MONTENEGRO AND EU INTEGRATION PROCESS

Accession to EU is the highest strategic foreign political priority of Montenegro. Such political commitment has been transformed into an international legal obligation by signing Stabilization and Association Agreement between the European Communities and their Member States, on the one hand, and Montenegro, on the other hand, in Luxembourg, October 15, 2007. By signing Stabilization and Association agreement Montenegro is legally expressed its political will to: – Align its legislation with the EU acquis; – Establish a satisfactory institutional framework for implementation of its regulations harmonized with EU regulations on the environment. The European Council granted the status of candidate country to Montenegro in December 2010. Accession negotiations were opened in June 2012. The Stabilization and Association Agreement between Montenegro and the EU entered into force in May 2010.

Montenegro has made good progress towards meeting opening benchmarks for chapters such as Agriculture and rural development, Energy, Employment and social policy, and Regional policy and preparation for structural instruments. Particular attention needs to be paid now to fulfilling the opening benchmarks in chapters like Competition policy and Environment and climate change, which are challenging for Montenegro.

As stated in the last EU Progress Report 2015, Montenegro is moderately prepared for most acquis chapters although the level of alignment does vary. Concerning public procurement Montenegro is moderately prepared. More work is needed to prevent corruption occurring during the procurement cycle. On financial control, Montenegro is also moderately prepared but significant efforts are needed to implement public internal financial control (PIFC) at all levels of public administration and in state-owned enterprises. On statistics, Montenegro has achieved some level of preparation: significant efforts are needed, especially to ensure the alignment of macro-economic and business statistics with EU standards. Montenegro is at an early stage of preparation on, inter alia, environment and climate change. Aligning with the acquis and strengthening the administrative capacity remains a substantial challenge for Montenegro.

ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION APPROXIMATION PROGRESS IN MONTENEGRO

Montenegro made some progress on aligning and implementing legislation on environment and climate change. In the area of horizontal legislation, the new law on the environment is still to be adopted. Montenegro needs to do more both at national and local level to carry out environmental impact assessments (EIA) and strategic environmental assessments (SEA). On access to environmental information, the three Aarhus Centres have continued to function well. Montenegro has taken some steps to improve cooperation with civil society organisations, but more work is needed to achieve a satisfactory level of cooperation. On air quality, Montenegro amended law on air quality, to align more closely with the acquis. Government of Montenegro adopted the national strategy for waste management until 2030 and the national waste management plan 2015-2020. The law on waste management needs to be adopted. The national network of air quality monitoring was expanded in March with the opening of five pollen monitoring stations. On water quality, amendments to the law on waters to further align with the acquis were adopted in July 2015. The Ministry of Agriculture adopted the 2015 programme to encourage projects in the water sector. On nature protection, in February the government adopted the 2015 forest management programme. In April 2015, Montenegro designated its first regional park: the ‘Piva’ regional park in the municipality of Plužine. This will increase the percentage of Montenegrin territory that is protected. The government also took some initial steps to protect the Ulcinj Salina nature and bird reservation site. On industrial pollution control and risk management, amendments to the law on integrated prevention and control of environment pollution were adopted in July 2015. On chemicals, in January 2015 the government adopted the 2015-2018 national strategy for the management of chemicals. The amendments to the law on flammable liquids and gases were adopted in July. In March 2015, parliament ratified the agreement between Montenegro and the EU on Montenegro’s participation in the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. On climate change, Montenegro made some progress on legislative alignment and on implementation, in particular on fuel quality, ozone-depleting substances and fluorinated gases through amendments to the law on air protection. The government submitted a Second National Communication under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in May 2015 and adopted and submitted its intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) to the expected 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. INDC is part of the Climate Strategy, also adopted in September 2015. Their implementation should be consistent with the EU 2030 Framework.

Top Recommandations

  1. 1.

    Through the Law on Environmental Impact Assessment it is necessary define the obligation of licensed Company/Institution for preparation of EIA to conduct additional filed researches (biodiversity researches) in order to obtain quality biodiversity base.

  2. 2.

    Government of Montenegro must prepare and adopt Water Management Strategy, River Basin Management Plans, Water Cadaster and Water Information System as soon as possible to ensure sustainable planning and use of water resources.

  3. 3.

    Government of Montenegro must adopt Law on urban waste water management as soon as possible in order to prevent further pollution and improve current status of water bodies.

  4. 4.

    Relevant institutions must improve, eliminate barriers and speed up process of realization of waste water treatment plants project as well as construction of sewerage networks project in Municipalities in Montenegro.

