According to the road map, the first to open the door for Podgorica will be the 27 Member States' Foreign Ministers during their next summit, which is due to take place on June 26th in Luxembourg. Then, it will the the heads of states and governments' turn to reiterate their commitment and express their "green light" on access negotiations. At this point, Montenegro will become the third Western Balkan country to have started the process of EU integration, after Slovenia and Croatia. Croatia signed the Treaty of Accession in December 2011 and will officially become the twenty-eight EU Member State on July 01st, 2013. This is an important step for the Balkan region, in view of a common European future. Serbia obtained the status of candidate country in March last year; the same goal was previously achieved in 2005 by the former Republic of Macedonia, currently entangled in the name dispute with Greece.
Therefore, at the end of June, Montenegro will be able to join the other candidate countries having applied for accession to the EU who have already started negotiations with Brussels: Turkey and Iceland. (ANSAmed)