Accession of Montenegro to the European Union

Montenegrin EU accession bid
Logo for Accession of Montenegro to the European Union.jpg
European Union Montenegro Locator.svg
StatusNegotiating
Opened chapters32 out of 33
Closed chapters3 out of 33
Website
Statistics
EU averageMontenegro
PPP GDP ($M)552,7807,157
PPP per capita ($)40,60017,000 (2016 est.) [1]
Area (km2)165,04813,812
Population18,583,598625,000
Coat of arms of Montenegro.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Montenegro
Constitution

Accession of Montenegro to the European Union (EU) is on the current agenda for future enlargement of the EU.

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.[2][3] 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 seven 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 subsequently began on 29 June 2012. With 31 chapters opened, the country enjoys a widespread support among EU members' officials, and accession of the country to the EU is considered possible by 2025. In its 2016 assessment of the accession progress, European Commission has identified Montenegro as having the highest level of preparation for membership among the negotiating states.

Montenegro is currently receiving EUR 507mn of developmental aid until 2020 from the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance, a funding mechanism for EU candidate countries.

Application[]

Montenegro officially applied to join the EU on 15 December 2008.[4] 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.[5] On 9 December 2009, Montenegro delivered its answers to the EC questionnaire.[6] Negotiations on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between Montenegro and the European Union started in September 2006.[7] The agreement was officially signed on 15 October 2007, and on 1 May 2010 it came into force, after all the 27 member-states of EU had ratified the SAA.[8][9] The European Commission on 9 November 2010 recommended Montenegro as candidate country. This candidate status was officially granted on 17 December 2010.[10]

Montenegro is experiencing ecological, judicial and crime-related problems that may hinder its bid.[11] 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.[12]

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.[13]

Montenegro's population is overwhelmingly pro-EU, with 76.2% being in favour according to polling and only 9.8% against, in October 2009.[14]

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 Drljević.

State of Stabilisation and Association Agreement ratification[]

