04 Jul, 2023

Montenegro liberals’ new leader continues push for EU integration

Last month, ALDE Party member Liberal Party of Montenegro (Liberalna partija Crne Gore, LPCG) elected Vatroslav Belan as the party’s new President during a conference in Podgorica.  

Belan takes over the role from Andrija Popović, who served as the party leader and its MP since 2009 and was named as an Honorary President. Ammar Borančić, Jelena Marković and Aleksandar Ljumović were elected as party’s Vice-Presidents.

During the conference, Belan outlined his aspiration for liberals to become the leading force in Montenegro’s EU accession process, and vowed to strengthen and modernise liberal values with new and young leaders. In addition, he reiterated his unwavering support in the fight for individual rights, freedom and the affirmation of Montenegro in the international community.  

LPCG members unanimously adopted a resolution on their political direction for the next four years. The text calls to ​​preserve dignity and rights of every human being; build a free, open and modern society; strengthen new approaches to the economy; and create conditions for the development of IT and new businesses, to ensure Montenegro achieves the standards for full EU membership. 

Delegates were also addressed by Roman Jakič, chair of LIBSEEN (Liberal South East European Network) and met with representatives of other ALDE Party members such as LDP (North Macedonia) and VVD (Netherlands). A panel discussion covered the European perspective of the region, addressing topics including the Open Balkan initiative, economic populism, the rise of far-right politics in Europe and the problem of political instability in Montenegro. 

ALDE Party Co-President Ilhan Kyuchyuk said: “As long-standing members of ALDE, of Liberal International, and LIBSEEN, [LPCG] have been tireless in the effort to support and encourage the European integration of Montenegro.” 

“As we embrace change, I want to extend my best wishes to the new leadership led by Vatroslav Belan. I sincerely hope that the Liberal Party of Montenegro will continue to work constructively in Montenegrin politics pushing for further EU integration. Your commitment to this cause is valuable. The EU is simply incomplete without Montenegro: together we can ensure a promising and prosperous future for our citizens in a truly united Europe.”

LIBSEEN chair Jakič said: “Montenegrin liberals have always been a voice for civil liberties, democracy, progress, and dedication to an open society, human rights and economic development. Together with the coalition partners, you have achieved significant progress in the fight for civil liberties, human rights, economic development and environmental protection. I expect you to remain dedicated to the vision of an open and inclusive society, and to continue to be the voice of citizens of Montenegro who want to live in a sovereign, independent, civil, multicultural, multi-religious, multi-ethnic and anti-fascist Montenegro.”

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