The tenth meeting of the Accession Conference with Montenegro at Ministerial level was held today in Brussels to open negotiations on Chapter 2 – Freedom of movement for workers, and Chapter 3 – Right of establishment and freedom to provide services. The European Union delegation was led by Mr Sven Mikser, Minister of Foreign Affairs, on behalf of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The European Commission was represented by Mr Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations. The Montenegrin delegation was led by Mr Aleksandar Pejović, Minister of European Affairs.
With today’s Conference, out of a total of 35 negotiation chapters, 30 chapters have now been opened for negotiations of which 3 chapters have already been provisionally closed. Further Accession Conferences will be planned, as appropriate, in order to take the process forward in the first half of 2018. The accession negotiations were launched in June 2012.
Regarding the opening of negotiations on Chapter 2 – Freedom of movement for workers and Chapter 3 – Right of establishment and freedom to provide services, the Union has closely examined Montenegro’s present state of preparations. On the understanding that Montenegro has to continue to make progress in the alignment with and implementation of the acquis in these chapters, the EU noted that there are benchmarks that need to be met for provisional closure of these chapters.
In addition, the EU underlined that it would devote particular attention to monitoring all specific issues mentioned in its common positions. Monitoring of progress in the alignment with and implementation of the acquis will continue throughout the negotiations. The Conference will have to return to these chapters at an appropriate moment.
The benchmarks for each chapter opened are as follows:
Chapter 2 – Freedom of movement for workers
- Montenegro demonstrates that adequate structures and enforcement capacity will be in place to implement correctly the acquis on freedom of movement for workers by the time of accession.
Chapter 3 – Right of establishment and freedom to provide services
- Montenegro adopts and presents to the European Commission a list of regulated professions within the meaning of the relevant acquis, specifying the activities covered by each profession and the justifications on the regulations.
- Montenegro aligns all study programmes under which qualifications for regulated professions are acquired in Montenegro with the requirements of Directive 2005/36/EC and its relevant amendments.
- Montenegro adopts the horizontal law on services transposing the Services Directive 2006/123/EC and demonstrates further progress in the alignment of sectoral legislation.
- Montenegro adopts amendments to its national legislation so as to repeal any nationality requirements for access and exercise of service activities, except for nationality requirements justified and proportionate according to Article 51 TFEU. These amendments should be applicable at the latest by the date of accession.