NATO is a guarantor of stability and safe future – it was the message of the Conference entitled NATO: 1949 – 1999 – 2019 The 20 Years of Poland in the 70 Years of the Alliance, organized by the Atlantic Council of Montenegro in cooperation with the Institute for Eastern Studies, which was held on November 28, 2019 in the hotel Centreville in Podgorica.
In his speech, President of the Atlantic Council of Montenegro, Savo Kentera, emphasized that only 15 years ago, the majority of people did not believe that Montenegro could be an independent state, let alone a NATO member state. Even though it takes a lot of time to see the real benefits of membership, Montenegro has achieved the concrete results during the last two years. Regarding this, Kentera emphasized the fact the Montenegrin borders cannot be changed and it represents a confirmation of Montenegrin sovereignty. He also highlighted that the level of safety is higher in comparison with the previous two years, that economic development is noticeable particularly when it comes to the sustainable investments and that one of the most important benefits of NATO membership is the acceptance of the Western values. Kentera concluded that Montenegro will not stop with the NATO membership and that it should do everything in order to become the EU member state in near future.
Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Montenegro, Artur Dmochowski, pointed out that NATO is a guarantee for stability and that the admission of Poland to NATO in 1999 represents a confirmation of its sovereignty and independence. Also, by joining NATO, Poland made an exit from Russian influence and a strong entry into Western geopolitical world. Ambassador emphasized that Montenegro is making a strong contribution to the security of the Alliance and concluded that just as NATO can count on Montenegro, Montenegro can count on NATO and Poland.
Anna Kurowska, Programme Manager for the Balkans in the Institute for Eastern Studies in Poland, presented the whole project and publication and highlighted that the Conference is taking place just a couple of days before NATO Summit in London, therefore, it represents the ideal occasion for us to try to find the answers on the future of Alliance.
The Conference was completed with a productive and interesting discussion. Dragan Pejanović, State Secretary at the Ministry of the Interior and National Coordinator for NATO, Andrzej Jacuch, Professor at the Military University of Technology in Poland and Dmitri Teperik, Chief Executive of the International Centre for Defence and Security in Estonia took part in the discussion.
Dragan Pejanović emphasized that the enormous success was achieved in eliminating the prejudice that Montenegrin people have against NATO Alliance. He stated that it is a great privilege for Montenegro to be a part of the modern, democratic family and to bring decisions together with the most developed countries in the world and, therefore, contribute to the preserving of peace and stability. Pejanovic concluded that by joining NATO, Montenegro made a progress in all fields and added that the GDP grew by 5% as well as FDI, which grew for 30% in 2018 in comparison with the previous years.
Andrzej Jacuch pointed out to the significance of civil preparedness and resilience and said that he is very optimistic when it comes to the future of NATO Alliance. Jacuch considers that the biggest benefit of Poland’s NATO membership is a higher level of security and not just security in military sense.
Dmitri Teperik stressed out the importance of the global perception of NATO and expressed his concern about a generally negative view that the citizens of NATO members have on the Alliance. According to him, the smaller member states such as Poland and Montenegro are on the frontline when it comes to hostile influence and drew attention to the fact that the bigger allies could learn a lot from the smaller ones when it comes to this issue.
Conference: NATO is a guarantor of stability and safe future