Montenegro continued with the implementation of reforms and, thanks to good results, recorded significant progress in the chapters related to the areas of competition and internal market, it was announced at the 14th meeting of the Subcommittee on Internal Market and Competition between Montenegro and the European Commission.
At today’s meeting, representatives of Montenegrin institutions presented the results achieved in the areas of the right of establishment and freedom to provide services, capital movement, public procurement, company law, intellectual property law, competition, financial services and consumer and health protection, since the previous meeting which was held in June last year.
„The EU looks forward to the constitution of a new parliament and the formation of a new government, able and committed to take forward EU-related reforms, in the shortest possible timeframe. We hope that with these elections, an era of political stability will put Montenegro firmly on the path of EU membership” said Michael Miller, Head of Unit for Serbia and Montenegro at Commission Directorate General of European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations.
„Enlargement policy, and our Western Balkan partners have been and remain our strongest focus. The President of the European Commission announced a New Growth Plan for the Western Balkans built on four pillars. The ambition is to integrate the Western Balkans into the single market”, said Michael Miller.
Hence stated the importance of this Subcommittee meeting, emphasizing that having a fair and open internal market is essential for sustainable and fair economic growth, decent job creation, greater commercial opportunities, and competitiveness.
„The Commission encourages Montenegro to use the months ahead to speed up and deepen political and economic reforms. Progress in the rule of law area, to fulfil the interim benchmarks under Chapters 23 and 24 in particular, will continue to determine the overall pace of negotiations and closing of chapters. This could allow the closure of negotiations for a significant number of chapters in the short term” said Miller.
State Secretary at the Ministry of European Affairs, Milena Žižić, said the meeting of the Subcommittee is an opportunity to exchange opinions and present significant results in the very important negotiation chapters 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 28, which were transferred into clear benefits for our citizens and the economy, which open the perspective of complete integration of Montenegro in the area of the internal market.
She pointed out that the Government remains committed to achieving the standards necessary for the gradual inclusion of Montenegro in the system of the internal market with the clear goal of strengthening its own capacities on the way to final integration.
She stated, despite the challenging period on the internal level that affected the dynamics of the EU integration process, Montenegro showed its democratic maturity and commitment to the obligations arising from the EU agenda, stressing that the state administration continuously shows professionalism, dedication and maintains the European spirit.
„We believe that after the elections, we will regain the long-term political stability that, with a pro-European and pro-reform government, is necessary for us to make important decisions and implement reform activities from the European agenda, while our priority will be our European path, which we will prove with even more dedicated work, and with the unconditional support of all three branches of power“, said Žižić.
Žižić also referred to the recently presented results of the public opinion survey, which showed an increase in the support of citizens of Montenegro to the EU membership.
„Our citizens believe in the European path of Montenegro and these results additionally oblige us to work rapidly and devotedly to ensure that Montenegro becomes the next member of the European Union”, said Žižić.
The Director General of the Directorate for Internal Market and Competition at the Ministry of Economic Development and Tourism, Jasna Vujović, said that, since June 9, 2022, when the previous meeting of this Subcommittee was held, until today, Montenegro has shown great commitment in fulfilling obligations arising from the process of accession to the European Union. She pointed out that special attention in the previous period was focused on meeting the closing benchmarks and recommendations from the European Commission report, as well as recommendations from last year’s Subcommittee.
„In addition to harmonizing Montenegrin legislation with EU law, intensive activities were carried out on the implementation of the strategic framework and the creation of a new one, as well as effective implementation of legislation, strengthening of administrative capacities, and raising public awareness in the areas covered by this Subcommittee”, said Vujović.