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European Union; Montenegro: Aim of 2008 Membership Application

(Nov. 2, 2007) Montenegro, in its quest to join the European Union and following the examples of other western Balkan countries, took the initial step towards becoming a full Member by signing a stabilization and association agreement with the EU on October 15, 2007. After the signing of the Agreement, the Prime Minister of Montenegro stated: "Montenegro is much closer to Europe today than it was yesterday and our future is more certain than ever." The government expects to officially apply for EU membership within the first six months of 2008. It is highly unlikely that it will join the EU as a full Member in the near future, because it lags behind European standards in many fields. (Elitsa Vucheva, Montenegro Hopes to Apply for EU Membership Next Year, EUOBSERVER.COM, Oct. 15, 2007.)