EU twinning with Montenegro successfully concluded

The EU twinning project “Support to regulation of financial services” with Montenegro was officially concluded with a closing ceremony attended by distinguished guests on 7 July 2020. In strict compliance with the COVID-19 social distancing rules, the closing event included the ambassadors of the participating EU countries (Germany, Croatia and the Netherlands), the governors of the central banks of Montenegro and Croatia, as well as the presidents of the insurance supervisory authority of Montenegro and the supervisory authority of Croatia.

On behalf of the Deutsche Bundesbank, Executive Board member Burkhard Balz highlighted the general importance of twinning projects for the accession process of EU candidate countries and potential candidate countries, and emphasised the Bundesbank’s continued involvement in this area. According to Mr Balz, the twinning project represents another small building block for Montenegro along its road to EU accession.

Burkhard Balz in the Central Bank of Montenegro

Overcoming complex challenges

The complex project, which was implemented over a period of 27 months, posed major challenges for the participants on both sides in terms of its content and organisation. The three Montenegrin authorities (central bank, insurance supervisory authority, capital market supervisory authority) had to implement extensive European regulations in the areas of banking, insurance and securities supervision. One of the challenges facing the consortium of Germany, Croatia and the Netherlands was providing a breadth of expertise and managing the project efficiently among the numerous project participants. While the Bundesbank provided support in the area of banking supervision and offered extensive training, BaFin focused on insurance and securities supervision.

Project completed despite coronavirus pandemic

Furthermore, the project had to contend with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic from the end of February. The parties involved decided to carry out “digital missions” for the project areas which entailed the drafting of legislative texts and regulations. After Montenegro declared itself to be temporarily “coronavirus-free” in June and was also removed from the Robert Koch Institute’s list of risk areas, it was even possible for the experts from the Bundesbank to hold the remaining supervisory training courses – in the areas of the Supervisory Review and Evaluation Process, recovery planning, and interest rate risk in the banking book– on-site. A fine conclusion to a very successful project overall. 

Text: Peter Spicka
Photo: Central Bank of Montenegro