June 25, 2018 - At the Intergovernmental Conference which took place in Luxembourg, Montenegro made a step further in European Union integration - opening a negotiating Chapter 17, which features tasks regarding the economic and monetary policy of the country.
The very opening of this chapter, as well as the further work in this sector, are indeed of great importance for the adaptation of the principles of an open market economy based on free competition, the policy of the single currency and the achievement and maintenance of price stability.
The head of the Montenegrin delegation, Minister of Foreign Affairs Srdjan Darmanovic, pointed out in his introductory speech that thanks to the dedicated work of all Montenegrin institutions, this country now has 31 opened chapters. He also added that three chapters are already temporarily closed, and expressed the expectation that the remaining two, Chapter 8: Competition and Chapter 27: Environment, will be opened by the end of the year.
“This chapter is of special importance for the open, successful and euroized economy of Montenegro. In this sense, we have already undertaken numerous activities that open the way for further economic and financial growth, and the next months we will use to further deepen and accelerate both economic and political reforms,” said Darmanovic, adding that Montenegro has already achieved significant results in this area.
Another Montenegrin representative that took participation in this conference was the country’s negotiator for Chapter 17, Vice Governor of the Central Bank of Montenegro Nikola Fabris.
“With the progress that has already been achieved in this area, following the opening of Chapter 17, Montenegro will continue to align its legal framework with the European acquis in order to improve transparency and sustainability of public finances, reduce transaction costs, facilitate international trade, increase mobility as well as fully integrate the Central Bank of Montenegro into the European System of Central Banks,” concluded Fabris.
On the other side of the table, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said that opening negotiations in Chapter 17 represents another important step forward on the European Union integration path. He also assessed that Montenegro will continue to fulfil its commitments from the European agenda and that Montenegro had made the most progress in negotiations with the European Union, and that the priority, in the coming period, should be the field of the rule of law. Commissioner Hahn reiterated that the European Commission will continue to support the integration of Montenegro into the EU, including expert and financial assistance.