Mar 5, 2013

SPB Newsfeed: Taking part in SPB activities - Impressions from Montenegro

Clear vision and implementation of European Commission's recommendations on structural reforms will help Montenegro get closer to the EU accession.

To assure Montenegro's EU accession, it is important for Montenegro to approach a balanced level of structural deficit, and to implement the appropriate structural reforms. To promote growth and competitiveness, legislation on structural reforms needs to be put forward, and the flow of relevant information and policy coordination needs to be better organized. Furthermore, our goal is to have better time and risk management in context of fiscal impact of structural reforms, which will result in better policy making.

As Director General of the Directorate for Economic Policy and Development at the Ministry of Finance, I am leading the team preparing Montenegro's Pre-accession Economic Programme (PEP). As part of this task, I am a focal point for a PEP working group that involves professionals from the different ministries, and help advancing the work of this group. In recent year, this working group has become a good example for policy coordination. Assessments of recent PEPs of Montenegro by the European Commission have indicated that we are on the right track. However, there is still much work to do; we are investing in strengthening this working group and thus improving our PEP document.

The CEF's coursework, in particular within the Strategic Planning and Budgeting (SPB) project, complements and reinforces our domestic efforts very well. The project gives us an opportunity to exchange experience and good practice with our colleagues from the region, as well as international experts. For example, we had an opportunity in the project to share our experience with establishing a PEP working group with colleagues from the region, and to share views on how different countries deal with challenges related to the definition of structural reforms – for the PEP, we follow the definition of the European Commission. It is a pleasure to see how efforts in the SPB project build on the close cooperation between the Ministry of Finance of Montenegro and the CEF in an earlier project on Fiscal Impact Assessments of Structural reforms. And we are glad to welcome many of our colleagues from the region in our country; several SPB activities are delivered at the Regional School of Public Administration in Danilovgrad.

Several colleagues have already attended CEF courses, both in Ljubljana and Danilovgrad. In particular SPB training and networking activities contribute to capacity development of my team, working on Montenegro's PEP. I myself had, for example, the opportunity to join the workshops on Macroeconomic Policy Analysis, and on Integration of Structural Reforms into Fiscal Programming. The workshops helped me to refresh and deepen my knowledge of macroeconomic analysis and structural reforms. This is particularly relevant for my work, especially in producing PEP chapters dealing with the macroeconomic framework, and budgetary implications of structural reforms, and to incorporate the recommendations provided by the European Commission.

And the discussions of communication and policy coordination issues at those workshops will help us to identify ways to strengthen government communication and policy making. To that purpose, I have talked to the main persons dealing with structural reforms in the Ministry of Finance, and shared my newly gained knowledge from the workshop.

Iva Vuković
Director of Directorate for
Economic Policy and Development
Ministry of Finance

SPB Project Website