Accession of Montenegro to the European Union

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Montenegrin EU accession bid
Logo for Accession of Montenegro to the European Union.jpg
European Union Montenegro Locator.svg
EU member state average Montenegro
PPP GDP ($M) 552,780 7,157
Area (km2) 165,048 13,812
Population 18,583,598 620,029
Status
Candidate
Opened chapters: 12
Closed chapters: 2
Website
Montenegrin MFAEI website

Delegation of EU to Montenegro

EU Commission website

Coat of arms of Montenegro.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Montenegro
Constitution

The State Union of Serbia and Montenegro started the process of Accession to the European Union in November 2005, when negotiations over a Stabilisation and Association Agreement began. In May 2006, Montenegro voted for independence in a referendum and the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro was dissolved. Serbia continued with the existing negotiations, and separate negotiations were launched with Montenegro in September 2006.[1][2] The Agreement was initialled on 15 March 2007 and officially signed on 15 October 2007. In 2010, the Commission issued a favourable opinion on Montenegro's application, identifying 7 key priorities that would need to be addressed for negotiations to begin, and the Council granted it candidate status. In December 2011, the Council launched the accession process with a view to opening negotiations in June 2012. The accession negotiations with Montenegro started on 29 June 2012.

Application[edit]

Montenegro officially applied to join the EU on 15 December 2008.[3] On 23 April 2009, the Council invited the European Commission to submit its opinion on the application. The Commission presented Montenegro with a questionnaire to assess its application on 22 July 2009.[4] On 9 December 2009, Montenegro delivered its answers to the EC questionnaire.[5] On 1 May 2010, the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between Montenegro and the European Union came into force, after all the 27 member-states of EU had ratified the SAA.[6][7] The European Commission on 9 November 2010 recommended Montenegro as candidate country. This candidate status was officially granted on 17 December 2010.[8]

Montenegro is experiencing ecological, judicial and crime-related problems that may hinder its bid.[9] Montenegro signed an agreement with the Bulgarian government in December 2007 in which Bulgaria will assist Montenegro with its Euro-Atlantic and EU integration for the following three years.[10]

On 27 July 2010, the Montenegrin Parliament passed a non-discrimination law that includes sexual orientation and gender identity as prohibited grounds of discrimination. This was one of the requirements the country had to meet for EU membership.[11]

Montenegro's population is overwhelmingly pro-EU, with 76.2% being in favour according to polling and only 9.8% against, in October 2009.[12]

To work on these matter the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Montenegro has a special agency dedicated to accession to the EU, the Office for assistance to the Chief Negotiator. The goal of the office is to support the task of the Chief Negotiator for Montenegro’s Accession to EU, Aleksandar Andrija Pejović.

Unilateral euro adoption[edit]

Montenegro has no currency of its own. As a constituent republic of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia following World War II, and later of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Yugoslav dinar was the official currency in Montenegro. In November 1999, the government of Montenegro unilaterally designated the Deutsche Mark as its co-official currency with the dinar, and on 1 January 2001 the dinar officially ceased to be a legal tender in Montenegro.[13][14] When the euro was introduced and the Deutsche Mark yielded, Montenegro followed suit and began using the euro as well without any objections from the European Central Bank (ECB).[15][16] The European Commission and the ECB have since voiced their discontent over Montenegro's unilateral use of the euro on several occasions.”[17] A statement attached to their Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU read: "unilateral introduction of the euro was not compatible with the Treaty."[18] The EU insists on the strict adherence to convergence criteria (such as spending at least 2 years in the ERMII system) which are not negotiable before euro adoption, but have not intervened to stop the unilateral adoption of the euro by Montenegro in 2002.[17][19]

The issue is expected to be resolved through the negotiations process.[17] The ECB has stated that the implications of unilateral euro adoption "would be spelled out at the latest in the event of possible negotiations on EU accession."[18] Diplomats have suggested that it's unlikely Montenegro will be forced to withdraw the euro from circulation in their country.[15][18] Radoje Žugić, Montenegro's Minister of Finance, has stated that "it would be extremely economically irrational to return to our own currency and then later to again go back to the euro."[20] Instead, he hopes that Montenegro will be permitted to keep the euro and has promised "the government of Montenegro, will adopt some certain elements, which should fulfil the conditions for further use of the euro; such as adopting fiscal rules."[20]

