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Montenegro – a lead candidate for EU acquis by 2025

Montenegro – a lead candidate for EU acquis by 2025

Montenegro applied for the EU membership in December 2008. With most negotiation chapters open, Montenegro is a major candidate to meet the 2025 accession date suggested by the European Commission’s new 2018 enlargement strategy.

Montenegro is in a leading position on its path towards EU accession, compared to the other five aspirants from the Western Balkans, according to the European Commission. At the 96th cabinet meeting, the Montenegro Government adopted a law in harmonization of border control tasks with the legal acquis of the European legislation, bearing in mind that Montenegro is one of the candidates for EU membership and that after joining the European Union it will be part also of the Schengen area.

So far, out of a total of 35 negotiation chapters, 32 chapters have now been opened for negotiations of which 3 chapters have already been provisionally closed.

Montenegro has reached a good level of preparation in areas such as company law, intellectual property law, energy as well as foreign, security and defense policy. It is moderately prepared in many chapters, such as free movement of goods, competition policy, agriculture and rural development, food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy, as well as enterprise and industrial policy.

Montenegro still needs a lot of work to do on its judicial system, fight against corruption, organized crime, freedom of expression before becoming a full EU member state.

Montenegro-EU relations

The EU is also Montenegro’s biggest trading partner, as well as the largest provider of financial assistance.

Montenegro is currently benefiting from EU financial assistance under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) with an indicative allocation of EUR 279.5 million for the period 2014-2020.

Montenegro was added to the list of visa exempt nationals on 19 December 2009 to visit the Schengen area. Montenegro expressed intentions to join the Schengen area after accession as a EU member state.

Montenegro status in the EU

EU member state – No
Schengen area – No
Eurozone – No
EU candidate status – Yes

The European Union signed an agreement with Montenegro on border management cooperation between Montenegro and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) to tackle illegal immigration and protecting borders.

Citizenship by Investment

Montenegro launched an exciting citizenship by investment (“CBI”) program in 2018 to attract foreign investors investing in Montenegro. It is a limited citizenship by investment opportunity of only 2,000 investors approved for citizenship in the next three (3) years.

Considering Montenegro is a lead and major candidate for EU acquis in a few years, this make it most attractive to apply for CBI in Montenegro.

Here are the eligible investments for citizenship;

Real Estate – EUR 250,000 (North of Montenegro) or EUR 350,000 (Podgorica or major cities)
Application fee – EUR 100,000
Further fees may apply
Processing time – approx. 3 months

The Citizenship program is already beginning to produce results attracting investments in tourism projects and creating jobs, according to the announcement by Premier Minister Dusko Markovic.

So far Montenegro has received 5 citizenship applications for investments in hotels in Northern Montenegro and the first case is already approved.