News archive - Montenegro joins EU competitiveness programme

Montenegro is the fourth country of the group of candidate and potential candidate countries to join the EU's Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP) after Croatia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in October 2007 and Turkey in February 2008.

Under the CIP, the European Commission promotes innovation, entrepreneurship and growth in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). European Commission Vice President Günter Verheugen and Mr Branimir Gvozdenović, Minister for Economic Development of the Republic of Montenegro, signed a Memorandum of Understanding formalising the Republic’s entry to the Entrepreneurship and Innovation pillar of CIP on March 3, 2008.

Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen, responsible for enterprise and industry policy said: "I applaud the decision of Montenegro to join the CIP. It confirms its European aspirations. It also clearly demonstrates its understanding that the challenges of global competition and innovation can't be best faced by European countries within a framework of close co-operation. Participation in CIP, and, in particular the cooperation in the new Enterprise Europe Network, which Montenegro has already successfully entered, will help Montenegro to increase the competitiveness of its enterprises, in particular SMEs."

The possibility of participating in a host of joint projects and in Enterprise Europe Network with the 27 EU Member States is a substantial advantage for Montenegro. It will allow the country to take full benefit of best practices on entrepreneurship, SME policy, competitiveness and innovation in the EU.

The backbone of the Montenegrin economy is formed by the large and expanding sector of small companies. The groundwork on developing a favourable regulatory framework for SME’s has been almost been completed through Montenegro’s participation, since 2003, in the European Charter for Small Enterprises.

Background information:

The CIP programme, which runs from 2007 to 2013 with a budget of € 3.6 billion, contains the following 3 pillars:

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Framework Programme (EIP): EIP fosters the competitiveness of enterprises for example by providing co-guarantees and co-investments for local banks and risk capital funds so that they can improve access for SMEs to loan and venture capital finance. EIP also supports providers of business and innovation services in all EU regions or helps to link innovation actors and clusters in European networks.

  • Information and Communication Technologies Policy Support Programme (ICTPSP): ICTPSP accelerates the development of a sustainable, competitive, innovative and inclusive Information Society stimulating a wider adoption and more efficient take up and better use of ICT.
  • Intelligent Energy-Europe Programme (IEE): IEE promotes energy efficiency and new and renewable energy sources in all sectors including transport.

A long-term view demands that the Commission works very closely with all candidate and potential candidate countries.

Negotiations for participation in the CIP have been opened with several potential candidate countries in the Western Balkans region which are also interested to join; and with Serbia and Albania in particular.

Europa RAPID Press Release IP/08/367, 03/03/2008

Entry created by Elke Dall on March 5, 2008
Modified on March 12, 2008