Some countries show “reforms fatigue”

Daliborka Uljarević, executive director of the Centre for Civic Education (CCE) participates today at the international conference entitled “Further EU Enlargement in South Eastern Europe – the road ahead!”, held in Zagreb and organized by the International Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO) from Zagreb and the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI).

At the first panel of the conference on EU enlargement after Croatia’s accession spoke Neven Mimica, Deputy Prime Minister for Internal, Foreign and European Affairs and Carl Bildt, Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs. Second panel about the EU and South Eastern Europe in the context of the accession process gathered following speakers: H. E. Paul Vandoren, Head of the EU Delegation in the Republic of Croatia, Jelica Minic, Deputy Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council and Kristof Bender from the European Stability Initiative.

In the third panel, where the focus was on the challenges of enlargement from the perspective of South East Europe through the prism of the countries in the region, spoke Daliborka Uljarević. Beside her spoke also: Gledis Gjipali from the European Movement in Albania, Vedran Džihić from the University of Vienna, Venera Hajrullahu from the Kosovar Civil Society Foundation, Malinka Ristevska Jordanova from the European Policy Institute, Jovan Teokarević from the Faculty of Political Sciences in Belgrade and Alper Ibrahim Arisoy from the University of Dokuz Eylul from Turkey.

In her speech, Uljarević referred to the current situation in Montenegro in light of the process of accession to the EU, perspectives of Montenegro and the impact of European integration in the implementation of reforms under which she reflected on the affair “Recording”, as an illustration of the weakness of Montenegrin institutions that are under strong political influence by the ruling political structure, which often endangers the public interest. She also talked about the impact of the forthcoming membership of Croatia on Montenegro and the region. On the interest of the participants and moderators, Uljarević spoke about the controversies that brought the presidential elections and announced protests of the side that exposes in public serious arguments over electoral manipulations. She pointed out that it is evident that in addition to the “enlargement fatigue” that exists in some EU member states, the “reform fatigue” that exists in some of the aspiring countries should also be taken into the account, adding that Montenegro alongside with political rhetoric shows very weak measurable results and that it should not be ignored by the EU regardless of the other, much bigger problems in the region. She concluded that in this context is necessary as soon as possible to open chapters 23 and 24, so to the Montenegrin authorities would be limited in the maneuvering space for abuse and accelerate the introduction of European values and standards into Montenegrin society.

Svetlana Pesić, Programme assistant