European Commissioner Johannes Hahn visits Montenegro

Podgorica, 9 June 2017 – European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn paid an official visit to Montenegro, where he met with Montenegro's officials and visited the construction site of a milestone energy connectivity project.

In a statement following the visit of the Lastva Sub-Station of the Trans-Balkan Electricity Corridor – a major Connectivity Agenda project helping connect Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Italy – Mr Hahn underlined that this project is a vital part of the creation of the regional electricity market and 'the embodiment of a strategic investment of regional and pan-European significance.'

Commissioner Hahn said that the Lastva station is a strategic investment for Montenegro, the Western Balkans, and the EU energy grid and security of energy supply. He noted the EU has donated €25 million for the project, which will trigger the investments of €127 million, and thanked project partners and Montenegro for their contribution. Mr Hahn said he was confident that the Trieste Western Balkans Summit in mid-July will strengthen the Connectivity Agenda and deliver further tangible results.

Following his meeting with Prime Minister of Montenegro Dusko Markovic, Commissioner Hahn said Montenegro is the most advanced country on the EU integration path, commending the steady progress achieved over the past years. He underlined the importance of keeping the momentum, including by advancing rule of law, pursuing fiscal consolidation, and contributing to further regional economic integration.

In his meeting with Parliament Speaker Ivan Brajovic, Commissioner Hahn emphasised that political dialogue is crucial for the transformation of Montenegro, stressing that parliamentary boycott is not the European way of dealing with disagreements.

The videos and photos from Commissioner Hahn's visit can be found at the following EbS links:

VIDEO – Visit to a connectivity project - Trans-Balkan Electricity Corridor I -Grid Section in Montenegro:

http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/player.cfm?ref=I139483

VIDEO – Joint press point by Dusko MARKOVIC, Montenegrin Prime Minister, and Johannes HAHN, Member of the EC in charge of European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations:

http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/player.cfm?ref=I139644

PHOTO – Visit of Johannes Hahn, Member of the EC in charge of European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, to Montenegro

http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/photo/photoByReportage.cfm?ref=034585&sitelang=en

Prior to his visit to Podgorica, Commissioner Hahn delivered a keynote speech at the 'EU-Western Balkans Investment Climate Forum.'

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The Trans-Balkan Electricity Corridor (I): Grid Section in Montenegro contributes to the establishment of a Western Balkans regional electricity market through the creation of a 400 kV transmission corridor between Montenegro, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The corridor would be further linked to the European Union via the Italy – Montenegro submarine cable which is due to be completed in 2017. Project partners are Montenegro Electricity Transmission Company (CGES a.d.) and the Ministry of Finance of Montenegro.

Estimated total investment amounts to €127 million, of which the EU has provided a grant of €25 million (20% of investment cost) and €3.5 million for project identification and preparation costs, whereas the estimated KfW loan amounts to €25 million, and the EBRD loan amounts to €60 million, and the national contribution amounts to €17 million.

You can find more information about the Trans-Balkan Electricity Corridor (I): Grid Section in Montenegro here.