European Council President Herman Van Rompuy says Montenegro is ready to begin negotiations on new issues in its EU membership talks.
Speaking in Brussels on October 14 after meeting with Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic, Van Rompuy said the negotiations will be expanded to include issues related to the judiciary, media freedom, and security.
Van Rompuy also welcomed recent constitutional reforms that strengthen the independence of the judiciary in Montenegro. He said the next round of talks would help further the process. He said Montenegro must improve the transparency and efficiency of its public administration.
Montenegro officially became a candidate to join the EU in December 2010. It opened the first of 35 negotiation chapters for EU membership in December 2012.
The EU is to report on October 16 about the progress of all candidate countries toward meeting EU standards.
Based on reporting by dpa