Select Committee on European Union Fortieth Report


Letter from Rt Hon Geoff Hoon MP, Minister for Europe, Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the Chairman

  I am writing to advise you of the Presidency's proposal for a Joint Declaration on a political dialogue between the EU and Montenegro. This political dialogue will take place through: high-level meetings between Montenegro and the EU, in the Troika format; bilateral and multilateral exchange of information on foreign policy decisions; and contacts at parliamentary level. This dialogue is part of the Stabilisation and Association process and runs in parallel to, but separate from, the Stabilisation and Associations negotiations.

  On 21 May 2006, in a referendum assessed as free and fair by the international community, the Republic of Montenegro voted for independence from the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro (SaM). Independence was formally declared on 3 June and the UK recognised Montenegro as an independent sovereign state on 13 June. On 5 June, the National Assembly in Belgrade declared the Republic of Serbia to be the continuing international personality of SaM. This was in accordance with the SaM Constitutional Charter and is a position which the UK accepts.

  Serbia has inherited the Joint Declaration on a political dialogue between the EU and SaM, and the Presidency now proposes a new version for Montenegro, albeit based closely on the text of the SaM Declaration. This is very much a procedural process. I enclose for your information a draft copy of the Joint Declaration. We do not expect this draft to change significantly but I shall send you the final version when it emerges.

24 July 2006

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