“With the program of Montenegro’s accession to the European Union 2022-2023, we have a clear direction of our further movement towards EU membership in the next two years,” said the Chief Negotiator Zorka Kordic in consultations with civil society representatives on the drafting of the document.
As she pointed out at the online consultations attended by over 80 participants, the PPCG is a comprehensive strategic document that monitors the dynamic development of the EU acquis and the necessary modifications to our legal system. Program is a reflection of the intensive work and reflection of the Commission for European Integration, and mainly the heads of working groups and their teams in the previous few months, which defines the scope and dynamics of reforms needed to align Montenegro with EU policies. It is also an instrument for monitoring reforms, particularly in the area of harmonization of national legislation with the acquis, but also the preparation of the administrative capacity of our institutions.
Kordić emphasized that, during the drafting of Program 2022-2023, compliance with the Action Plan was taken into account to address key recommendations from the European Commission Report on Montenegro 2021, roadmaps for meeting the final benchmarks for negotiation chapters, recommendations of the European Commission Report for 2021, as and with the Government’s Medium-Term Work Program and the 2022 Government Work Program.
“The two-year draft program of Montenegro’s accession to the European Union plans a total of 588 obligations, of which 109 in the strategic and 479 in the legislative framework, or 360 obligations in 2022 and 228 obligations in 2023,” said the Chief negotiator.
As she explained, most of the obligations are planned in the negotiating chapters 12. Food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary supervision – 86; 1. Freedom of movement of goods – 77; 14. Traffic policy – 65; 15. Energy – 39 and 27. Environment and climate change – 39.
When it comes to institutions, the largest number of obligations, as Kordić said, have the Directorate for Food Safety, Veterinary and Phytosanitary Affairs – 94; Ministry of Capital Investments – 88; Ministry of Finance and Social Welfare – 69; Ministry of Economic Development – 62 and Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management – 51.
Representatives of the civil sector had questions and comments regarding the implementation and mechanism for monitoring the implementation of the Accession Program 2022-2023. Particular interest was expressed in the Labor Law, as well as in the salaries of public administration employees, and resolving labor disputes and protection from harassment at work, but also health laws, including the Law on Pharmacy. Policy – Law on Protection from Domestic Violence and Gender Based Statistics. The consultations also discussed the planned strengthening of administrative capacities of state institutions and its harmonization with public administration reform, and exchanged views on the need for better planning and programming in the upcoming financial perspective, through obligations in the negotiating chapter 22 – Regional Policy and Coordination of Structural Instruments. The participants in the consultations exchanged views and gave suggestions regarding amendments to the Law on Prevention of Corruption, as well as the Law on Public Procurement, underlining the significance of negotiating chapter 5, which according to the new methodology is in the same cluster with negotiating chapters 23 and 24.
It was assessed that the consultations are a good opportunity to together, in a constructive discussion, consider the possibilities of improving the quality of this strategic document in order to better implement it.
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