Building on two phases of successful programming to support Montenegro’s EU readiness, IDLO is working to enhance the capacity of its main partner in the country: the Judicial Training Center (JTC). The judiciary is struggling to address disputes arising from foreign investment in real estate and tourism, interpretation of foreign contracts in accordance with international best practice and EU directives.
Independent since 2006, Montenegro is one of only two states (the other is Macedonia) to have separated peacefully from what used to be Yugoslavia. The largely coastal republic has the advantage of a tourism-oriented economy. Its small size (pop: 650,000) means it can be easier to carry out speedy, high-impact reforms. But Montenegro's short history as a democratic country also means that law-based national institutions have had to be built, in some cases, from the ground up. For the EU candidate country to reap the full benefits of the rule of law, the local skills base and judicial capacity need to grow further.
IDLO has concluded a series of workshops on Competition Law in Montenegro – part of continuing efforts to support the country as it prepares for EU accession. The area has historically been seen as a weakness. Ten participants from the Agency for the Protection of Competition and the Chamber of Commerce joined the interactive, case-oriented workshop.
Every day, children in parts of Central/Eastern Europe and Central Asia have their rights violated, according to an IDLO/UNICEF report on access to justice for children in the region.
The EU has called on candidate country Montenegro to intensify efforts to consolidate the rule of law, fight organized crime and reduce corruption.
In its latest report on Montenegro’s progress towards EU membership, the European Commission has highlighted the need to strengthen the capacity of the country’s agency tasked with enforcing competition law. Cartels and abuse of dominance, the report suggests, are challenges that remain overlooked.
In late 2010, Montenegro was officially recognized as a European Union candidate country. Two years later, formal talks opened. As Montenegro negotiates accession, IDLO has been working to expand the capacity of the country’s judiciary in commercial law, and to improve familiarity with EU standards. We have collaborated with the Judicial Training Centre (JTC), Montenegro’s only national institution dealing with the professional education of judges, and provided practical training on competition law and intellectual property.
IDLO has partnered with UNICEF to study the factors which support or inhibit children’s equitable access to justice in post-communist societies. The nine-month research project in Albania, Montenegro, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan will conclude in 2014. It will provide greater insight into local realities, concerns and approaches, and make culturally appropriate, sustainable and effective recommendations for policy and programming.
IDLO’s Judit Arenas* has highlighted the rule-of-law aspects of securing justice for children in the developing world. Speaking at an EU-UNICEFconference in Brussels, she described children as highly vulnerable.