Negotiation progress[edit]

Acquis chapter EC assessment at start Screening started Screening completed Chapter opened Chapter closed
1. Free Movement of Goods Considerable efforts needed 2013-01-14 2013-03-06
2. Freedom of Movement For Workers Further efforts needed 2013-05-13 2013-06-07
3. Right of Establishment & Freedom To Provide Services Further efforts needed 2012-10-23 2012-11-30
4. Free Movement of Capital Further efforts needed 2013-01-18 2013-02-21 2014-06-24[21]
5. Public Procurement Further efforts needed 2012-09-27 2012-11-19 2013-12-18
6. Company Law Further efforts needed 2012-10-02 2012-11-22 2013-12-18
7. Intellectual Property Law Considerable efforts needed 2012-10-11 2012-11-21 2014-03-31
8. Competition Policy Further efforts needed 2012-10-03 2012-12-04
9. Financial Services Further efforts needed 2013-04-17 2013-06-11
10. Information Society & Media Further efforts needed 2012-12-06 2013-01-22 2014-03-31
11. Agriculture & Rural Development Considerable efforts needed 2012-11-06 2012-12-13
12. Food Safety, Veterinary & Phytosanitary Policy Considerable efforts needed 2012-10-15 2013-02-01
13. Fisheries Considerable efforts needed 2013-03-14 2013-06-06
14. Transport Policy Further efforts needed 2013-04-22 2013-05-30
15. Energy Further efforts needed 2013-02-27 2013-04-11
16. Taxation No major difficulties expected 2013-04-08 2013-04-30
17. Economic & Monetary Policy Further efforts needed 2013-01-10 2013-02-26
18. Statistics Considerable efforts needed 2013-06-03 2013-06-25
19. Social Policy & Employment Considerable efforts needed 2013-01-23 2013-03-13
20. Enterprise & Industrial Policy No major difficulties expected 2012-10-25 2012-11-28 2013-12-18
21. Trans-European Networks Further efforts needed 2013-04-22 2013-05-30
22. Regional Policy & Coordination of Structural Instruments Considerable efforts needed 2012-11-14 2012-12-18
23. Judiciary & Fundamental Rights Considerable efforts needed 2012-03-26[22] 2012-05-31[23] 2013-12-18
24. Justice, Freedom & Security Considerable efforts needed 2012-03-28[22] 2012-05-25[24] 2013-12-18
25. Science & Research No major difficulties expected 2012-09-24 2012-09-25 2012-12-18 2012-12-18[25]
26. Education & Culture No major difficulties expected 2012-09-26 2012-11-16 2013-04-15 2013-04-15[26]
27. Environment & Climate Change Totally incompatible with acquis 2013-02-04 2013-03-22
28. Consumer & Health Protection Further efforts needed 2013-02-19 2013-04-16
29. Customs Union No major difficulties expected 2013-05-23 2013-06-21
30. External Relations No major difficulties expected 2013-05-14 2013-06-12
31. Foreign, Security & Defence Policy No major difficulties expected 2013-05-17 2013-06-27 2014-06-24[21]
32. Financial Control Considerable efforts needed 2013-05-16 2013-06-19 2014-06-24[21]
33. Financial & Budgetary Provisions No major difficulties expected 2013-05-15 2013-06-26
34. Institutions Nothing to adopt
35. Other Issues Nothing to adopt
Progress 33 out of 33 33 out of 33 12 out of 33 2 out of 33

Visa liberalisation process[edit]

On 1 January 2008 the visa facilitation and readmission agreements between Montenegro and the EU entered into force.[27] Montenegro was added to the list of visa exempt nationals on 19 December 2009, allowing their citizens to enter the Schengen Area, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania without a visa when traveling with biometric passports.[28] Visa liberalisation process does not include travels to Ireland or the United Kingdom as these countries operate their own respective visa regimes outside of the Schengen Agreement.

