The MEP responsible for relations with Montenegro has described the ex-Yugoslav country's EU membership prospects as a "good news story".
British Conservative Charles Tannock was speaking during a debate on 28 March 2012 on the annual
on its future membership.
The report gave a broadly positive outlook on the country's EU aspirations, saying it had made good political and economic reform, although it says that more needs to be done to tackle organised crime.
Montenegro applied for membership in 2008, and was confirmed as a candidate country two years later.
Since 19 December 2009, its citizens have not needed visas to visit most EU countries - those in the Schengen zone.
The European Commission has recommended that formal talks on membership are now able to begin, by bringing the country's existing legislation in line with European standards.
Mr Tannock said he hoped negotiations would be able to start in June, adding that Montenegro was a "champion of regional co-operation" such as resolving a border dispute with Croatia and fighting organised crime.
Denmark's Europe Minister Nicolai Wammen, representing the Council of Ministers, said there was "strong public support" for Montenegro's EU prospects, and that it had good relations with its neighbouring countries.
Montenegro's Prime Minister, Milo Djukanovic, has said he hopes his country will succeed in joining the EU before neighbouring Serbia or Macedonia.
The progress report was voted on during the daily
on 29 March 2012.
to how the plenary sessions work.
on the use of simultaneous interpretations, on the European Parliament's website.