European Commission: Montenegro Remained Average

As in the previous five years, based on the methodology of the European Commission, IA transformed the report’ assessments into numbers in order to see scores in a simpler way, and compare the situation with previous years. Although this is the first report of the new commissioner Várhelyi and his team, it does not differ significantly from the previous one.

Assessments given by Commission are: “backsliding” (1), “no progress” (2), “some/limited progress” (3), “good progress” (4) and “very good progress’’ (5). We assigned them numbers from 1-5 and got the grades that we will compare in the coming days with the grades that our neighbor-countries got, and make a regional cross-section.

New report from the European Commission (EC) shows that Montenegro continued to have moderate results in the European integration process. This year, as well as last year, we did not receive any excellent grade, but we did not receive any “backsliding” grade, which means there were no 5s and no 1s. The lack of ”fives” also explains the slowness in closing the chapters.

The average assessment for Montenegro is 3,18 – which is slightly better than last year when the total score for all chapters was 3,09. However, this grade Montenegro also had in 2016, so that after four years it has only returned to the previous level. The 3,18 score is maximum that Montenegro has ever reached since the introduction of this scoring system.

The better assessment compared to the one from last year implies from the fact that seven chapters received a very good grade this year, although, twenty-five chapters remained at the middle level, ie. 75% of chapters have a triple.

Worst of all rated chapters is Chapter 14 ,,Transport policy’’. This chapter received a lower grade than last year and it is also the only chapter of 33 that received assessment of two.

When it comes to chapters related to the rule of law, Chapter 23 is noticeably in worse position than Chapter 24. Namely, although both chapters received an average assessment three, metaphorically speaking, Chapter 23 has a weak three, and Chapter 24 a strong three score. This implies from the three sub criteria assessed in these chapters, so Chapter 23 has two assessment of “limited progress’’ and one of “no progress’’, while Chapter 24 has three ratings of “some progress’’.

Out of 25 chapters that received score three, 8 received a “weak” three and 17 a “strong” three score.

Good progress with the assessment ”four” has been noted in the following seven chapters: chapter 6 ,,Company law’’, chapter 9 ,, Financial services’’, chapter 11 ,,Agriculture and rural development’’, chapter 12 ,,Food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy’’, chapter 16 ,,Taxation’’, chapter 19 ,, Social Policy and employment’’ and chapter 25 ,,Science and Research’’.

This confirmed IA’s opinion on the worrying stagnation, especially bearing in mind that we have entered the ninth year of accession negotiations with the EU. Same problems are being rewritten from year to year, without major progress. The report is very comprehensive and in addition to a precise description of the situation, a qualitative analysis of the problem, it contains clear guidelines and recommendations that the new government should adhere to very strictly, if we want the next report to be better.

 

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