The year 2012: WTO accession of Montenegro – why did we apply to join? Priorities and results

Montenegro’s path to becoming a member of the WTO began in 1966, when the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia became party to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). However, pursuant to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) in 1992, its application to continue as part of the GATT was not accepted. In 2000, the FRY re-started the process of accession to the WTO, aware that WTO membership would increase its competitiveness in the international market, with the acquisition of the so-called ‘WTO label’. In 2004, Montenegro decided to continue the accession process as an independent customs territory. This chapter describes the process of Montenegro’s accession up to and beyond its becoming a member of the WTO in 2012. With the country’s membership in the WTO, an entirely new chapter begins in comparison to the period prior to accession negotiations. Post-accession, the interest of each member is to be involved as much as possible in the activities of the WTO, and to seek the scope to influence the decisions and rules that will be applied in the future.

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