The EU state aid rules are scattered among a number of documents, most of which represent soft law (notices, guidelines and similar documents issued by the European Commission). Harmonization with the EU State aid acquis therefore proved to be a challenge. In 2014, Montenegrin Government decided to face this challenge by following the Croatian example. The Government amended the State aid Decree (Uredba o bližim kriterijumima, uslovima i načinu dodjele državne pomoći) ("Decree"), allowing direct transposition of the EU secondary legislation in the area of State aid into the national legal system through publication in the Official Gazette of the relevant translations in the form of rulebooks enacted by the Ministry of Finance.

Since then, the Ministry of Finance published four versions of the Rulebook, the latest one on 15 March this year. In this manner, Montenegro has so far transposed into its national legal system 25 different sources of EU secondary state aid legislation. Specifically, the following EU state aid law sources are now part of the Montenegrin national legal system:

Horizontal state aid rules

  • Guidelines on Regional State Aid for 2014-2020, OJ C 209, 23.07.2013, p. 1–45;
  • Commission Decision of 20 December 2011 on application of Article 106(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to State Aid in the form of public service compensation granted to certain undertakings entrusted with the operation of services of general economic interest, OJ L 7, 11.07.2012, p. 3–10;
  • European Union framework for State aid in the form of public service compensation, OJ C 8, 11.01.2012, p. 15–22;
  • Guidelines on State aid for rescuing and restructuring non-financial undertakings in difficulty, OJ C 249, 31.07.2014, p. 1–28;
  • Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy for the period 2014-2020, OJ C 200, 28.06.2014, p. 1–55;
  • Framework for State aid for research and development and innovation, OJ C 198 of 27.06.2014, p. 1;
  • Guidelines on State aid to promote risk finance investments, OJ C19, 22.01.2014, p. 4-34;
  • Guidelines on certain State aid measures in the context of the greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme post-2012, OJ C 158, 5.06.2012, p. 4–22;
  • Communication from the Commission on State aid for films and other audiovisual works, OJ C 332, 15.11.2013, p. 1–11;
  • Communication from the Commission on interpretative guidelines concerning Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007 on public passenger transport services by rail and by road, OJ C 92, 29.03.2014, p. 1–21;
  • Communication from the Commission providing guidance on State aid complementary to Community funding for the launching of the motorways of the sea, OJ C 317, 12.12.2008, p. 10–12.

Sector-specific rules

  • Regulation (EC) No. 1370/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on public passenger transport services by rail and road and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) No. 1191/69 and (EEC) No. 1107/70, OJ L 315, 23.10.2007;
  • Communication from the Commission on the application of State aid rules to public service broadcasting OJ C 257, 27.10.2009;
  • Guidelines on State aid to airports and airlines, OJ C 99, 4.04.2014, p. 3–34;
  • Guidelines on State aid for railway undertakings, OJ C 184, 22.07.2008, p. 13–31;
  • Communication from the Commission providing guidance on State aid to ship management companies, OJ C 132, 11.06.2009, p. 6–9;
  • Community guidelines on State aid to maritime transport, OJ C 13, 17.01.2004, p. 3–12;
  • EU Guidelines for the application of State aid rules in relation to the rapid deployment of broadband networks, OJ C 25, 26.01.2013, p. 1–26.

Specific aid instruments

  • Commission Notice on the application of Articles 87 and 88 of the EC Treaty to State aid in the form of guarantees, OJ C 155, 20.06.2008, p. 10–22;
  • Commission Communication on State aid elements in sales of land and buildings by public authorities, OJ C 209, 10.07.1997;
  • Communication from the Commission to the Member States on the application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to short-term export-credit insurance, OJ C 392, 19.12.2012, p. 1–7.

De minimis and other rules

  • Commission Regulation (EU) No. 1407/2013 of 18 December 2013 on the application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to de minimis aid, OJ L 352, 24.12.2013, p. 1–8;
  • Commission Regulation (EU) No. 651/2014 of 17 June 2014 declaring certain categories of aid compatible with the internal market in application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty OJ L 187, 26.06.2014, p. 1–78;
  • Criteria for the analysis of the compatibility with the internal market of State aid to promote the execution of important projects of common European interest, OJ C 188, 20.06.2014, p. 4–12;
  • Commission Directive 2006/111/EC of 16 November 2006 on the transparency of financial relations between Member States and public undertakings as well as on financial transparency within certain undertakings, OJ L 318, 17.11.2006, p. 17–25.

The majority of aid given so far by the grantors in Montenegro falls into the category of de minimis aid. Unlike in the EU, in Montenegro, de minimis aid has to be approved by the national Commission for State Aid Control. This is a consequence of the understanding that the entire field of State aid law is still a terra incognita in Montenegro and grantors do not have sufficient capacity for self-assessment.