Chapter 10 is divided in three sub-areas:
Area of electronic communications contains provisions for reducing digital divide through ensuring equal possibilities in access to modern technologies of each social – demographic group. In information society services area, this chapter enables establishing, development and better using of digital market, e-government, e-health, e-signature, e-trade, while, through provisions on audio-visual media policy there are being ensured free trade of TV programs, protection of cultural diversity, minority protection from inappropriate TV content and similar.
When was the chapter opened?
Chapter Information society and media was opened on 31 March 2014.
Under this Chapter, Montenegro has two defined closing benchmarks:
1. Montenegro brings its legislation in the line with the acquis as regards the provisions on the independence of the National Regulatory Authority for electronic communications as well as the acquis in the area of audiovisual media services.
2. Montenegro demonstrates that it will have sufficient administrative capacities for enforce the acquis in the fields of electronic communications, information society services and audiovisual media services, including as regards regulatory independence, by the time of accession.
What are activities in the coming period?
Since the chapter has been opened, Montenegro continuously improves its legislation and transposes the EU acquis in national legislative framework. Montenegro has fulfilled most obligations under the chapter, particularly those that were set through the closing benchmarks. During 2017, media sector inquiry in Montenegro named as Reinforcing Judicial Expertise on Freedom of Expression and the Media in South-East Europe (JUFREX), aimed to contribute to development and media freedom in Montenegro. Based on analyses, in January 2019, the Government adopted Plan on implementation of Analyses recommendations (total of 85), with defined concrete institutional tasks, measures and dynamics.
Even if some activities are not in directly line with the closing benchmarks, but they were based on international and the EU standards, as well as with recommendations given in mentioned media inquiry, in order to close negotiation in this chapter, Montenegro adopted Law on media and Law on national public broadcaster RTCG and, during next year, it will be adopted Law on audiovisual media services.
Institutions/organizations participating in the negotiation group?
In working group for preparing and conducting negotiations in the area of the EU acquis regarding chapter 10 – Information Society and media are included these institutions: European Integration Office, the Ministry of Public Administration, Ministry of
Economy, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education, Agency for Electronic Media, Agency for Electronic Communications and Postal Services, Agency for the Protection of Personal Data and Free Access to Information, (RTCG) Radio and Television of Montenegro, Health Insurance Fund, Radio- Broadcaster Center, Montenegro Employer Federation, Union on free trade unions of Montenegro, University of Montenegro, Mediteran University, NGO ˮMultimedialMontenegroˮ and NGO ˮMladiinfoMontenegroˮ.
What are the benefits for Montenegro of this chapter?
Benefits of this chapter were referring to broadband access to the internet (the tendency is to ensure fast internet to everyone, no matter on physical distance), electronic communications (mobile and fixed telephony), large number of electronic services aimed to more efficient and faster procedure (registration of business, scheduling of appointment to the doctors, electronic identification), protection minority from inappropriate content, obligatory marking of which programs are appropriate for what age, promoting of national and European culture heritage…
In 2008, Montenegro implemented single European emergency number 112, in order to enable its citizens to call for just one number for help in emergency situation in Montenegro or any EU country. This number, citizens can call from fixed or mobile phone in case of need for emergency health care, help of firefighters, police and other protection and rescue services. Number for emergency cases is being used at the same time with other emergency services numbers – 122, 123, 124. Phone call is free of charge and it is available every day 24 hours.
At the EU level, roaming services charge were abolished 2017. That means, European citizens which travel in the EU countries may use roaming services at the same level of prices which they pay in their own country. When it comes to third countries, in April 2019, Western Balkans countries signed the Agreement on the price reduction of the roaming services in public mobile communication networks in the WB Region ,,Roaming like at home’’, which is in force since 1 July 2019.