Reduced space for evasion of responsibility in the negotiation with the EU process

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) commends the decision of Government of Montenegro which changed the negotiation framework and established European Integration Office within the Cabinet of Prime Minister of Montenegro with Chief Negotiator in the status of ambassador as its Head. This model, that CCE too has proposed heretofore pointing out to systemic mismatch of Ministry of European Affairs, may be more efficient, more encouraging and substantially supporting for negotiation structure from the highest political level. Considering that in many areas, as key cause of lack of track record, political will is being identified, this significantly reduces space for further manoeuvres and evasion of responsibility.

For six years of accession negotiations, Montenegro has demonstrated low level of strategic thinking, wandering around in establishing the most adequate negotiation model that will provide an inclusive and transparent framework, but also the necessary meaningful and not formal cooperation and inter-sectoral coordination of all authorised organs and other stakeholders. These are preconditions, with the expressed and proven political will, for fulfilling benchmarks set by the European Commission.

CCE warned, and practice has confirmed, that introduction of Ministry of European Affairs was not a justified decision, but that this was solely about satisfying certain particular and political appetites and at the expense of citizens of Montenegro, who are now paying the largest state apparatus in the Europe. There was no real need for MEA to be formed in this process of integration, nor was this a practice of other countries which have earlier concluded successfully this process.

We believe that also this example confirms the need for adopting the Law on Government by which work of the highest executive organ in the state would finally be legally regulated, namely normatively encompass the legal-political system, which implies precise setup of composition and jurisdiction of Government. By this law, possibilities for party and coalition trade of resources would be limited, since the Government must not be a place for ‘adoption’.

Ana Nenezic, Coordinator of Europeanisation and Democratisation Programme