BELGRADE, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Financial assistance of the European Union (EU) is contributing significantly to the interconnection of the Western Balkans, its faster growth and European integration, Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic agreed with visiting EU commissioner for neighborhood policy and enlargement Johannes Hahn on Friday.
The two made the remarks after touring together the railway infrastructure reconstructed with the assistance of the EU, said a government release.
Hahn reminded that three days ago the European Commission adopted the strategy for the accession of Western Balkans, whose aim is to support all countries of the Western Balkans in their European aspirations.
"European Union is investing in the future of its upcoming members, so that the citizens of Montenegro get an opportunity to see what is the positive influence, or the additional value provided by all these efforts that we are investing," he said.
Hahn reminded that the EU not only stays dedicated to achieving full membership of Montenegro as well as to the modernization of trans-European infrastructural connections, but also other initiatives that aim towards lifting the living standard and life quality in Montenegro and in the region.
"We have allocated 500 million euros for the next three years in order to implement all necessary activities," he said while expressing confidence that Montenegro can achieve and implement its goals.
Markovic stressed that Montenegro attracted biggest funds through the interconnection agenda, compared to other countries in the region, pointing out that the EU has allocated 10 million euros for technical support in preparation of the project documentation within the Western Balkans investment framework as well as 20 million euros for construction works in the area of railway transport.
"Besides the political, expert and technical support, the European Union is providing a significant financial support and the largest part of these means is coming from the Western Balkans investment framework, through which the union assists the transport and energy interconnection on the region, as important characteristics of the economic development and the social progress," Markovic said.
The PM added that besides immense importance for the economic and overall development of the Montenegrin society, the improvement of the transport infrastructure is also important to connect better with the region and the EU.
"Through this kind of support, especially through initiatives such as the Berlin process, the EU is contributing to the faster growth of the region, more efficient and better implementation of our responsibilities from the accession process and our stronger integration into the EU," he noted.