Does the National council for European integration have the capacity to be a strategic consultative body within the European integration process?

The National council for European integration (NSEI) still shows its unreadiness to assume an active role within the European integration process. This impression stems from the discussion during the first NSEI’s session in 2011, together with statements from that session. It is evident that there was a lack of constructive debate about the most important issues for NSEI’s functioning – mechanisms for improvement of its capacities. This improvement should ensure that NSEI can take over one of the crucial positions within the EU integration process. Therefore, the NSEI constantly fails to initiate recommendations for overcoming some of the central obstacles in its functioning. This conclusion is confirmed after taking into consideration NSEI’s guidelines for improvement of the integration process. Remark refer to the attitudinal acceptance of the Action plan for Monitoring Implementation of Recommendations given in European Commission’s Opinion by this institution, without any concrete recommendation for its improvement during the preparation and adoption phase.

Considering the Action plan for Monitoring Implementation of Recommendations given in European Commission’s Opinion, after a public debate, improvements are evident in all parts of this plan, except in the part which refers to the Parliament of Montenegro. These improvements came after incorporation of suggestions and recommendations coming from NGOs and the EU. Therefore, it is unclear why Action plan for enhancement of legislative and control role of the Parliament of Montenegro for the period of November 2010 – November 2011 was not a subject of the public debate, while this documents needs improvement in various segments. It should be noted that Parliament’s Action plan fails to define some crucial elements which refer to the development of control mechanisms over the Government as well as the work of the NSEI and the Committee for International Relations and European integration. In addition, Parliament’s Action plan lacks clearly defined indicators which are necessary for monitoring the success in enhancement of central legislative institution’s capacities.

Having in mind limited administrative capacities of the NSEI, which were clearly highlighted by the European Commission, it crucially important to define mechanisms for improving them as soon as it possible. We believe those might be a part of the Strategy for development of human resources in the Parliament of Montenegro for the period January 2011 – December 2013. It is also possible to anticipate mechanisms for development of human resource capacities within the scope of a separate plan/document.

The NSEI has to show its political maturity and initiative in order to fulfill abovementioned. This is the only way for NSEI to become an active and strategically important participant within the accession process of the country to the EU.

Jovana Marović

Senior Researcher of the Institute Alternative

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