Status of SAA ratification
Event Macedonia [15] Croatia [16] Albania [17] Montenegro [18][Note 1] Bosnia and
Herzegovina
[20]
Serbia [21][Note 2] Kosovo* [22][Note 3]
SAA negotiations start 2000-04-05 2000-11-24 2003-01-31 2005-10-10 2005-11-25 2005-10-10 2013-10-28[24]
SAA initialled 2000-11-24 2001-05-14 2006-02-28 2007-03-15 2007-12-04 2007-11-07 2014-07-25[25]
SAA/IA signature 2001-04-09 2001-10-29 2006-06-12 2007-10-15 2008-06-16 2008-04-29 2015-10-27[26]
Interim Agreement:
EC ratification 2001-04-27 2002-01-30 2006-06-12 2007-10-15 2008-06-16 2009-12-08 N/A [Note 4]
SAP state ratification 2001-04-27 2002-01-30 2006-10-09 2007-11-14 2008-06-20 2008-09-22 N/A [Note 4]
entry into force 2001-06-01 2002-03-01 2006-12-01 2008-01-01 2008-07-01 2010-02-01 N/A [Note 4]
Deposit of the instrument of ratification:
SAP state 2001-04-27 2002-01-30 2006-11-09 2007-11-13 2009-02-26 2008-09-22 2016-02-26
Austria 2002-09-06 2002-03-15 2008-05-21 2008-07-04 2009-09-04 2011-01-13 N/A
Belgium 2003-12-29 2003-12-17 2008-10-22 2010-03-29 2010-03-29 2012-03-20 N/A
Bulgaria entered the EU later 2008-05-30 2009-03-13 2010-08-12 N/A
Croatia entered the EU later N/A
Cyprus entered the EU later 2008-05-30 2008-11-20 2009-07-02 2010-11-26 N/A
Czech Republic entered the EU later 2008-05-07 2009-02-19 2009-07-23 2011-01-28 N/A
Denmark 2002-04-10 2002-05-08 2008-04-24 2008-06-25 2009-05-26 2011-03-04 N/A
Estonia entered the EU later 2007-10-17 2007-11-22 2008-09-11 2010-08-19 N/A
Finland 2004-01-06 2004-01-06 2007-11-29 2009-03-18 2009-04-07 2011-10-21 N/A
France 2003-06-04 2003-06-04 2009-02-12 2009-07-30 2011-02-10 2012-01-16 N/A
Germany 2002-06-20 2002-10-18 2009-02-19 2009-11-16 2009-08-14 2012-02-24 N/A
Greece 2003-08-27 2003-08-27 2009-02-26 2010-03-04 2010-09-20 2011-03-10 N/A
Hungary entered the EU later 2007-04-23 2008-05-14 2008-10-22 2010-11-16 N/A
Ireland 2002-05-06 2002-05-06 2007-06-11 2009-06-04 2009-06-04 2011-09-29 N/A
Italy 2003-10-30 2004-10-06 2008-01-07 2009-10-13 2010-09-08 2011-01-06 N/A
Latvia entered the EU later 2006-12-19 2008-10-17 2009-11-12 2011-05-30 N/A
Lithuania entered the EU later 2007-05-17 2009-03-04 2009-05-04 2013-06-26 N/A
Luxembourg 2003-07-28 2003-08-01 2007-07-04 2009-06-11 2010-12-22 2011-01-21 N/A
Malta entered the EU later 2008-04-21 2008-12-11 2010-01-07 2010-07-06 N/A
Netherlands 2002-09-09 2004-04-30 2007-12-10 2009-01-29 2009-09-30 2012-02-27 N/A
Poland entered the EU later 2007-04-14 2009-02-06 2010-04-07 2012-01-13 N/A
Portugal 2003-07-14 2003-07-14 2008-07-11 2008-09-23 2009-06-29 2011-03-04 N/A
Romania entered the EU later 2009-01-15 2010-01-08 2012-05-22 N/A
Slovakia entered the EU later 2007-07-20 2008-07-29 2009-03-17 2010-11-11 N/A
Slovenia entered the EU later 2007-01-18 2008-02-07 2009-03-10 2010-12-07 N/A
Spain 2002-10-04 2002-10-04 2007-05-03 2009-03-12 2010-06-15 2010-06-21 N/A
Sweden 2002-06-25 2003-03-27 2007-03-21 2009-03-11 2009-09-14 2011-04-15 N/A
United Kingdom 2002-12-17 2004-09-03 2007-10-16 2010-01-12 2010-04-20 2011-08-11 N/A
European Communities or
European Union and Euratom
2004-02-25 2004-12-21 2009-02-26 2010-03-29 2015-04-30 2013-07-22 2016-02-24 [Note 5]
SAA entry into force 2004-04-01 2005-02-01 2009-04-01 2010-05-01 2015-06-01 2013-09-01 2016-04-01[30]
EU membership (SAA lapsed) (TBD) 2013-07-01 (TBD) (TBD) (TBD) (TBD) (TBD)

N/A: Not applicable.

  1. ^ Montenegro started negotiations in November 2005 while a part of Serbia and Montenegro (SiM). Separate technical negotiations were conducted regarding issues of sub-state organizational competency. A mandate for direct negotiations with Montenegro was established in July 2006. Direct negotiations were initiated on 26 September 2006 and concluded on 1 December 2006.[19]
  2. ^ Serbia started negotiations in November 2005 while part of SiM, with a modified mandate from July 2006.
  3. ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has received formal recognition as an independent state from 113 out of 193 United Nations member states. The European Union remains divided on its policy towards Kosovo, with five EU member states not recognizing its independence. The EU launched a Stabilisation Tracking Mechanism for Kosovo on 6 November 2002 with the aim of aligning its policy with EU standards. On 10 October 2012 the European Commission found that there were no legal obstacles to Kosovo signing a SAA with the EU, as independence is not required for such an agreement.[23]
  4. ^ a b c No Interim Agreement associated with Kosovo's SAA was concluded.[27]
  5. ^ Kosovo's SAA was the first signed after the entry into force of the Lisbon treaty, which conferred a legal personality to the EU. As a result, unlike previous SAAs Kosovo's is exclusively between it and the EU and Euratom, and the member states are not parties independently.[24][28][29]

