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Montenegro's children today - EU citizens tomorrow

© UNICEF Montenegro
Nikola Vojinovic and Milica Vucelic, students from High School “Slobodan Skerovic”

PODGORICA November 29, 2010 – Two thirds of Montenegro’s youth support accession to the EU, a survey conducted among high school students has revealed. The survey was commissioned as part of the follow up to the 2009 Milocer consultation on “The Copenhagen Criteria and Children”.

The findings of the EU opinion poll were presented by The Ministry of European Integration and the chief researcher for the project, together with UNICEF and the Delegation of the EU to Montenegro. During the press conference, students from High School “Slobodan Skerovic” from Podgorica had the opportunity to express their views on Montenegro’s accession process to the EU:

‘’It will be a privilege for the EU to have a country such as Montenegro in their Union. The EU will be enriched by a small, but proud and tall nation, by people of rich history, language and culture, but most of all, the Union will benefit from young people full of creativity and ideas,’’ said Nikola Vojinovic (17)

Milica Vucelic (17) quoted data from the research that show that young people who are better informed about the EU are more supportive of the EU accession process.

‘’This is why I would like to recommend to all my peers to choose EU integration as a subject in order to enrich their knowledge, overcome fear of the unknown and take on some responsibility when Montenegro one day becomes part of the European Union.’’

According to the survey, young people want to be more informed primarily about the EU youth and education policies. Young people think that youth exchange programmes with EU countries are the best way to involve them in EU integration. Consultations and debates between the youth and government and EU representatives are also considered to be important. Finally, Montenegro’s young people also consider creating opportunities for youth to produce media programmes about the EU integration process for their peers a good way to engage them in the EU accession process.

Minister of European Integration Gordana Đurović was encouraged by Montenegrin youth’s great interest in the process of integration and realization that they are part of that process.
Đurović also noted that back in 2006, 81% of young people supported accession.
‘’Practice shows that, the more complex and deeper the process, the more interventions and what we call ‘process investments’ there are, and the lesser the enthusiasm,’’ Djurovic explained.

Acting Head of EU Delegation to Montenegro Clive Rumbold said that European Commission is satisfied with the results because the support of young people is crucial for European future.

‘’The opinion of young people is crucial for the European future we all wish to build for Montenegro. It is my pleasure to conclude that 67% of young people in Montenegro support EU membership, which is an important message for us as well,’’ Rumbold said.

© UNICEF Montenegro
UNICEF Representative Noala Skinner

UNICEF Montenegro Representative Noala Skinner stated that young people in Montenegro will have the results of the research in mind while deciding on their future plans and actions.
‘’Montenegro is on its way to Europe. My message to children and young people of Montenegro is to support this process.  Know your rights. Raise your voice., Get involved, because today you are children of Montenegro but tomorrow you will be citizens of Europe,’’ Skinner concluded.

The survey showed that young people in Montenegro expect membership of the EU to bring a better future, the spreading of democracy and human rights, a united market and greater possibilities for schooling.

Montenegro’s young people are most proud of Montenegro’s history, achievements in sport and Montenegro’s cultural heritage. At the same time, young people say to be least proud of Montenegro’s social security and social protection systems.

The survey was conducted by the De Facto agency with UNICEF support in June 2010. The aim of the research is to learn about young people’s attitudes and knowledge related to the EU. 1007 students from all high schools in Montenegro participated in the survey.



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