19 May 2019 - The European Commission has been preparing the 2019 progress reports and results of the elections to the European Parliament won’t affect the Progress Report for Montenegro, an EU official told Pobjeda daily.
“EU Commission has been drafting the 2019 progress reports. Their adoption will take place probably in late spring,” confirmed EU official during a recent interview.
The elections to the European Parliament will be held from 23 to 26 May. The EU Commission’s 2019 progress reports will be released on 29 May, but Pobjeda’s interlocutor didn’t want to confirm the date.
“In regards to whether the election results will affect the reports, the answer is "no", and on whether the reports have already been drafted, I can say that these are factual assessments”, the high-ranking EU official explained. He added that the Commission is currently working on an enlargement report for 2019. The report adoption will most likely be in late spring 2019.
The content of the Progress Report for MNE is unknown but Pobjeda’s interlocutor, who has been involved in the negotiation talks, said that there are several main areas of interest for Brussels. “And that is impartiality of the Agency for Anti-Corruption and elections for the RTCG Council. As for the Svetozar Marović case, Brussels will focus on Serbia in this matter, as it hasn’t extradited according to Montenegro’s demand.”
He believes that the European Commission will try to be positive, but the EU’s Council won’t be elected based on the proposals from the reports on the Western Balkan countries until the final results of the elections are known.
“The Council’s position towards the recommendations of the EC will depend on the election results, especially when it comes to Albania. Since, 2016, the EC has been proposing that Albania should start negotiations, but the situation now got even worse,” the interlocutor noted.
The Brussels official also highlighted that the balancing clause must be objectivised to the end, so if Montenegro does not open the remaining Chapter 8, or does not close some of the opened chapters, Serbia should have the same treatment as Montenegro in its accession process.