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Montenegro was granted candidate-country status in December 2010, and its accession negotiations with the EU started on 29 June 2012.
The basic difference from Iceland and Turkey – which is set out in the Negotiating Framework for Montenegro – is the new negotiating methodology for the most important and demanding chapters of the accession process: Chapter 23, on “Judiciary and Fundamental Rights”; and Chapter 24, on “Justice, Freedom and Security”.
The singularity of the new methodology approach lies in the fact that, during the negotiations, Montenegro will need to develop a history of good implementation, with the aim of the reforms’ being rendered irreversible, particularly with regard to combating organized crime and corruption, building rule of law, and respecting fundamental rights.
To date, twelve negotiating Chapters have been opened (five of which under the Greek Presidency), and two have been closed provisionally. In its annual report on Montenegro (8 October 2014), the European Commission noted the progress that had been made in the accession negotiations. However, it underscored that tangible results in the sector of rule of law are necessary, and that Montenegro’s relevant performance will determine the general pace of the negotiations.
At Montenegro’s request for the provision of know-how on European issues, Greece concluded a Memorandum of Cooperation (Budva, 29 June 2011) with Montenegro for the acceleration of the latter’s accession course.
Montenegro is linked to the EU via the Stability and Association Process, which constitutes the contractual cooperation framework aimed at stabilising the countries of the Western Balkans, at their transition to market economy, at the promotion of regional cooperation, and at their preparation for eventual accession to the European Union. Montenegro’s Stabilisation and Association Agreement went into effect on 1 May 2010, and, following Podgorica’s taking appropriate reform measures, the EU decided on 19 December 2009 to liberalize the visa regime for citizens of Montenegro.
Greece supports Montenegro’s European perspective and supported the opening of accession negotiations, while considering that there is a need for dedication to the continuation of the efforts to meet the relevant criteria and come into line with the community acquis.
Last Updated Thursday, 04 May 2017