Progress review of the Enabling Environment for Sustainable Enterprises Programme in Montenegro

Thanks to the tools and technical assistance of the ILO, in 2013 in Montenegro began the implementation of the 2007 Conclusions of the International Labour Conference (ILC) in the field of creating an enabling environment for sustainable enterprises .After seven years from the publication of the EESE Report, this report summarizes the work done and results achieved.

More importantly, the advocacy activities of MEF, in line with the recommendations from the EESE Report, have resulted in concrete and significant improvements in the strategic, legal and institutional framework on issues of importance to the business community in Montenegro. The degree of implementation of the strategic and legal framework in some areas has been significantly improved, while in some sectors there is room for further progress, as outlined in the last chapter of this document.

Regarding the regulatory framework, the process of transparency and inclusiveness in drafting legal regulations has been significantly improved in the past seven years, but in relation to the activities of certain institutions it has been noted that there is still room for increased transparency and readiness to involve all relevant stakeholders in their planning and work.

In area of funding and credit support to enterprises, the progress is noted with regards to the support of national institutions. There is also a growing trend of support for the development of enterprises by local government authorities, both of financial and non-financial nature.

One of the biggest structural challenges is still the informal economy. The activities undertaken so far in accordance with, among others, the Economy Reform Program and Action Plan focused on strengthening fiscal discipline and eliminating unfair competition, as well as raising awareness about the importance of lawful business practices. There is still significant space for improvements in the areas of implementation and prioritization.

With regards to the fight against corruption there was significant progress in relation to the institutional and legal framework and there is now room for the implementation and raising of awareness and trust on communication and joint work between the business community and institutions. There is a clear need to continuously improve the capacities of inspection services, particularly on their staffing and everyday work.

The Case Study shows that the EESE Report identified precisely the bottlenecks in the Montenegrin education system. The results of reform activities in the past seven years reveal an evident progress in the area of secondary vocational education. It is very positive that all primary and secondary schools have introduced subjects or modules on entrepreneurship.

The Programme extensively contributed to capacity building of ILO constituents in Montenegro in many areas, from human resources to improvements of work in particular areas, such as timely and systematic planning of activities, advocacy for its members etc. For these purposes critical success factors are recognized and divided in two main subsections – internal and external.