Balance clause is not a simple method that can be activated overnight. Its activation requires obstacles in communication between the EU and country in question that are difficult to remove. In case of Montenegro, it’s not to, said president of the European movement in Montenegro, Mr Momčilo Radulović.
The affair about the activation of balance clause was initiated by the president of the Assembly Committee on European Integration and DF member, Mr Slaven Radunović, who said that the EU had stopped the integration process due to unequal progress in the negotiation process and particularly due to lack of progress in key chapters – 23 and 24. He said that balance clause had been activated informally, but it hadn’t been mentioned yet, for political reasons.
Although Mr Radunović is an opposition member, his statement has strong effect.
However, European Commission dismissed his claims. EC spokeswoman, Ms Maja Kocijančić, said that balance clause was applied only in case reforms in rule of law fall behind the EU harmonization process as a whole.
“According to the latest report on Montenegro, that’s not the case”, said Ms Kocijančić.
Mr Momčilo Radulović also explains that balance clause should be activated when there are long-term, systemic and structural problems in one country.
“Since such that isn’t happening now, we can’t talk about the balance clause at this moment”, said Mr Radulović.
He points out that, for now, “Montenegro is doing well”.