Montenegro between reform leader and reform simulacrum

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Publishing year: 2018

Six years since the start of accession negotiations, Montenegro is still a showcase of state capture. In the same manner it has been exhausting domestic democratic public for decades, Montenegrin Government masterfully applies the exhaustion strategy to the process of European integration, abusing the EU’s need for a new integration optimism.

Citizens cannot see progress in curbing the entanglement of public and ruling party’s interests, or in dismantling the links with organised crime and corruption at all levels of the government. Weak and politicised institutions, impunity for the corrupted officials and misuse of public funds, state interference into media market and jeopardizing of the independence of public broadcaster feat by ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), hostile actions towards critically oriented NGOs and targeting its leaders — all of them are still alive and well in Montenegro, Western Balkans “frontrunner” toward EU.

Hence, a key question in the EU-Montenegro relations must be answered — will the EU keep turning a blind eye to the absence of track record, perseverance of old and introduction of new undemocratic practices?

This brief was prepared by Institut Alternativa (IA), Centre for civic education (CGO), Centre for development of NGOs (CRNVO) and Centre for monitoring and research (CEMI).