Accession of Montenegro to the European Union
|Montenegrin EU accession bid|
|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
The State Union of Serbia and Montenegro started the process of Accession to the European Union in November 2005, when negotiations over a Stabilisation and Association Agreement began. In May 2006, Montenegro voted for independence in a referendum and the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro was dissolved. Serbia continued with the existing negotiations, and separate negotiations were launched with Montenegro in September 2006. The Agreement was initialled on 15 March 2007 and officially signed on 15 October 2007. In 2010, the Commission issued a favourable opinion on Montenegro's application, identifying 7 key priorities that would need to be addressed for negotiations to begin, and the Council granted it candidate status. In December 2011, the Council launched the accession process with a view to opening negotiations in June 2012. The accession negotiations with Montenegro started on 29 June 2012. With more than two thirds of the accession chapters opened, the country enjoys a widespread support among EU members' officials and is expected to conclude negotiations by 2019. In its 2016 assessment of the accession progress, European Commission has identified Montenegro as having the highest level of preparation for membership among the negotiating states.
Montenegro officially applied to join the EU on 15 December 2008. On 23 April 2009, the Council invited the European Commission to submit its opinion on the application. The Commission presented Montenegro with a questionnaire to assess its application on 22 July 2009. On 9 December 2009, Montenegro delivered its answers to the EC questionnaire. On 1 May 2010, the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between Montenegro and the European Union came into force, after all the 27 member-states of EU had ratified the SAA. The European Commission on 9 November 2010 recommended Montenegro as candidate country. This candidate status was officially granted on 17 December 2010.
Montenegro is experiencing ecological, judicial and crime-related problems that may hinder its bid. Montenegro signed an agreement with the Bulgarian government in December 2007 in which Bulgaria will assist Montenegro with its Euro-Atlantic and EU integration for the following three years.
On 27 July 2010, the Montenegrin Parliament passed a non-discrimination law that includes sexual orientation and gender identity as prohibited grounds of discrimination. This was one of the requirements the country had to meet for EU membership.
To work on these matter the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Montenegro has a special agency dedicated to accession to the EU, the Office for assistance to the Chief Negotiator. The goal of the office is to support the task of the Chief Negotiator for Montenegro’s Accession to EU, Aleksandar Andrija Pejović.
Unilateral euro adoption
Montenegro has no currency of its own. As a constituent republic of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia following World War II, and later of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Yugoslav dinar was the official currency in Montenegro. In November 1999, the government of Montenegro unilaterally designated the Deutsche Mark as its co-official currency with the dinar, and on 1 January 2001 the dinar officially ceased to be a legal tender in Montenegro. When the euro was introduced and the Deutsche Mark yielded, Montenegro followed suit and began using the euro as well without any objections from the European Central Bank (ECB). The European Commission and the ECB have since voiced their discontent over Montenegro's unilateral use of the euro on several occasions.” A statement attached to their Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU read: "unilateral introduction of the euro was not compatible with the Treaty." The EU insists on the strict adherence to convergence criteria (such as spending at least 2 years in the ERMII system) which are not negotiable before euro adoption, but have not intervened to stop the unilateral adoption of the euro by Montenegro in 2002.
The issue is expected to be resolved through the negotiations process. The ECB has stated that the implications of unilateral euro adoption "would be spelled out at the latest in the event of possible negotiations on EU accession." Diplomats have suggested that it's unlikely Montenegro will be forced to withdraw the euro from circulation in their country. Radoje Žugić, Montenegro's Minister of Finance, has stated that "it would be extremely economically irrational to return to our own currency and then later to again go back to the euro." Instead, he hopes that Montenegro will be permitted to keep the euro and has promised "the government of Montenegro, will adopt some certain elements, which should fulfil the conditions for further use of the euro; such as adopting fiscal rules."
|Acquis chapter||EC assessment at start||EC Assessment in 2015||EC Assessment in 2016||Screening started||Screening completed||Chapter opened||Chapter closed|
|1. Free Movement of Goods||Considerable efforts needed||Moderately prepared||Moderately prepared||2013-01-14||2013-03-06||–||–|
|2. Freedom of Movement For Workers||Further efforts needed||Early stage||Some level of preparation||2013-05-13||2013-06-07||–||–|
|3. Right of Establishment & Freedom To Provide Services||Further efforts needed||Moderately prepared||Moderately prepared||2012-10-23||2012-11-30||–||–|
|4. Free Movement of Capital||Further efforts needed||Moderately prepared||Moderately prepared||2013-01-18||2013-02-21||2014-06-24||–|
|5. Public Procurement||Further efforts needed||Moderately prepared||Moderately prepared||2012-09-27||2012-11-19||2013-12-18||–|
|6. Company Law||Further efforts needed||Moderately prepared||Good level of preparation||2012-10-02||2012-11-22||2013-12-18||–|
|7. Intellectual Property Law||Considerable efforts needed||Well advanced||Good level of preparation||2012-10-11||2012-11-21||2014-03-31||–|
|8. Competition Policy||Further efforts needed||Moderately prepared||Moderately prepared||2012-10-03||2012-12-04||–||–|
