The Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro started working in November 2007. The building of the European Union Delegation to Montenegro was officially inaugurated on June 06 2008, in Podgorica by Prime Minister of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic, and Director General for Enlargement in the European Commission, Michael Leigh.
Today, under the Head of Delegation, Ambassador Oana-Cristina POPA, more than 50 staff are working to help Montenegro towards EU accession. Around two-thirds of the staff are from Montenegro and the remainder come from the EU Member States.
The Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro is responsible for managing the EU Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) for the period 2007-2013, and its successor IPA II for the period 2014-2020. The Delegation is currently managing more than 200 EU assistance projects. These projects underpin Montenegro's reform efforts on its path to the EU.
The financial instrument IPA II sets a new framework for providing pre-accession assistance for the period 2014-2020. The most important novelty of IPA II is its strategic focus on priority sectors and on the performance of the beneficiary country in implementing key reforms needed for EU accession.
IPA II targets reforms within the framework of pre-defined sectors. These sectors cover areas closely linked to the enlargement strategy, such as democracy and governance, rule of law or growth and competitiveness. This sector approach promotes structural reform that will help transform a given sector and bring it up to EU standards. It allows a move towards a more targeted assistance, ensuring efficiency, sustainability and focus on results.
Strategic objectives for IPA II 2014-2020 in Montenegro are the following:
- Sustained pre-accession assistance in two most strategic areas, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights, as well as Democracy and Governance;
- Ensuring stable economic growth / convergence towards EU development through Competitiveness and Innovation, Education, Employment and Social policies;
- Developing the economic potential and alignment with EU acquis in the fields of Agriculture and Rural Development, Environment, Transport, and
- Reconciliation and regional integration through Regional Cooperation and Territorial Cooperation.
- In doing this work, the Delegation maintains close links with Montenegrin authorities, the public, the media, other international organisations and civil society bodies.