Six journalists from the Montenegrin media have been awarded for the best stories about the country’s EU accession process. These stories, as announced at the award ceremony in the EU Info Centre, highlighted issues pertaining to every Montenegrin citizen.
The winners of the competition for the best article regarding the EU accession process are journalists from the daily newspaper Pobjeda, Jovana Djurisic, Maja Lalic Burzanovic, from the Montenegrin Radio Television portal, and Vuk Ilic, from Radio Jadran. The jurnalists of the Public Broadcaster and Television Prva, Borislav Visnjic, Tatjana Debeljevic, and Jelena Gardovic are the winners of the competition for the best television story.
The Montenegrin Chief Negotiator, Aleksandar Drljevic, said that various and informative stories highlighted the issues pertaining to every Montenegrin citizen and pointed out the benefits that the EU accession process will provide everyone with. Drljevic said that affirmation of the values on which the EU stands is equally important today, as it was almost seventy years ago when it was created, and despite the internal challenges it faces, the idea of a united Europe is alive, and Montenegro is slowly taking its place in the European family of States.
"I believe that each of us must make a contribution to the integration process because, as we all know, the whole Montenegrin society is entering the EU," said Drljevic.
The Head of the EU Delegation to Montenegro, Aivo Orav, thanked the journalists for conveying the purpose of the EU’s presence and support to Montenegro.
“We are partners in the accession negotiation process. However, we are not partnering up only because we want to tick the box and say that we fulfilled a criteria. We are working together to improve the quality of life in Montenegro for all citizens equally. Journalists and their stories are one of the most important links between the EU policies and citizens. There is no policy that does not have an impact on citizens. This is why your work matters so much to us," concluded Orav.
On behalf of her colleagues, Tatjana Debeljevic thanked everyone for the prizes they won and said that their purpose was to show a path which many journalists are seeking. The main message was to start walking, because only those who started the walk arrived at the finish line.
The award-winning stories were related to: the Erasmus programme and the opportunities it provides for young people, the launch of a women's business with the help of EU funds, and the importance of building a wastewater treatment plant funded from IPA funds.
Journalists shared stories about the Mrdak family who, thanks to EU-funded support, expanded their small family business of cheese-making, as well as stories about the revitalisation of Ivo Andric's house, in Herceg Novi, which will be restored through an EU project.
The competitions were implemented in accordance with the EU Public Information Strategy on the Accession of Montenegro to the EU 2014-2018, and within the EU4ME project funded by the EU, and implemented by the UNDP. The authors of the best stories were awarded with cash prizes.