Drljević: I expect Chapter 8 to be opened this year

Aleksandar Drljević

One of the most important tasks in 2019 and something we are focused on is opening Chapter 8 – Competition. We expect to open this chapter and these are real expectations. Hopefully, that will happen during the Romanian presidency of the EU, said for “Pobjeda” chief EU negotiator, Aleksandar Drljević.

As far as the EU negotiations are concerned, Drljević said that the previous year had been very intense. New structure for EU integration process had been established and European integration office had been formed  and, with this, this process got a new dimension.

“Working on the tasks and responsibilities that are part of the negotiating process and strengthening our capacities is a process that mustn’t be in any delay. I am very proud with the work that had been done by the optimization of working groups for the preparation of accession negotiations. The groups were harmonized with the new needs of the current negotiation phase, with the clear focus on efficient and high-quality work”, said Drljević.

Speaking of opening Chapter 8, Drljević said that Montenegro had performed all the activities for fulfilling five starting measuring instruments.

“I’ll remind that the EU insisted first and foremost on the establishment of the legislative framework and formation of an independent operation body that will exercise control of state aid in accordance with the new legislation. Adoption of the Law on the Control of State Aid and Law on the Amendments to the Law on  Protection of Competition, the control of state aid has been delegated to an independent authority – Agency for the Protection of Competition. In order to avoid political or any other influence on the work of the Agency, the Law stipulates clear restrictions for the election of the members of the Council of the Agency”, said the negotiator.

He added that they were preparing the negotiation position in this chapter, so that they can be ready for the invitation of the EU.

“Opening this last chapter in the EU negotiation process will mean that Montenegro has strengthened internal readiness for the membership and that the year-long work on the improvement of the rule of law system, democratization of society and improvement of life quality is producing results, and that’s the essential objective of this process”, said Drljević.

He has no doubt that Montenegro is on a good way.

“It’s important that the citizens have no dilemma over the fact that the future of Montenegro is in the EU. Today, when the EU itself is fighting internal challenges and adapting to changes, it’s clearer than ever that Montenegro’s accession is of joint interest. We’ll keep reminding our partners that our intentions are serious”, said Drljević.

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