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Chapter 30 – External relations

Chapter 30 – External relations

What is being negotiated?

The acquis for Chapter 30 is largely composed of directly applicable EU legislation, stemming mainly from the multilateral and bilateral commitments of the European Union in the area of trade, as well as from a large number of autonomous trade measures. Directives in the field of export credits and dual-use goods require transposition into national law. Candidate countries are required to progressively align their policies with third countries and their positions in international organizations with policies and positions adopted by the European Union and its Member States. With respect to development policy and humanitarian assistance requirements, Montenegro is expected to align its legislation with the acquis, the international obligations accepted by EU Member States and to provide the capacity to participate in development and humanitarian aid for developing countries and at least developed countries.


This chapter deals with the EU's common trade policy, bilateral agreements with third countries, as well as development policy and humanitarian aid.

EU Common Trade Policy - The Common Trade Policy (CTP) is one of the cornerstones of the European Union's external relations. It is based on uniform rules within the framework of the Customs Union and the Common Customs Tariff and at the same time shapes the trade relations of EU Member States with third countries. The main objectives of the CTP are defined in Articles 206 and 207 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, which include: the development of world trade, the gradual abolition of restrictions on international trade and the reduction of customs barriers.

Bilateral agreements with third countries - The European Commission has the power to negotiate and conclude trade agreements on behalf of the Member States. In addition to trade agreements, bilateral agreements with third countries include agreements providing for cooperation in the fields of energy, education, science, environment, etc.

Development Policy and Humanitarian Aid - In the area of development policy and humanitarian aid, EU Member States are required to comply with the EU acquis and international obligations, as well as to provide the capacity to participate in EU development and humanitarian policies. The European Union and its Member States fund almost half of all international development assistance. Assistance, in addition to economic development projects, also refers to building democratic institutions, building infrastructure, developing macroeconomic programs and promoting human rights. An important mechanism for EU development policy is the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) as a kind of trade preference for developing countries. It is also worth mentioning the activities of the European Development Fund (EDF), whose funds provide financial assistance to developing countries and least developed countries. Development and humanitarian aid is distributed to beneficiaries on all continents, with particular emphasis on the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) and the Overseas Countries and Areas (PTOM).

When was the chapter opened and temporarily closed?

Chapter 30 - External Relations formally opened on 30 March 2015 at the Intergovernmental Conference in Brussels and provisionally closed on 20 June 2017 at the Intergovernmental Conference in Luxembourg.

Closing benchmarks?

The only benchmark in this chapter is for Montenegro to present to the Commission an Action Plan for remaining preparations for legislative alignment as well as alignment of international agreements with the acquis and improvement of administrative and control capacities to ensure full implementation and enforcement of the acquis in this chapter from accession.

What are the activities in the coming period?

Although the chapter is provisionally closed, Montenegro is actively working to implement activities in accordance with the Action Plan. It is the obligation of the acceding country to cancel all free trade agreements and to ensure that all treaties / agreements on trade, investment and economic cooperation are in conformity with the acquis.

Institutions / organizations participating in the negotiation group?

Institutions participating in the activities of the Chapter 30 Working Group are the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, Office for European Integration, Customs Administration, Investment and Development Fund, Statistical Office, Central Bank of Montenegro, University of Donja Gorica and Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro.

What is the benefit to Montenegro of this chapter?

The implementation of the common trade policy is first reflected in the abolition of border control towards EU countries, which entails saving time and costs of the administrative procedure of forwarding as well as customs clearance for Montenegrin businessmen. This speeds up and reduces the flow of goods and services. Also, through this policy, investment opportunities will be increased by reducing existing trade barriers, making Montenegro an even more attractive destination for foreign investment inflows. This will create jobs and increase GDP, leading to even greater economic development of the country. In addition, lower prices and a greater choice of products from EU countries will also be available to Montenegrin consumers.

EU membership will also strengthen the possibility of entering into various forms of cooperation with partners from EU Member States. In that sense, regional cooperation will complete our country's offer, that is, the placement of our products and services, so participation in EU development policy would enable Montenegrin businessmen to assist their investments in the development of third countries, which in turn will promote the placement and visibility of Montenegrin goods and services in the markets. of these countries. The conquest of new markets will promote the additional values that are characteristic of our country and define Montenegro as a serious competitor in the European and world markets. Ultimately, when Montenegro becomes a member, it will apply trade agreements that the EU has already signed or is currently negotiating with third countries.

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