The European Union will provide EUR 30 million in direct budget aid to Montenegro in January to mitigate the impact of high energy prices, EU Ambassador Oana-Cristina Popa revealed.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has promised EUR 500 million in grants to Western Balkan countries during her tour of the region in October. The sum intended for Montenegro wasn’t announced at the time, amid a political crisis in the country.
European Union Ambassador Oana-Cristina Popa has just clarified that the government in Podgorica would get EUR 30 million in January. The direct budget aid package is intended for the protection of households and small and medium-sized enterprises from the impact of high energy prices.
Of note, another EUR 500 million is in the pipeline for the region from the EU’s Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans.
Popa delivered the news at a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Capital Investments Ervin Ibrahimović, the Government of Montenegro said.
Ibrahimović: We must bolster reforms to get access to more EU funds
The two officials discussed the need to launch a day-ahead power market and connect it with the neighboring markets, accelerate the switch to market-based support systems for renewables and to adopt a law on the security of oil derivatives supply and establish an institution responsible for obligatory oil reserves.
“I believe the sum that will be earmarked for Montenegro to overcome the energy crisis represents a significant financial impulse amid currently challenging conditions with regard to the state of public finances, but on the other hand it is also a warning that we must be more coordinated and dedicated to the process of reforms and improvement in standards, if we want to get a chance to draw a bigger sum from available funds,” Ibrahimović stated.