EU for Montenegro

The European Union is the largest donor and investor in Montenegro. Since 2007, it has allocated more than 610 million euros in grants in order to improve the lives of Montenegrin citizens. Through hundreds of projects implemented together with state and local authorities, civil society organisations, businesses and citizens, the European Union has been making a substantive difference in Montenegro over the past 15 years.

It builds homes and farms and invests money in the production of healthy food. It improves and modernises healthcare services. It provides support to the complex public administration reform, but also to the unemployed, giving them a chance to start their own businesses. It protects Montenegrin rivers, lakes, forests and meadows, trying to instil European nature protection standards. It provides young people with the opportunity to study abroad, but also to acquire new knowledge and skills through informal learning. It is especially devoted to helping vulnerable groups, and as a result, women, minorities, the LGBT community, young people and people with disabilities today have more rights and better protection thanks to EU investments.

The European Union is able to achieve all of this partly through the well-known Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), by means of which the European Union helps Montenegro build strong democratic institutions, strengthen the rule of law, implement public administration reform, ensure greater respect for human rights, promote gender equality, strengthen civil society, enhance regional cooperation, improve the quality of education at all levels, enable sustainable development and reduce poverty. The aim is to encourage fundamental democratic and economic reforms in the country so it could better prepare for full membership and functioning within the EU system. At the same time, it closely monitors results in accession negotiations, assisting Montenegro to adopt the EU acquis and be able to implement it effectively.

In this way, the European Union wants the citizens of Montenegro to experience concrete benefits and progress in their lives already now, not just when the country becomes part of the Union. Here you can read how the EU is making an effort to achieve its goal – through a clear and practical overview of EU projects in 14 different areas. Explore our website and feel free to contact us if you need additional information.

Sectors

Did you know that 40% of the EU’s total budget goes to agriculture? Making sure that consumers get the highest quality products while also supporting European farmers is a top priority for the EU, ever since it created the Common Agricultural Policy in 1962. This is why agriculture is also a very important part of the EU accession process. Chapters 11, 12 and 13 lay down the standards which Montenegro needs to abide by to join the EU family.

Did you know there were estimated to be about 22.6 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the European Union in 2021? With their potential for innovation and job creation, SMEs represent a key part of the European economy. SMEs also play a crucial role in the Montenegrin economy. For this reason, the EU supports the development of SMEs in Montenegro and helps enhance innovation capacities and industry competitiveness in the country.

There is no doubt that civil society is a very powerful modern concepts. It is often called the “third sector”. Wonder why? That is because civil society is seen as a driver of change, which has the power to hold public and private sectors to account for their commitments. 

Did you know that the Mala Rijeka Viaduct on the Bar-Belgrade route is the highest railway bridge in Europe and the second highest in the world? Or that Montenegro’s railway used to be the most expensive infrastructure project in the former Yugoslavia? However, transport infrastructure in Montenegro has suffered extensively from lack of maintenance. It has been transforming and developing over the past years with the aim of harmonising with EU regulations and standards.

The European Union (EU) has stood by Montenegro to help the country to address both the COVID-19 outbreak and its aftermath. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the EU has granted €116 million to Montenegro, providing vaccines, medical equipment and supplies, financial support for economic recovery and more.

Life in cross-border areas is special, as it may bring benefits but also challenges to inhabitants. They usually have similar lifestyles and share the same habits, culture and tradition, even resources and land. That is why Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) is a key element of the EU policy towards its neighbours. It has been designed to promote good neighbourly relations, foster EU integration and enhance socio-economic development.

Did you know that goods entering the EU from outside the European Union are subject to a common external tariff and tariff-free movement within the EU borders? The reason for this is the EU Customs Union. The EU Customs Union represents one of the greatest achievements of the European Union, one of its fundamental pillars and an essential element in the functioning of the single market. All EU Member States are part of the Customs Union and all countries that aspire to join the EU, including Montenegro, have to meet the requirements set out in Chapter 29: Customs Union. EU assistance is also closely linked to the accession negotiations under this chapter.

Education, employment and social policy are inextricably linked and are of great importance for the development of any society. They represent three areas that contain the key elements necessary to achieve sustainable, smart and inclusive growth in the country.

Planet Earth is our home and all environmental problems, such as air pollution, global warming, water scarcity, fresh water shortage and loss of biodiversity, have far-reaching implications for its conservation, as well as for people’s health. It is therefore important to tackle these problems and protect the environment for our present and future generations.

Ensuring that citizens lead healthy lives and providing an efficient healthcare system for them are essential to sustainable development of each society. In this respect, the EU has been involved in promoting well-being, improving the efficiency of the health system and investing in health infrastructure within and outside its borders.

Did you know that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the most translated document in the world, available in 370 languages? No doubt, there is a lot to know about human rights. As one of the founding principles of the European Union (EU), human rights lie at its core. The EU remains committed to supporting, promoting and protecting human rights not just within, but also outside its borders.

Freedom of expression and independent media are fundamental values of the European Union and important elements of Montenegro’s European integration process. Aware that professional, responsible, transparent, but also financially sustainable media are the cornerstone of any democratic society, the European Union continuously monitors and strengthens the Montenegrin media through various projects, programmes, education and investments.

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Public Administration Reform

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Respect for the rule of law is essential for the functioning of every democratic society. It is a key prerequisite for economic growth and the protection of fundamental rights. That is why safeguarding, strengthening and supporting the rule of law is so high on the EU’s agenda. It is a crucial element of the EU accession process.