Montenegro is preparing the first program of economic reforms

Montenegro is preparing the first program of economic reforms

Podgorica, December 22, 2014/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Adnan Prekic

In accordance with the new approach of the European Union, Montenegro will be obliged at the beginning of next year to send to Brussels a program of economic reforms. The new enlargement policy of the European Union will place more emphasis on economic development, in order to align the candidate countries with the legal and economic development.

The European Commission ordered the candidate countries, among which is Montenegro, to by the end of January submit a national programs of economic reforms. In its Progress Report, the European Commission said that none of the countries of the Western Balkans still meets the economic criteria in fully. The first part of these economic criteria refers to the market economy that works and the second one is its ability to cope with competitive pressure within the European Union.

As such, Montenegro, besides the annual report on state finances, will also have to report how it plans to improve the economic situation in the country. The government of Montenegro has said that the first version of this document was completed, and that the main goal will be to increase the competitiveness of the Montenegrin economy in the coming years, in order not to lag too much behind EU Member States. In this version of the program are specified eight key areas on which work must be done: transport, tourism and energy, small and medium enterprises, business environment, spatial planning, rural infrastructure, electronic service, education and unemployment.

Deputy Prime Minister Vujica Lazović reminded that Montenegro submits the Pre-Accession Economic Programme on an annual basis. This document was the basis for a dialogue on macroeconomic and fiscal policy between Montenegro and the EU. National program of economic reforms, as he said, is the document the implementation of which will enable Montenegrin economy to be more competitive and achieve a european standard of living.

“The aim of the reform is, as stated, the elimination of obstacles to the growth of priority sectors – tourism, energy, agriculture and industry. “Until now, the focus of economic policy was the fiscal policy, but from now it will be a set of measures that Montenegro will be obliged to implement in order to improve fundamentally and achieve growth”, said Lazovic.

The new approach of the European Commission aims to assist candidate countries, as well as those who are about to become, to establish a functioning market economy and to enhance the capacity to cope with the competitive pressure prevalent in the unified European market.

This new approach is expected to make the Western Balkans attractive to domestic and foreign investment, which would lead to economic growth and the welfare of the citizens.