In comparison to the previous year, Montenegro’s progress in fight against corruption was weaker, while no significant breakthroughs were made in nine chapters of membership talks with the European Union (EU).
The most recent progress report on Montenegro, issued by the Euroepan Commission, warns the country that the current pace of fulfilling the EU conditions, especially with regards to anti-corruption policies, does not ensure that the country will reach necessary standards for joining the EU any time soon.
“Corruption remains prevalent in many areas and continues to be a serious problem, requiring effective implementation of deep and lasting reforms”, reads the report, which assessed Montenegro’s efforts against the corruption as weaker than in the previous year.
In other words, while in 2013 the European Commission recognised “some progress” within the Chapter 23, on Judiciary and Fundamental Rights, this year the progress was assessed as “uneven”, with the limited progress in anti-corruption policies and some progress in judiciary reform and protection of fundamental rights.
It is interesting that, overall, Montenegro’s progress was assessed better than in the last year, but weaker than in 2012, the year which marked launching of accession negotiations with the EU.
If the formulations employed by the European Commission for assessing the specific chapters, such as no progress, little progress, limited progress, further progress, some progress, progress and good progress, are translated into the values on scale from 0 to 6, number of chapters with the good, some and further progress is larger than in 2013.
While assigning values to these formulations, Institute Alternative (IA) employed a scale used by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration for interpretation of European Commission’s remarks.
In doing so, we made no difference between the remarks and state of the art in each of the specific fields. We have also made no difference between the chapters which are opened and chapters whose opening is still pending.
However, opening of chapters does not necessarily means stronger progress, as demonstared by the case of the most demanding Chapter 23, but also by the Chapter on Company Law, whithin which a little progress has been achieved.
Two years in a row, Montenegro made no progress with regards to fisheries. Also, this is the third year that we have achieved only little progress in enivronmental protection.
In comparison to 2013, progress in external relations, free movement of workers and public procurement was also made on a slower pace.