Unilateral euro adoption[]

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.[31][32] When the euro was introduced and the Deutsche Mark yielded, Montenegro followed suit and began using the euro as well, with no objection from the European Central Bank (ECB).[33][34] The European Commission and the ECB have since voiced their discontent over Montenegro's unilateral use of the euro on several occasions.”[35] A statement attached to their Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU read: "unilateral introduction of the euro was not compatible with the Treaty."[36] 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.[35][37]

The issue is expected to be resolved through the negotiations process.[35] 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."[36] Diplomats have suggested that it's unlikely Montenegro will be forced to withdraw the euro from circulation in their country.[33][36] 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."[38] 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."[38]

Negotiation progress[]

As of June 2018, there are currently two chapters waiting to be opened, twenty-eight chapters open, and five chapters that have been provisionally closed, including two chapters in which there is nothing to adopt.

Chapter and Accession Dates
Chapter Screening started Screening completed Chapter opened Chapter closed
Overview 33 out of 33 33 out of 33 32 out of 33 [39] 3 out of 33 [39]
1. Free Movement of Goods 2013-01-14 2013-03-06 2017-06-20
2. Freedom of Movement For Workers 2013-05-13 2013-06-07 2017-12-11[40]
3. Right of Establishment & Freedom To Provide Services 2012-10-23 2012-11-30 2017-12-11[41]
4. Free Movement of Capital 2013-01-18 2013-02-21 2014-06-24[42]
5. Public Procurement 2012-09-27 2012-11-19 2013-12-18
6. Company Law 2012-10-02 2012-11-22 2013-12-18
7. Intellectual Property Law 2012-10-11 2012-11-21 2014-03-31
8. Competition Policy 2012-10-03 2012-12-04
9. Financial Services 2013-04-17 2013-06-11 2015-06-22[43]
10. Information Society & Media 2012-12-06 2013-01-22 2014-03-31
11. Agriculture & Rural Development 2012-11-06 2012-12-13 2016-12-13
12. Food Safety, Veterinary & Phytosanitary Policy 2012-10-15 2013-02-01 2016-06-30
13. Fisheries 2013-03-14 2013-06-06 2016-06-30
14. Transport Policy 2013-04-22 2013-05-30 2015-12-21
15. Energy 2013-02-27 2013-04-11 2015-12-21
16. Taxation 2013-04-08 2013-04-30 2015-03-30
17. Economic & Monetary Policy 2013-01-10 2013-02-26 2018-06-25
18. Statistics 2013-06-03 2013-06-25 2014-12-16[44]
19. Social Policy & Employment 2013-01-23 2013-03-13 2016-12-13
20. Enterprise & Industrial Policy 2012-10-25 2012-11-28 2013-12-18
21. Trans-European Networks 2013-04-22 2013-05-30 2015-06-22[43]
22. Regional Policy & Coordination of Structural Instruments 2012-11-14 2012-12-18 2017-06-20
23. Judiciary & Fundamental Rights 2012-03-26[45] 2012-05-31 2013-12-18
24. Justice, Freedom & Security 2012-03-28[45] 2012-05-25 2013-12-18
25. Science & Research 2012-09-24 2012-09-25 2012-12-18 2012-12-18[46]
26. Education & Culture 2012-09-26 2012-11-16 2013-04-15 2013-04-15[47]
27. Environment & Climate Change 2013-02-04 2013-03-22 2018-12-10[48]
28. Consumer & Health Protection 2013-02-19 2013-04-16 2014-12-16[44]
29. Customs Union 2013-05-23 2013-06-21 2014-12-16[44]
30. External Relations 2013-05-14 2013-06-12 2015-03-30 2017-06-20
31. Foreign, Security & Defence Policy 2013-05-17 2013-06-27 2014-06-24[42]
32. Financial Control 2013-05-16 2013-06-19 2014-06-24[42]
33. Financial & Budgetary Provisions 2013-05-15 2013-06-26 2014-12-16[44]
34. Institutions N/A N/A N/A N/A
35. Other Issues N/A N/A N/A N/A
Latest EC Assessment
Acquis chapter Status as of Spring 2018[49][50] Chapter Status
Overview 2 chapters in early stage
2 chapters with some level of preparation
21 chapters which are moderately prepared
8 chapters with a good level of preparation
2 chapters with nothing to adopt
5 provisionally closed
29 open
1 not yet opened
1. Free Movement of Goods Moderately prepared Open
2. Freedom of Movement For Workers Some level of preparation Open
3. Right of Establishment & Freedom To Provide Services Moderately prepared Open
4. Free Movement of Capital Moderately prepared Open
5. Public Procurement Moderately prepared Open
6. Company Law Good level of preparation Open
7. Intellectual Property Law Good level of preparation Open
8. Competition Policy Moderately prepared Not Yet Opened
9. Financial Services Moderately prepared Open
10. Information Society & Media Moderately prepared Open
11. Agriculture & Rural Development Moderately prepared Open
12. Food Safety, Veterinary & Phytosanitary Policy Moderately prepared Open
13. Fisheries Early stage Open
14. Transport Policy Good level of preparation Open
15. Energy Good level of preparation Open
16. Taxation Moderately prepared Open
17. Economic & Monetary Policy Moderately prepared Open
18. Statistics Moderately prepared Open
19. Social Policy & Employment Moderately prepared Open
20. Enterprise & Industrial Policy Moderately prepared Open
21. Trans-European Networks Moderately prepared Open
22. Regional Policy & Coordination of Structural Instruments Moderately prepared Open
23. Judiciary & Fundamental Rights Moderately prepared Open
