June 29, 2020 - Political Analyst and Director of Centre for Civic Education (CCE) Daliborka Uljarević, appearing as a guest on "Colours of the Morning" (Boje Jutra), said that “we haven’t made headway on some of the basic conditions that were in place in 2011 during the opening of negotiations with EU. Pierre Mirel, former long-term director of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Enlargement, speaking to Vijesti, highlighted similar issues."
Some eight years after beginning negotiations for accession to the European Union, Montenegro has made no progress, believes the political analyst and Director of the Centre for Civic Education.
Uljarević, speaking on "Colors of the Morning", said that “we have not made headway on some of the basic conditions that were in place in 2011 during the opening of negotiations.
Pierre Mirel, former long-term director of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Enlargement, speaking to Vijesti, highlighted similar issues.”
"We often hear in government speeches, and sometimes also among other voices in the country who do not know the process of European integration, that they want to support some kind of justification, stating that the EU is in some way to blame for the fact that eight years after the start of negotiations we have opened not all, but 32 of the chapters, and that we have temporarily closed three. This is what Pierre Mirel previously called the Montenegrin paradox, because it has not been seen in the process of European integration so far," Uljarević said.
Uljarević added that the EU is not to blame for this, and that when we compare the speed with which the countries of Eastern Europe joined the EU, and even some countries of the former Yugoslavia, there is one reason for our "snail's pace".
"That's what Mirel underlines. There, there was clear political will to transform societies. That is what we do not have here and that is what will have to change in the near future. We are committed to the new methodology, it can bring a lot of benefits to Montenegro, but if we continue to behave like we are now, we may see a point where the process starts going backwards; all the progress is indeed related to the rule of law,” said Uljarević.
As paradoxical as it may seem for the situation in Montenegro, we can go back to 2011 when we received the conditions for the start of negotiations.
"The European Parliament also pointed out the problems at that time. Concerns were expressed then within the European Parliament due to the excessive concentration of power in the judiciary; then they were specifically referring to the judiciary and the mandate of Ms. Medenica. This year, the assessment has been exactly the same. The third mandate is a subject of controversy, and the government’s approach is really an affront to common sense," said Uljarević.
The Director of the CCE says that this is possible only here because everything is subordinate to single-party and vested interests.
"Our problems are recurring. There is no report relevant to at least some extent, published in the past year, in which the issues pointed out by us in civil society as well as the media have not been completely swept under the carpet by the government, who refuses to change anything. These run from the judiciary through topics related to the Agency for Prevention of Corruption. That agency cannot be truly independent with a Council elected by the self-ruling majority,” said Uljarević.
Uljarević added that amendments to the law must be made, which will enable true representatives of civil society to sit on the Council, people who are independent, and not those who are bound by bureaucratic conditions and who, as individuals elected by the authorities, would serve to maintain their status.