  5. 5.

    Hydro meteorological Institute of Montenegro must improve monitoring system, increase the number of measuring stations and to establish monitoring of ecologically flow downstream from water intake.

  6. 6 .

    Government of Montenegro must prepare and adopt water basis and other water management basis, define and implement list of approvals required in order to approve in quality and sustainable manner the construction of energy facilities. Responsibilities of concessionaires and grantor should be more clearly defined in the Concession Agreement, particularly with regard to the issues the led to the termination or issues in implementation of the agreement, so far in the implementation. Relevant institutions must define short term and long term plan of raising capacities in the field of water management and energy and include local communities in initial planning phase of projects.

Top Findings

  1. 1.

    When it comes to the preparation of EIA, the baseline data related to biodiversity which are used in the preparation of mentioned assessment are based only on desktop studies with no original research and due to weaknesses in the baseline, the assessment findings are unreliable.

  2. 2.

    In accordance with Law on waters following legal acts are not adopted: Water Management Strategy, River Basin Management Plans, Water Cadaster and Water Information System, also all bylaws, except one, were adopted before adoption of amendments of Law on Waters 2015.

  3. 3.

    Law on urban waste water management has not been adopted.

  4. 4.

    Connection of citizens to the sewerage system in urban areas is about 67% and in the function is only 4 waste water treatment plants.

  5. 5.

    Vulnerable zones as well as monitoring of surface and ground water have not been defined.

  6. 6.

    The biggest problems which currently exist in implementation of Renewable Energy projects are the following: Lack of basis (water basis, ecological etc.), incompatibility of legal regulations or their implementation, insufficiently clear defining of responsibilities of concessionaries and grantor, poor capacity of institutions responsible for management of water and energy resources, unsustainable planning (especially when it comes to HPPs) and low level of public involvement.

1. Water Quality & Management
1. River Basin Management
Legislation:

Law on waters („OG RMNE“, no 27/07 and “OG MNE”, no. 32/11 i 48/15); Rulebook on the content of the preliminary flood risk assessment and plan of flood risk management ("Official Gazette", No. 69/15); Operational plan of protection from harmful effects of water for waters important from Montenegro for 2016 ("Official Gazette of Montenegro", No. 1/2016 of 5 January 2016); Rulebook on the manner of determining environmental flow of surface water ("Official Gazette of Montenegro", No. 2/16 of 14 January); Rulebook on the form, detailed content and manner of keeping water books; Rulebook on borders of sub-basin areas and small basins areas (OG 24/02/2016); Decree on classification and categorization of surface and ground water ("Official Gazette of Montenegro", no. 2/07 of 29 October 2007); Decree on content and manner of preparation of water management plan on water area of river basin or on its part ("Official Gazette of Montenegro", no. 39/09 of 17 June 2009).

Implementation:

In accordance with Law on waters following legal acts are not adopted: Water Management Strategy River Basin Management Plans Water Cadastre Water Information System All bylaws, except one, were adopted before the adoption of amendments of Law on Waters 2015, so there is a need for their revision and harmonization with new Law on Waters or for adoption of new bylaws, which will allow implementation of Law on Waters in its amended form.

Legislation Gaps:

Implementation Gaps:

Montenegro has so far paid more attention to the transposition of EU legislation on water than the implementation of these regulations. Implementation of regulations is still at an early stage, although some activities were implemented or their implementation is still in progress. Full transposition of EU legislation on water has not yet been completed and should be made by the end of 2017. Monitoring of quality of surface water and groundwater is done according to regulations from 2007 which does not comply with the relevant requirements of EU regulations relating to monitoring the quality of these waters. Undeveloped network of measuring stations for surface water and groundwater;

2. Ground and Surface Water Management
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3. Ground and Surface Water Management
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4. Underground Waters
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5. Drinking Waters
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6. Industrial and Agriculture Waters
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7. Flood Risk Management
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8. Waste Water Treatment
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9. Sea Waters
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10. Water Pollution
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11. Sea Waters
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2. Climate Change
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1. Green House Gas Emissions
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2. Paris Agreement & Adhering Conventions
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3. National and Local Action Plans/ Strategies
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4. Mitigation and Adaption Measures
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3. Horizontal Legislation
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1. Public Access to Environmental Inform.
Legislation:

Law on the Environment ("Off. Gazette of Montenegro", No. 48/08 of 11.08.2008.) Law on Free Access to Information ("Official Gazette of Montenegro, No. 44/2012," of 9.8.2012.)

