This own-initiative opinion will draw upon the first-hand experiences of the non-state actors (civil society, business and trade unions) engaged in the accession negotiations between Croatia and the EU over the period 2005-11, as well as experiences of EESC members who have been engaged in the work of Joint Consultative Committees (JCCs) with accession countries over the past seven years (Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey and Montenegro) as well as the Western Balkans Follow-up Committee.
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Opinion on the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on certain procedures for applying the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Montenegro, of the other part (codification)
The EU-Montenegro Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) held a meeting in Podgorica on June 7 to discuss the state of play in Montenegro's EU accession negotiations. The members of the JCC agreed on a joint declaration, which calls on the EU institutions to continue to be supportive of the EU enlargement policy after the European elections in May 2019 and on the Montenegrin authorities to produce tangible results in the areas of rule of law, media freedom, fight against organised crime and corruption.
The importance of Social Dialogue, the role of employers' organisations, the economic situation in the Balkan countries, progress in the accession process and current political challenges: these were main topics of the discussions at the Balkan Employers' Round Table that took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on 22 March 2017. The event brought together representatives of employers' organisations from former Yugoslavia (Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia).
The EU-Montenegro Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) held its 4th meeting on 24 June in Podgorica, Montenegro. The JCC enables civil society organisations from the two sides to monitor the accession negotiations of Montenegro to the European Union, and to adopt recommendations for Montenegro's government and the EU institutions. The main topics on the agenda will be Agriculture and Rural Development and the Freedom of Expression and Media.
The 5th meeting of the EU-Montenegro Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) was held in Podgorica on 2 December.
The members of the JCC discussed the state of play in Montenegro's EU accession negotiations, and had a public debate on Chapters 23 (Judiciary and fundamental rights) and 24 (Justice, freedom and security), focusing on anti-discrimination policies especially regarding LGBTI & Roma rights. They also adopted reports on Chapter 20 (Enterprise and industrial policy) of the accession negotiations.
The meeting was attended by Alberto Cammarata, Head of Political and Economic Section at the EU Delegation to Montenegro, and Predrag Stamatović, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Montenegro.
The 6th meeting of the EU-Montenegro Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee will take place on 24 June in the EESC premises in Brussels. The topics for debate include transparency and inclusiveness of the EU accession process; disability policies and the situation in practice in Montenegro, as well as a discussion on the current state of social dialogue in Montenegro, with particular review on the Law on Trade Union representativeness. Each side of the Joint Consultative Committee will be represented by 6 members; external speakers from the Montenegrin government and the European Commission, as well as other relevant organizations have been invited.
For the 7th time, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and Montenegro held the Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee (JCC).
The meeting was held in Brussels and tackled following issues:
- The current state of play in EU-Montenegro relations and the accession process
- The Connectivity Agenda in the areas of Energy and Transport
- Chapter 5 - Public procurement
- The state of industrial relations and the development of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Montenegro