovic (@DritanAbazovic) June 16, 2022
Montenegro has also provided full support to the people of Ukraine, who have been fighting for a democratic, free, and European future. Abazović emphasised the necessity to enlarge the European family considering Putin’s threats: “We don’t need black holes in Europe. Because that will be a problem today for Ukraine and could be a problem tomorrow for another state. We must try to move forward and make the European family bigger.”
As Greens, we believe that the accession of all Western Balkan states is ourhistoric responsibility as well as a geopolitically strategic necessity to ensure a democratic and peaceful future of the European continent. That’s why Green delegates adopted the resolution ‘Upholding the prospect of EU integration of the Western Balkans’ at the 35th European Green Party Council. We wholeheartedly supported the announcement by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen that the European Commission formally recommends granting Ukraine and Moldova EU candidate status! Looking forward, the European Union must also uphold the prospect of EU integration of the Western Balkans.
Fighting for democracy and progress
We know that this is just the beginning of the story for the URA party and Dritan Abazović. At the end of his speech, he called for the promotion of solidarity and unity across Europe and left us with these strong words: "We have been fighting for democracy and progress all over Europe. (...) Fellow Greens, let's work together to promote a different kind of politics in Europe!”
Listen to our latest Green Talking Heads episode featuring Dritan Abazović.