European Western Balkans

Gjenero: EU motivates Serbia, but slows down Montenegro

European Commission; Photo: European Union

PODGORICA – Jean-Claude Juncker proposed 2025 as the date for Montenegro and Serbia to join the EU at German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s initiative, Croatian political analyst Davor Gjenero believes.

As he told Pobjeda, the application of this kind of enlargement strategy started after the Berlin Process, when a sort of a Balkan waiting room was created. The intention was to distance Serbia from Russia, he said.

Commenting on the new EU strategy of accepting Montenegro and Serbia as members together, as a package, Gjenero said that it was very dangerous policy slowing Montenegro down.

Gjenero said that the main difference between the two countries was that official Belgrade didn’t take accession negotiations with the EU seriously while Podgorica did.

Gjenero assessed that Montenegro was acting as a true candidate – it does not deal with politicising or lobbying, but it is implementing reforms and fulfilling the criteria instead.

“It is now at a critical stage when it will open and close the chapters more quickly. It was the case with Croatia. For some time it just opened chapters without closing it. And then there was a period when the process was accelerated. It seems to me that Montenegro will do the same,” Gjenero said.

He believes that 2025 cannot be the target date for Montenegro.

“According to this dynamics, the country is expected to finish the negotiations in 2023, because it takes two years after completing the negotiations to sign the accession treaty. I am convinced that Podgorica will end negotiations earlier than 2023, and that Serbia will not be able to close all chapters by then. In this way, the EU wants to motivate Serbia,” Gjenero concluded.

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