Central Europe Activ

During the last days of 2008 Montenegro has submitted a formal application to join the European Union. Montenegro has gained independence in 2006 and signed a pre-accession Stabilisation and Accession Agreement with the EU in October 2007. It’s economy is doing remarkably good although it is highly dependent on Russian investors.

EU enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn welcomed the move, saying to EUobserver.com: “Today Montenegro has reached a historical milestone marking the country’s important engagement to common European values and fundamentals.” The Council – the institution representing EU member states – is now to ask the European Commission for an opinion on Podgorica’s membership application. Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic had stated he expected Brussels to give its opinion during the Czech Republic’s EU presidency, which has given a highh priority to the Southestern enlargement.

This week’s Economist magazine has a well-balanced and relatively lengthy article on Montenegro’s post-independence economic growth.

In 2006, the year it declared independence, Montenegro’s economy grew by 8.6%. In 2007 it accelerated to 10.7%. Last year the government forecast 8%, but the correct figure will be lower. And in 2009 the government is planning for growth of only 5%—and the IMF is talking of a mere 2%. […T] he government is […] besides coping with the general fallout from the global financial crisis, it faces two home-grown problems. The biggest is a huge aluminium factory on the edge of Podgorica. Its fumes are toxic, it makes a loss and it consumes gargantuan quantities of subsidised electricity. […] In December the government had to bail out a troubled bank owned, in large part, by his brother and, to a lesser extent, by his sister and himself [the prime minister].

Montenegro’s dependence on Mr Depraska’s aluminium plant is a great worry – it produces 40% of the GDP.

Although there are some worrying aspects about the Montenegrin economy and its prime minister’s business conduct, it Montenegro has performed much better since its independence than most European analyst had predicted. I think the Montenegro’s membership will add the European stability and cohesion, and given its tiny size of 650 thousand inhabitants and fantastic natural resources it will be very easy to integrate into the European Union.

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  1. quote
    Montenegrro performed much better since its independence than most European analyst had predicted.
    /unquote

    Haha what a remarkable way to cast a positive look on a potential desastrious situation. Does this say that Montenegro is doing good, or that the analysts are idiots.

    Montenegro is a torn country. After independance, 40 procent of its population proclaimed itself Serb. Its tourism has gone downwards ever since. But it is doing much better then people thought it would hehehehe..

  2. Excuse me, but is it a problem that Serbs live in a country? Montenegro has gained acceptance in the international community, broke away from Serbia peacefully and has shown a stellar growth rate in the past years.

  3. Dear Maarten, I am from Montenegro, and your comment is complately inapropriate. Montenegro has 30 percent of Serbs, not 40! That is according to last census… so I don’t see why are you manipulating here.

    Secondly, Montenegrin tourism has grown largely, after independence. It has been great 2 years since 2006 and country had large investments.

    The problem is, of course, the ruling party of Montenegro, that rules last 20 years (developed from old communist elite) and who is slowly turning the state into a private state. (Prime Minister and his family, friends and other buddies, are owning most of companies, large real estates and other major assets of this tiny country). Now, the world crisis is slowly coming too…so we will see how Montenegro will coope with it. I believe, that some political changes will be needed…but independence was absolutely the only possible solution for this multi-cultural country to ensure its progress…

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