Montenegro is the only candidate country which is having ‘ with the EU at the moment. The country started the negotiations process officially in 2012.
On December 18th, 2013Montenegro opened the first chapters under the new negotiations system – starting from the Chapters, which are difficult to the region – 23 “Judiciary and fundamental rights” and 24 “Justice, freedom and security”. Since then, 22 chapters have been opened, with two of them provisionally closed (because negotiations do not end until the accession treaty is signed). In this sense, purely empirically, against the backdrop of all the others that are currently negotiating, Montenegro truly is a frontrunner, for it has opened the most chapters to date and not a single one is blocked for some reason – unresolved bilateral disputes with a member state, cultural-religious differences, or something else.
The problem is, however, that the country is showing negligible progress, as Commissioner for Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn (Austria, EPP) noted at the vote on Montenegro’s progress report in the European Parliament on March 9th. “Our assessment is, unfortunately, that real progress on the ground in the rule of law remains limited, including in establishing a track record in the fight against corruption and organised crime”. Besides failing to deal with these serious problems, Montenegro is being also torn apart by a severe political crisis, which includes a substantial geopolitical element. The situation worsened considerably when Montenegro received an official invitation to join NATO. At that point the pro-Russian parties in the country began organising mass street protests, demanding the resignation of PM Milo Đukanović, who was accused of corruption and authoritarianism.
Source: Radio Television Montenegro