24. Justice, Freedom & Security Moderately prepared Open
25. Science & Research Good level of preparation Provisionally closed
26. Education & Culture Good level of preparation Provisionally closed
27. Environment & Climate Change Some level of preparation Open
28. Consumer & Health Protection Moderately prepared Open
29. Customs Union Moderately prepared Open
30. External Relations Good level of preparation Provisionally closed
31. Foreign, Security & Defence Policy Good level of preparation Open
32. Financial Control Moderately prepared Open
33. Financial & Budgetary Provisions Early stage Open
34. Institutions Nothing to adopt Nothing to adopt /
Provisionally closed
35. Other Issues Nothing to adopt Nothing to adopt /
Provisionally closed
Past Assessments
Acquis chapter EC assessment at start EC Assessment in 2015[51] EC Assessment in 2016[52] EC Assessment in 2018[53][54]
1. Free Movement of Goods Considerable efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared Moderately prepared
2. Freedom of Movement For Workers Further efforts needed Early stage Some level of preparation Some level of preparation
3. Right of Establishment & Freedom To Provide Services Further efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared Moderately prepared
4. Free Movement of Capital Further efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared Moderately prepared
5. Public Procurement Further efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared Moderately prepared
6. Company Law Further efforts needed Moderately prepared Good level of preparation Good level of preparation
7. Intellectual Property Law Considerable efforts needed Well prepared Good level of preparation Good level of preparation
8. Competition Policy Further efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared Moderately prepared
9. Financial Services Further efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared Moderately prepared
10. Information Society & Media Further efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared Moderately prepared
11. Agriculture & Rural Development Considerable efforts needed Some level of preparation Moderately prepared Moderately prepared
12. Food Safety, Veterinary & Phytosanitary Policy Considerable efforts needed Some level of preparation Moderately prepared Moderately prepared
13. Fisheries Considerable efforts needed Early stage Early stage Early stage
14. Transport Policy Further efforts needed Moderately prepared Good level of preparation Good level of preparation
15. Energy Further efforts needed Moderately prepared Good level of preparation Good level of preparation
16. Taxation No major difficulties expected Moderately prepared Moderately prepared Moderately prepared
17. Economic & Monetary Policy Further efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared Moderately prepared
18. Statistics Considerable efforts needed Some level of preparation Some level of preparation Moderately prepared
19. Social Policy & Employment Considerable efforts needed Some level of preparation Some level of preparation Moderately prepared
20. Enterprise & Industrial Policy No major difficulties expected Moderately prepared Moderately prepared Moderately prepared
21. Trans-European Networks Further efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared Moderately prepared
22. Regional Policy & Coordination of Structural Instruments Considerable efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared Moderately prepared
23. Judiciary & Fundamental Rights Considerable efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared Moderately prepared
24. Justice, Freedom & Security Considerable efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared Moderately prepared
25. Science & Research No major difficulties expected Good level of preparation Good level of preparation Good level of preparation
26. Education & Culture No major difficulties expected Good level of preparation Good level of preparation Good level of preparation
27. Environment & Climate Change Totally incompatible Early stage Some level of preparation Some level of preparation
28. Consumer & Health Protection Further efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared Moderately prepared
29. Customs Union No major difficulties expected Moderately prepared Moderately prepared Moderately prepared
30. External Relations No major difficulties expected Good level of preparation Good level of preparation Good level of preparation
31. Foreign, Security & Defence Policy No major difficulties expected Good level of preparation Good level of preparation Good level of preparation
32. Financial Control Considerable efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared Moderately prepared
33. Financial & Budgetary Provisions No major difficulties expected Early stage Early stage Early stage
34. Institutions Nothing to adopt Nothing to adopt Nothing to adopt Nothing to adopt
35. Other Issues Nothing to adopt Nothing to adopt Nothing to adopt Nothing to adopt
  totally incompatible
  early stage / very hard to adopt
  considerable efforts needed
  some level of preparation
  further efforts needed
  moderately prepared
  no major difficulties expected
  good level of preparation
  well prepared / well advanced

