Further progress of Montenegro in the areas of trade, customs, industry and taxes is a pathway to economic strengthening and full membership in the European Union. This was stated at today’s meeting of the Subcommittee on Trade, Industry, Customs and Taxes. The subcommittee is the annual official meeting between the EU and Montenegro to exchange on the development of the sectors discussed in the frame of the Stabilisation and association agreement between the EU and Montenegro.
At the 13th meeting of this Subcommittee between Montenegro and the European Union, which was held online, and which covered chapters 1, 16, 20, 29 and 30, the representatives of the Montenegrin institutions presented the key achievements in these respectful negotiation chapters.
Deputy Chief Negotiator Marko Mrdak underscored that Montenegro remains committed to fulfilling the European Commission’s recommendations, with a view to achieving the EU standards in these areas.
Regarding Chapter 1 – Freedom of Movement of Goods, Mr Mrdak stated that Montenegro adopted the Law on Medicines which represents a basis for further alignment with the EU acquis in this area. “When it comes to the administrative capacities, as part of the fourth closing benchmark, all institutions make strong efforts in order to upgrade their professionalism and capacities”, he added.
Within Chapter 16 – Taxation, the Parliament adopted the amendments to the Law on Personal Income Tax, Law on Fiscalisation for Transactions in Goods and Services, Law on Value Added Tax and Law on Excises, as well as numerous decisions and decrees aimed at protecting national fiscal policy, in order to tackle economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
With regard to Chapter 20 – Enterprise and Industrial Policy, Montenegro intensified efforts in order to mitigate the negative consequences caused by Covid-19. In that regard, the Government adopted a Programme of support to the economy and employees, in order to mitigate the negative impact of the epidemic of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. Under Chapter 29 – Customs union, the Government adopted the Decree on the Customs Tariff for 2020, while under Chapter 30 – External Relations, further harmonisation of national legislation with the EU acquis has been continued.
Deputy Head of Unit for Montenegro at the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Barbara Jesus-Gimeno referred to, as she said, two key priorities for Montenegro: overcoming the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and continuing progress on the path to EU accession.
“Montenegro`s progress in chapters 1, 16, 20, 29 and 30, which were discussed at today`s meeting, is a pathway to recovery and EU membership. Addressing these priorities will also require a functioning public administration and building on the achievements made over the past years”, she pointed out.
Ms Jesus-Gimeno emphasised the European Commission`s strong commitment to the Western Balkans and Montenegro, adding that the release of the first tranche of EUR 30 million in macro-financial assistance to Montenegro and the adoption of the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans demonstrate EU support for the region`s socioeconomic recovery. She said that the annual report on Montenegro, presented on Tuesday along with the enlargement package, provided clear guidelines for further progress in the negotiations.
GENERAL SECRETARIAT OF THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTENEGRO
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