Timeline[edit]

Date Event
15 October 2007 Montenegro signs the Stabilisation and Association Agreement.
15 December 2008 Formal application for membership submitted.
12 April 2010 Montenegro submits answers to the Commission's Questionnaire.
9 November 2010 European Commission replies to the answers of the Questionnaire with a positive opinion (Avis).
17 December 2010 Montenegro receives official candidate status.
12 October 2011 Commission recommends starting of negotiations.[29]
26 March 2012 Screening started.
26 June 2012 European Council sets a target date of 29 June for the beginning of accession negotiations.[30]
29 June 2012 Accession negotiations begin with the screening process.[30]
15 April 2013 The first accession conference was held in Brussels.[31]
June 2013 The second accession conference was planned to be held in Brussels in June.[31]
27 June 2013 Screening completed.[32]
18 December 2013 Five chapters were opened.[33]
31 March 2014 Two chapters were opened.[34]
24 June 2014 Three chapters were opened.[35]

Impact of Joining[edit]

Member countries Population Area (km²) GDP
(billion US$)
GDP
per capita (US$)
Languages
 Montenegro 625,266 13,812 4.28 6,845 Montenegrin
EU28 507,890,191 4,381,376 17,267 33,998 24
EU28+1 508,515,457
(+0.12%)
4,395,188
(+0.32%)
17,271.280
(+0.02%)
33,964
(−0.1%)
25

References[edit]

  1. ^ Enlargement Process – Montenegro Key Events, European Commission, accessed on 10 January 2007
  2. ^ Germany prepares to take over EU presidency, Southeast European Times, 19 December 2006, accessed on 10 January 2007
  3. ^ Montenegro formally applies to join European Union at the Wayback Machine EUbusiness, 16 December 2008, archived on 26 April 2009 from the original
  4. ^ EC questionnaire to Montenegro
  5. ^ Montenegro delivers answers to EC questionnaire
  6. ^ "SAA comes into force for Montenegro". 
  7. ^ "Montenegro: Stabilisation and Association Agreement comes into force". 
  8. ^ "Commission Opinion on Montenegro's application for membership of the European Union"
  9. ^ Ren: Kriminal prepreka Crnoj Gori
  10. ^ Bulgaria Will Support Montenegro in Their EU Integration
  11. ^ ILGA Europe:Montenegro fulfils EU membership requirement and protects LGBT people from discrimination. 28 July 2010.
  12. ^ Političko javno mnjenje Crne Gore Centar Za Demokratiju i Ljudska Prava, October 2009
  13. ^ Amerini, Amerini (2004). "Exchange rates in Western Balkan countries". Eurostat. 
  14. ^ "Republic of Montenegro: Selected Issues". International Monetary Fund. February 2008. p. 34. 
  15. ^ a b "EU to question Montenegro's use of euro". 8 October 2007. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  16. ^ "Montenegro's euro challenge". BBC. 3 January 2002. Retrieved 17 November 2007. 
  17. ^ a b c "EU warns Montenegro over Euro". B92. 10 October 2007. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  18. ^ a b c "Montenegro heading for EU membership". 24 October 2007. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  19. ^ "EU prijeti Crnoj Gori ukidanjem eura: Niste sposobni za našu valutu" [EU threatens revoking the euro from Montenegro: You're not capable enough for our currency] (in Croatian). Index.hr. 1 June 2011. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  20. ^ a b "Montenegro's peculiar path to EU membership". 7 February 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  21. ^ a b c http://www.blic.rs/Vesti/Politika/476015/EU-otvorila-jos-tri-poglavlja-u-pregovorima-s-Crnom-Gorom
  22. ^ a b "EU 'Screening' of Montenegro Starts in Brussels". 28 March 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  23. ^ "End of bilateral screening for chapter 23". 31 May 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  24. ^ "End of bilateral screening for chapter 24". 25 May 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  25. ^ "Montenegro - Membership status". 27 June 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  26. ^ "EU-Montenegro promote accession talks". 
  27. ^ "Montenegro - EU-Montenegro relations". European Commission. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  28. ^ "EU lifts visa restrictions for Serbia" (in English). 30 November 2009. Retrieved 30 November 2009. 
  29. ^ EUobserver.com / Enlargement / EU links Serbia's candidate status to Kosovo talks
  30. ^ a b Council conclusions on Montenegro
  31. ^ a b Montenegro opens and temporarily closes Chapter 26 for EU accession
  32. ^ Ministarstvo vanjskih poslova i evropskih integracija
  33. ^ EU-Montenegro: Important milestone in accession negotiations
  34. ^ [1]
  35. ^ [2]