BRUSSELS – On the seventh meeting of the ministerial-level conference on Montenegro’s accession to the EU negotiations on Chapter 14 – Transport Policy and Chapter 15 – Energy were opened.
On behalf of the Luxembourg presidency of the Council of the European Union Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg Mr Jean Asselborn was chairing the conference. The European Commission was represented by director in the Directorate General for the European Neighbourhood Policy and the enlargement negotiations Catherine Vent, while the Montenegrin delegation was led by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister Foreign Affairs and European Integration Igor Luksic.
The EU had carefully analyzed the current level of preparedness of Montenegro in connection with the opening of negotiations in Chapter 14 and 15 relating to transport policy and energy. The need for Montenegro is to continue and to make progress in the alignment with the acquis and its implementation in these chapters. Also, the EU noted that there are standards that need to be fulfilled in order temporary closure of this chapters.
Accession negotiations with Montenegro were opened in June 2012. With today’s conference, Montenegro opened 22 out of 35 negotiating chapters, of which two chapters provisionally closed. Future accession conference will be planned appropriate dynamics, in order to further the process forward in the first half of 2016.
Regarding the opening of negotiations on Chapter 14 -Transport Policy, and Chapter 15 – Energy, 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 EU will, if necessary, return to these chapters at an appropriate moment.
The benchmarks for each chapter opened are as follows:
Chapter 14 – Transport Policy
- Montenegro aligns with the EU acquis concerning road charging, social acquis in road transport, new rules on weights and dimensions of heavy goods vehicles and vehicles transporting passengers as well as the common rules for access to the profession of road transport operator, to the international road haulage market and to the international market for coach and bus services. Montenegro ensures a competent, independent and effective railway regulatory body and safety authority and it ensures alignment with EU safety and interoperability standards. Montenegro aligns with the acquis on passenger rights in all modes of transport. Montenegro aligns fully with the acquis on air traffic management.
Chapter 15 – Energy
- Montenegro completes legal alignment with the acquis as regards mandatory oil stocks, establishes its administrative structure to manage oil stocks, and has begun to constitute actual stocks, in line with Montenegro’s own Action Plan. Montenegro aligns with the acquis on the internal energy market, including unbundling all energy utilities in line with one of the models in the acquis. Montenegro aligns with the acquis on energy efficiency.