|9. Financial Services||Further efforts needed||Moderately prepared||Moderately prepared||2013-04-17||2013-06-11||2015-06-22||–|
|10. Information Society & Media||Further efforts needed||Moderately prepared||Moderately prepared||2012-12-06||2013-01-22||2014-03-31||–|
|11. Agriculture & Rural Development||Considerable efforts needed||Some level of preparation||Moderately prepared||2012-11-06||2012-12-13||December 2016||–|
|12. Food Safety, Veterinary & Phytosanitary Policy||Considerable efforts needed||Some level of preparation||Moderately prepared||2012-10-15||2013-02-01||2016-06-30||–|
|13. Fisheries||Considerable efforts needed||Early stage||Early stage||2013-03-14||2013-06-06||2016-06-30||–|
|14. Transport Policy||Further efforts needed||Moderately prepared||Good level of preparation||2013-04-22||2013-05-30||2015-12-21||–|
|15. Energy||Further efforts needed||Moderately prepared||Good level of preparation||2013-02-27||2013-04-11||2015-12-21||–|
|16. Taxation||No major difficulties expected||Moderately prepared||Moderately prepared||2013-04-08||2013-04-30||2015-03-30||–|
|17. Economic & Monetary Policy||Further efforts needed||Moderately prepared||Moderately prepared||2013-01-10||2013-02-26||–||–|
|18. Statistics||Considerable efforts needed||Some level of preparation||Some level of preparation||2013-06-03||2013-06-25||2014-12-16||–|
|19. Social Policy & Employment||Considerable efforts needed||Some level of preparation||Some level of preparation||2013-01-23||2013-03-13||–||–|
|20. Enterprise & Industrial Policy||No major difficulties expected||Moderately prepared||Moderately prepared||2012-10-25||2012-11-28||2013-12-18||–|
|21. Trans-European Networks||Further efforts needed||Moderately prepared||Moderately prepared||2013-04-22||2013-05-30||2015-06-22||–|
|22. Regional Policy & Coordination of Structural Instruments||Considerable efforts needed||Moderately prepared||Moderately prepared||2012-11-14||2012-12-18||–||–|
|23. Judiciary & Fundamental Rights||Considerable efforts needed||Moderately prepared||Moderately prepared||2012-03-26||2012-05-31||2013-12-18||–|
|24. Justice, Freedom & Security||Considerable efforts needed||Moderately prepared||Moderately prepared||2012-03-28||2012-05-25||2013-12-18||–|
|25. Science & Research||No major difficulties expected||Good level of preparation||Good level of preparation||2012-09-24||2012-09-25||2012-12-18||2012-12-18|
|26. Education & Culture||No major difficulties expected||Good level of preparation||Good level of preparation||2012-09-26||2012-11-16||2013-04-15||2013-04-15|
|27. Environment & Climate Change||Totally incompatible with acquis||Early stage||Some level of preparation||2013-02-04||2013-03-22||December 2016||–|
|28. Consumer & Health Protection||Further efforts needed||Moderately prepared||Moderately prepared||2013-02-19||2013-04-16||2014-12-16||–|
|29. Customs Union||No major difficulties expected||Moderately prepared||Moderately prepared||2013-05-23||2013-06-21||2014-12-16||–|
|30. External Relations||No major difficulties expected||Good level of preparation||Good level of preparation||2013-05-14||2013-06-12||2015-03-30||–|
|31. Foreign, Security & Defence Policy||No major difficulties expected||Good level of preparation||Good level of preparation||2013-05-17||2013-06-27||2014-06-24||–|
|32. Financial Control||Considerable efforts needed||Moderately prepared||Moderately prepared||2013-05-16||2013-06-19||2014-06-24||–|
|33. Financial & Budgetary Provisions||No major difficulties expected||Early stage||Early stage||2013-05-15||2013-06-26||2014-12-16||–|
|34. Institutions||Nothing to adopt||Nothing to adopt||Nothing to adopt||–||–||–||–|
|35. Other Issues||Nothing to adopt||Nothing to adopt||Nothing to adopt||–||–||–||–|
|Progress||33 out of 33||33 out of 33||24 out of 33||2 out of 33|
Visa liberalisation process
On 1 January 2008 the visa facilitation and readmission agreements between Montenegro and the EU entered into force. Montenegro was added to the list of visa exempt nationals on 19 December 2009, allowing their citizens to enter the Schengen Area, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania without a visa when traveling with biometric passports. Visa liberalisation process does not include travels to Ireland or the United Kingdom as these countries operate their own respective visa regimes outside of the Schengen Agreement.
|15 October 2007||Montenegro signs the Stabilisation and Association Agreement.|
|15 December 2008||Formal application for membership submitted.|
|12 April 2010||Montenegro submits answers to the Commission's Questionnaire.|
|9 November 2010||European Commission replies to the answers of the Questionnaire with a positive opinion (Avis).|
|17 December 2010||Montenegro receives official candidate status.|
|12 October 2011||Commission recommends starting of negotiations.|
|26 March 2012||Screening started.|
|26 June 2012||European Council sets a target date of 29 June for the beginning of accession negotiations.|
|29 June 2012||Accession negotiations begin with the screening process.|
|18 December 2012||Chapter on "Science and Research" is opened and closed.|
|15 April 2013||The first accession conference is held in Brussels. Chapter on "Education and Culture" is opened and closed.|
|1 June 2013||The second accession conference was planned to be held in Brussels in June.|
|27 June 2013||Screening completed.|
|18 December 2013||Five chapters are opened.|
|31 March 2014||Two chapters are opened.|
|24 June 2014||Three chapters are opened.|
|16 December 2014||Four chapters are opened.|
|30 March 2015||Two chapters are opened.|
|22 June 2015||Two chapters are opened.|
|21 December 2015||Two chapters are opened.|
|30 June 2016||Two chapters are opened.|
|December 2016||Two chapters are opened.|
Impact of Joining
|Member countries||Population||Area (km²)|| GDP
per capita (US$)
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As of 21 December 2015, twenty-two negotiating Chapters, including the rule of law Chapters, 23 – Judiciary and fundamental rights and 24 – Justice, freedom and security, have been opened, out which two Chapters (25 – Science and research and 26 – Education and culture) have been provisionally closed.
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