A keystone of German and European policy towards Montenegro is providing support for political and economic reform as part of European Union accession negotiations. Montenegro has been a candidate country for accession since December 2010. EU accession negotiations with Montenegro commenced on 29 June 2012. Germany is engaged in numerous cooperation projects on a bilateral basis and within the framework of the EU.
A number of projects supported by Germany support efforts to implement the reform efforts of democratic forces in Montenegro and to strengthen the country’s administrative structures, especially in legal and administrative reform and in terms of the role of the media. Particular importance is also attached to these issues in the ongoing EU accession process. Another priority in project cooperation is promoting civil society.
After the democratic transition in the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro in 2000, development cooperation was initially commenced with the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro.
After Montenegro gained independence in June 2006, development cooperation was continued with both countries.
Good and successful development cooperation has been established with Montenegro, which Germany has been involved in as the biggest bilateral donor. Development cooperation focuses on the following priority areas, largely through projects funded by Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ):
- promoting public infrastructure, particularly in the energy sector and with respect to the supply of drinking water and waste water treatment
- the tourism sector and environment
- promoting business and creating jobs, especially in small and medium-sized companies
With the commencement of EU accession negotiations, Montenegro has ceased to be a recipient of bilateral development cooperation. Ongoing projects will, however, be concluded. The EU supports the European integration of Montenegro, for example by means of the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) II. Some 235.7 million euros in funding was available for the period from 2007 to 2013. In the current financial framework for 2014-2020, more than 270 million euros in funding has been earmarked for Montenegro (plus a further eight million euros as a bonus for progress made).
Since 2007, a cooperative partnership has been in place between the University of Nikšić’s German Department and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). There is a DAAD academic teacher working at the department. German scholarship and exchange programmes are also very popular.
The Goethe-Institut serves Montenegro in terms of cultural and language work from its offices in Belgrade. A language learning centre is being set up that is scheduled to commence work in the autumn of 2019.