09 August 2019 - Seven years since the opening of Montenegro’s accession negotiations with the European Union, representatives of the authorities are satisfied with the work done, indicating that an initial balance of results has been achieved in the most important Chapters 23 and 24, and that the legislative and the established institutional system produces certain results in practice.
On the other hand, representatives of the civil sector estimate that it is insufficient and point to anomalies that indicate the lack of political will to apply European standards. Chairman of the Board of NGO Institute Alternative Stevo Muk stated that Montenegro has progressed on the European path, but not enough if taking into account the resources invested in this process, primarily the investments of the EU and other international and local actors.
"It has especially made too little of progress in those fields that were disputable from the very beginning and about which we are negotiating from the first day. However, the rule of law, good governance and corruption permeate many other issues of negotiation, such as the environment, where it is noticeable almost on a daily basis. The impression is that enthusiasm was significantly more present in the first years of negotiations, possibly because issues of the institutional and legal framework have been mostly addressed. But, when it came time for concrete results, we entered into a phase of stagnation," said Muk for European Pulse.
Muk assessed that readiness for change, unfortunately, exists only in those issues where the interests and monopolies of big ones are not threatened, while when it comes to sensitive issues, state structures change only as much as they have to. And it seems that they have to change less and less, as stated by Muk, because the internal pressure is weak, and the EU conditionality policy shows its limitations.
Montenegro opened the EU accession negotiations on 29 June 2012 during the mandate of Prime Minister Igor Lukšić. It was the first state that negotiates according to the so-called new approach, upon which the first ones to be open, and the ones to be closed the last are Chapter 23 (Judiciary and Fundamental Rights) and Chapter 24 (Justice, Freedom and Security).
Source: Milan Sekulović, European Pulse
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