Press release: The Parliament Should Provide Access to Draft Negotiating Positions to all Interested Committees

The Parliament of Montenegro won’t be able to fundamentally contribute to progress in the negotiations with consideration of the draft negotiating positions solely on the sessions of the Committee for European Integration, closed for the public.

The Committee for European Integration will meet on 19 February, on session closed for the public, to consider a draft negotiating position on Chapter 26 – Education and Culture. It will be the first draft negotiating position discussed in the Parliament. Due to post-election dynamics, Chapter 25 – Science and Research was opened and provisionally closed without involvement of the Parliament during the preparation of the negotiating position.

The Government, following the practice of countries that have been so far negotiating for membership in the European Union, will not disclosed for the public and interested parties the content of the negotiating positions. However, the Parliament, opting for a more functional model for consideration of these documents, can itself provide a more active role and, thus, better control of the negotiation process. Specifically, the Committee for European Integration is excluded from the review process of harmonization of legislation. The parliamentary working bodies that are specialized in those specific areas of the negotiating chapters check compliance of the draft laws with EU acquis. Therefore, discussion on the draft negotiating positions in the Committee for European Integration will be deprived of the debate on substantive issues relevant to the course of negotiations. Nevertheless, it appears as the optimal model according to which the negotiating positions will be discussed at the joint sessions of the “parent” committees and the Committee for European Integration. To establish this model there are no formal obstacles in the Rules of the Procedure of the Parliament. Such model should improve the quality of the negotiation process, and the role of the Parliament in the process.

Jovana Marović
Research Coordinator

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