The Central European Aluminum Company (CEAC), a Cyprus-based major shareholder and one of the largest creditors of Kombinat Aluminijuma Podgorica (KAP) in Montenegro, today called on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to insist on Montenegro’s full respect of the EU’s acquis communautaire, the body of EU law, as an absolute precondition of its eventual EU membership during Thursday’s Germany-sponsored West Balkans Conference.
CEAC particularly has called on the German Chancellor to insist that “Montenegro urgently address and resolve core issues of investor protection and redress for abuse.”
“Following its significant investments in KAP, CEAC was repeatedly frustrated in its efforts to efficiently run the company, and was ultimately illegally stripped of its investments by the Montenegrin government. Over the course of these disagreements the Government of Montenegro systematically and repeatedly breached the EU acquis communautaire, failing to ensure the separation of powers, to protect basic foreign investor rights and using judicial intimidation tactics. Additionally, the recent sale of KAP violated Montenegro’s own laws, as no approval was granted by KAP’s major creditors. These abuses were recently made evident when the District Court of Nicosia, Cyprus, ordered an injunction against divesting KAP’s assets. Despite the injunction being binding under international treaty, the Government of Montenegro has failed to respect it,” the CEAC statement reads.
CEAC’s External Counsel, Dr Matthias Menke, said:
“Montenegro is considered the ‘next in line’ for accession of candidate EU members, despite serious problems regarding the rule of law that plague the country. As Europe’s foremost national political leader, it is incumbent upon Chancellor Merkel to use the opportunity of the West Balkans Conference organised at her request to insist that Montenegro get its house in order before it’s allowed to proceed further with the EU accession process. While CEAC has been a steadfast supporter of Montenegro’s eventual EU accession, it cannot be at any price, which would be a terrible mistake for the EU and would set a terrible precedent for other EU candidate countries.”
CEAC has repeatedly called for a resolution to the KAP dispute, and according to CEAC, numerous offers to the Montenegrin government of a negotiated settlement have consistently been rejected.
A solution for KAP has also been repeatedly requested by major EU institutions, most recently in EU Commission progress reports, European Parliament resolutions and Council conclusions.
Source: InSerbia News (Montenegro)