PODGORICA – The European Commission has adopted on 2 December the 2016 Programme for Montenegro, granting EUR 22.9 million to support Montenegro in carrying out reforms on its path to EU membership, reports the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro.
The programme focuses on the areas of environment and competiveness. This programme is first part of the wider assistance allocated for the period 2014-2020 worth over EUR 270 million from IPA II programme.
“EU is the largest investor in Montenegro,” said Ambassador Aivo Orav, Head of EU Delegation to Montenegro, recalling that over EUR 235 million had already been invested by the EU between 2007 and 2013 through its Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance. “This investment comes with responsibility – when the EU invests its taxpayers’ money, it wishes to get something in return. In this case, we wish to see a sustainable track-record of reforms that will change Montenegrin citizens’ life for the better and at the same time to have Montenegro well-prepared for membership,” underlined Orav.
EUR 16 million will be allocated to the environment sector, to improve the quality of air and water, promote waste recycling and combat climate change. The EU support will also be used to help Montenegro in addressing the problem of flood risk and to preserve, protect and improve the quality of bathing water. An additional EUR 6.9 million will be invested in economic competitiveness and innovation, in particular for small and medium enterprises. Thanks to EU assistance, Montenegrin companies will get better access to finance, and become more competitive on the broader international market. In addition, Technopolis in Nikšić and the Bureau of Metrology will be supplied with state-of-the-art laboratory equipment, states the Delegation.
Montenegro also benefits from EU assistance within the IPA II multi-country programme, providing financial support on a regional scale to the countries of the Western Balkans and Turkey for projects of common interest, as well as significant funding for civil society organisations and cross border cooperation between neighbouring countries.
Strategic objectives for IPA 2014-2020 in Montenegro are the following:
- Sustained pre-accession assistance in two most strategic sectors:
- Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights
- Democracy and Governance
- Ensuring stable economic growth / convergence towards EU development:
- Competitiveness and Innovation, Education, Employment and Social policies
- Economic potential and alignment with EU acquis:
- Agriculture and Rural Development, Environment, Transport
- Reconciliation and regional integration:
- Regional Cooperation and Territorial Cooperation (CBC)
(Aditional information about IPA II assistance are available at: http://www.delmne.ec.europa.eu/code/navigate.php?Id=59 )