A decade of Montenegrin accession negotiations with the EU: How to get out of the roundabout?

About publication

Authors: Milica Zindović, Nikola Mirković, Daliborka Uljarević

Publishing year: 2022.

After a decade of accession negotiations with the EU, Montenegro replaced the qualification of a regional frontrunner in European integration with the qualification of a leader in the length of negotiations in the region, because, except Turkey, no country negotiates longer and with a poorer track record that even simulating of reforms can no longer hide. Decision makers perceive European integration superficially, they advocate for it rhetorically, knowing that the vast majority of citizens express their support for that process, but they do not want to commit sincerely to it in their desire to keep as many levers of power as possible.

EC reports, as well as reports of many relevant Montenegrin and international organisations, for years, indicate an ongoing political crisis in Montenegro, characterized by a fragmented and polarized political scene with the absence of political dialogue and political will for reforms. Also, there is not enough effort in strengthening institutions, democratic review, and balance between different branches of government.

The new Governments, formed after the parliamentary elections in August 2020, missed the opportunity to work on the professionalization and depoliticization of public administration by continuing to destroy it with a party and nepotistic cadre, the negotiating structure for accession negotiations with the EU was left without the majority of the institutional memory and nothing was done for its optimization and strengthening.