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An the Intergovernmental Conference in Brussels today, Montenegro has opened two new negotiating Chapters, 2 – Freedom of movement for workers and 3 – Right of establishment and freedom to provide services. It was jointly assessed that by meeting the obligations of the accession process Montenegro confirms its strong pro-European commitment and continues to pursue its path towards EU membership…
At the Intergovernmental Conference in Brussels today, Montenegro has opened two new negotiating Chapters, 2 – Freedom of movement for workers and 3 – Right of establishment and freedom to provide services.
It was jointly assessed that by meeting the obligations of the accession process Montenegro confirms its strong pro-European commitment and continues to pursue its path towards EU membership.
In his address to the representatives of the member states and the European Commission, the head of the Montenegrin delegation, Minister of European Affairs Aleksandar Andrija Pejović expressed his satisfaction that the Montenegrin efforts and results in these areas were recognised and that Montenegro, with 30 open and three temporarily closed chapters, successfully closes this year.
He emphasised that today’s success is the result of the work not only of the negotiating structure in chapters two and three, but also of the rule of law developments registered by the European Commission in its working paper recently published by the Ministry of European Affairs.
Speaking about the importance of Chapter 2 – Freedom of movement for workers, Minister Pejović said that it represents the cornerstone of European integration.
This chapter is of special importance to Montenegrin citizens, because on the day of EU accession they will have the right to stay, professionally develop and work in another EU member state and have the same treatment as domestic workers in terms of working conditions and social and tax privileges, the Minister added.
When it comes to opening of this chapter, Minister Pejović said that Montenegro carried out significant reforms, especially with regard to the harmonization of domestic legislation with the EU acquis.
We have adopted the Health Insurance Law that recognises the European Health Insurance Card, as well as the Regulation on European Health Insurance and the Integrated Migration Management Strategy with the Activity Plan. In the Employment Agency, we have established a sector for the European Employment Network, which will, on the day of accession, further improve access to employment services and improve the lives and work of our citizens, the Minister noted.
Regarding Chapter 3 – Right of establishment and freedom to provide services, the Minister stressed that Montenegro is aware of its benefits: opening of borders of EU members for the services of all companies and individuals, equality in the acquired educational documents for regulated professions and increased mobility and participation in the EU labour market of half a billion people.
This area is of special importance to the open economy of Montenegro, strongly oriented towards the service sector and development model based on attracting foreign investments, Minister Pejović said.
He reminded that in the previous period Montenegro implemented key reforms related to the transposition of the Services Directive, the adoption of the Law on Services, the reforms in the postal services, the adoption of the Law and the Regulation on Postal Services, as well as significant results in the field of harmonization of study programmes for performing regulated professions. He emphasised that in the forthcoming period, the work on further improvement of administrative capacities will continue, so that Montenegro will be able to fully access the European economic market, after becoming part of the European family.
European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn praised the significant progress that Montenegro has achieved so far in the area of the rule of law, both in the reform of legislation, in terms of institution building and capacity building, and initial results in the fight against corruption and organised crime. He expressed the expectation that Montenegro will continue to demonstrate strong political commitment and achieve convincing results. He also pointed to positive developments in the field of public administration and economic and fiscal reforms.
As always, the EC will continue to support the accession of Montenegro to the EU, with technical and financial assistance, Hahn said.
Chairperson of the Council of the EU, Estonian Minister of European Affairs Sven Mikser said that the Estonian EU Presidency is committed to pursuing the enlargement policy.
We believe that the policy of enlargement, 13 years after Estonia became a member of the EU, has the true power to bring about changes in the lives of citizens and to continue to represent a strategic investment in the peace and progress of the whole of Europe, he added.
He assessed that today’s opening of the chapters testifies to Montenegro’s steady progress in the process of EU accession and the fulfillment of membership criteria.
He stressed that Montenegro remains a leader in negotiations with the EU and a reliable partner.
Source: Government of Montenegro