Implementation:

No gaps in regulatory sense

Legislation Gaps:

Implementation Gaps:

Relevant studies concerning environment impact assessment are not available for public (when it comes to the large projects) when it is necessary (period of organization of public consultation for specific documents)

2. Public Participation
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3. Environmental Impact Assessment
Legislation:

- Law on environmental impact assessment (“Official Gazette of Montenegro, No. 27/2013) - Decree on Projects subject to Environmental Impact Assessment (Official Gazette of the Republic of Montenegro 20/07, 47/13, 53/14); - Rulebook on the content of documents to be submitted with the application to decide on the need for Environmental Impact Assessment (Official Gazette of Montenegro 14/07) - Rulebook on the content of Environmental Impact Assessment (Official Gazette of Montenegro 14/07);

Implementation:

No gaps in a regulatory sense

Legislation Gaps:

Implementation Gaps:

- EIA documents are not available electronically; - The final report of findings by the competent authority is not published, so members of the public do not know what mitigation measures have been agreed; - The quality of baseline studies is unsatisfactory; - Research is postponed until a later stage (after permits have been obtained); - The baseline assessment covers a wide area and does not concentrate on the area directly affected by the project; - Due to weaknesses in the baseline, the assessment findings are unreliable; - Significant areas of assessment are not covered in the EIA. - Mitigation measures are not proposed or are very general. - Cumulative impacts are not addressed when it comes to the HPPs. - Alternatives are not covered in most case-studies, or simply consist of the no-go option. - The EIA takes a positive view of the development even though important issues require detailed research or significant impacts are identified with no possible mitigation. - The EIA process is only initiated after advanced designs have been prepared when it is no longer possible to make constructive amendments and refusal of a permit is likely to be politically sensitive. - The consultants/experts are selected by the project developer which limits independence of view.

4. Strategic Environmental Assessment
Legislation:

The Law on Strategic Environmental Assessment ("Official Gazette of Montenegro, No. 80/05," of 28.12.2005, 73/10 of 10.12.2010, 40/11 of 08.08.2011. and 59/11 of 14.12.2011.)

Implementation:

No gaps in a regulatory sense

Legislation Gaps:

Implementation Gaps:

- SEAs are conducted too late in the design development process so there is little opportunity to examine alternatives, or to introduce effective mitigation; - Consultants are selected by the project developer which leaves the consultant fully dependent on the developer; - SEA documents are not available electronically; - The baseline data for preparation of SEA are often old and out-dated; The SEA often recommends that mitigation measures should be defined during the construction phase (instead of being an integral part of the decision) The SEA in some cases supports development – while acknowledging that the impacts on biodiversity cannot be prevented or mitigated; Issues of climate change are ignored; Baseline data are based only on desktop studies with no original research; The final report of the SEA is not public; so the final measures to minimize and avoid negative impacts are not known to the general public

5. Environmental Liability
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6. Environmental Protection / Mitigation
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4. Air Quality
1. Ambient and Urban Air Quality Framework
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2. Emissions form Waste
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3. Emissions from Transport Sector
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4. Emissions from Industry and Agriculture
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5. Emissions from Housing Sector
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5. Waste Management
1. Waste Framework
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2. Sewage and Sludge
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3. Hazardous Waste
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4. Industrial Waste
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5. Inert Waste
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6. Electronic Waste
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Waste Treatment (Incineration, Landfill)
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6. Noise & Light Pollution
1. Assessment and Management of Noise
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2. National and Local Action Plans/ Strategies
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3. Assessment and Management of Lighting Standards
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4. National and Local Action Plans/ Strategies
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7. Chemicals and GMO's
1. REACH (Regulation on Registration, Evaluation Authorizations and Restriction of Chemicals
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2. Plant protection products
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3. Biocides
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4. Import and Exports of Chemicals
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5. Persistent Organic Pollutants
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6. Genetically Modified Organisms
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7. Food Safety
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8. Civil and Animal Protection
1. Control of Major Accident Hazards
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2. Information about pollution
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3. Risk and Emergency Management
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4. Animal Rights
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9. Circular Economy
1. Sustainable Resource Management
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2. Business Operations
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3. Societal Behavior
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10. Energy
1. Renewable Energy Directive
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2. Energy Efficiency Directive
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3. Energy Classification / Performance
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4. Energy Performance of Buildings
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5. Shift from Fossil to Renewables
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6. Energy in Mobility and Public Services Sector
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11. Wildlife and Nature Protection
1. Habitat Directives
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2. Marine Strategy Framework
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3. Endangered Species
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4. Protected Areas
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5. Biodiversity
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