Visa liberalisation process[]

On 1 January 2008 the visa facilitation and readmission agreements between Montenegro and the EU entered into force.[55] 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.[56] 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[]

Timeline
Date Event
15 October 2007 Montenegro signs the Stabilisation and Association Agreement.
15 December 2008 Formal application for membership submitted.
22 July 2009 Commission applied Questionnaire to the Montenegro.
9 December 2009 Montenegro submits answers to the Commission's Questionnaire.
12 April 2010 Montenegro submits additional 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.[57]
26 March 2012 Screening started.
26 June 2012 European Council sets a target date of 29 June for the beginning of accession negotiations.[58]
29 June 2012 Accession negotiations begin with the screening process.[58]
18 December 2012 Chapter on "Science and Research" is opened and closed.
15 April 2013 The first accession conference is held in Brussels. Chapter on "Education and Culture" is opened and closed.
1 June 2013 The second accession conference was planned to be held in Brussels in June.[59]
27 June 2013 Screening completed.[60]
18 December 2013 Five chapters are opened.[61]
31 March 2014 Two chapters are opened.[62]
24 June 2014 Three chapters are opened.[63][64]
16 December 2014 Four chapters are opened.[65]
30 March 2015 Two chapters are opened.[66]
22 June 2015 Two chapters are opened.[43]
21 December 2015 Two chapters are opened.[67]
30 June 2016 Two chapters are opened.[68]
13 December 2016 Two chapters are opened.
20 June 2017 Two chapters are opened and one chapter is closed.[69]
11 December 2017 Two chapters are opened.[70]
25 June 2018 One chapter is opened.
10 December 2018 One chapter is opened.[71]

Impact of joining[]

Member countries Population Area (km²) GDP
(billion US$)
GDP
per capita (US$)
Languages
 Montenegro 621,400 13,812 4.42 7,113 Montenegrin
EU28 507,890,191 4,381,376 17,267 33,998 24
EU28+1 508,511,591
(+0.12%)
4,395,188
(+0.32%)
17,271.420
(+0.026%)
33,965
(−0.1%)
25

See also[]

References[]

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