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On January 25, Montenegro signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the European Commission granting the country full access to the EU's 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7), which runs from 2007 to 2013. The "associated status" will allow Montenegro to participate in all calls for proposals and compete on an equal footing with the EU Member States for research cooperation and support actions funded by FP7, as of 1 January 2008.
This agreement can be seen as an important step in the process of Montenegro’s application for EU membership. It will allow Montenegrin scientists, universities and companies to create links with their counterparts across Europe and build up their scientific expertise, specifically in (scientific) fields crucial to implementing the body of EU legislation.
With Montenegro, all countries of the Western Balkans except Bosnia and Herzegovina are now associated with the European Union’s effort in research. It remains to be seen if the scientific ties can bear more political fruit.