16 June 2019 - The Ministry of Economy of Montenegro reported that works on the building of small hydro-power plants on the Bukovica river are suspended until the Government re-examines all the documentation and reaches a final decision. The decision was concluded on the meeting of Minister of Economy Dragica Sekulić and local residents of Šavnik municipality, representatives of NGOs, investors and representatives of local government.
Minister Sekulić visited the location where the preparatory work on the construction of a small hydro-power plant on the Bukovica river had started and talked with the citizens of Šavnik, after which a meeting was held in the municipality building.
The meeting was an opportunity for everyone to talk to each other and to listen to one another.
"There is no need for the Bukovica river to be defended from anyone. Today, we have agreed that works and protests stop until the final decision is made," Minister Sekulić stated.
She also pointed out that based on the communication with state institutions and verification of the law, a high-quality decision will be made without any pressure and haste.
President of the Šavnik Municipality Mijomir Vujačić expressed satisfaction with the agreement reached and said that the local government will support any Government's decision.
Local residents have been protesting for some time. One of the reasons was the beginning of preparatory work on the construction of a small hydro-power plant on the Bukovica river and the citizens prevented the investor from continuing the works.
Read more about lifestyle in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
16 June 2019 - Minister of Culture Aleksandar Bogdanović and UNDP Resident Representative in Montenegro Daniela Gasparikova signed the agreement on cooperation between the two institutions within the project Creative Montenegro - Economic Valorisation and Creative Industries in Cetinje, as reported by the Ministry of Culture of Montenegro.
The agreement defines numerous fields of cooperation over the next two years, thanks to which the sector of creative industries in Montenegro will be fully valued. In addition, a part of the programme will focus on the cultural heritage, which, during today's signing ceremony, has been assessed as an outstanding potential in the field of cultural tourism. Apart from the above, the partnership will be also established in order to present and popularise the natural and cultural heritage through the cultural routes of the Council of Europe and the European Mediterranean route "EuroVelo8".
Only a few days ago, the Creative Montenegro project gave the first results this year. A total of 11 authors are supported by the first competition in the framework of this project, which will establish a Montenegrin cultural product, as a fruit of the creative sector and entrepreneurial-productive cooperation. There are 10 projects and products, and one scientific study.
On this occasion, the author of one of the 11 ideas supported by the contest "Creative Montenegro" is "Articulation" from Podgorica presented the project "VR Montenegro", which is based on contemporary technologies of virtual reality, that is, 'location scouting' in the film industry. Thanks to this project, Montenegro's presentation as a destination at film fairs and festivals will be extremely enriched - as representatives of interested production companies will be able to see, in one place, using VR glasses, all film locations and landscapes in our country. Not only will Montenegro be further affirmed as a film destination, but it will also be possible for authors to valorize their work through co-production with some of the overseas production companies. Igor Mitic from "Articulation" explains that the project "VR Montenegro" will introduce a series of locations from Montenegro.
Read more news about lifestyle in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
15 June 2019 - The Privatisation and Capital Investment Council adopted the Request of the Port of Bar AD - Bar for the sale of 100% of shares in Sidro Hotel and accepted the Request of the Hotel Group Budvanska rivijera AD - Budva for giving consent to the Decision on modification of the Decision on sale by public auction regarding the sale of Piva Hotel in Plužine. The Auction Commission should conduct a procedure for the sale of part of the property of the Hotel Group Budvanska rivijera AD - Budva - Piva Hotel in Plužine in accordance with the Decree on sale of shares and assets through public auction in accordance with this conclusion.
As of 31 March 2019, the fixed assets of Sidro Hotel amounted to 1.172.118 EUR, while receivables amounted to 56.377 EUR, capital 575,929 EUR, accumulated loss 5.944.443 EUR, long-term liabilities and provisions 37.051 EUR, deferred tax liabilities 103.904, and short-term liabilities amounted to 543.859 EUR, as noted in the report of the Government of Montenegro.
The discussion pointed out this facility did not operate positively since the opening in 2010 and that the management of the Port of Bar intends to use the money from the sale of Sidro Hotel for the rehabilitation of Volujica quay construction in the length of 554 m and the construction of a 6,000 m² prefabricated storage facility. The session emphasised that 34 employees at Sidro Hotel were protected by a high-quality collective agreement in the five-year period after the privatisation, and the Council recommended to the Port of Bar to make the final decision on the sale of Sidro Hotel, adding that an integral part of the decision is a social programme that should be implemented by a potential buyer.
The initial price of Sidro Hotel is set at 1.704.480,02 EUR.
By accepting the Request of the Hotel Group Budvanska rivijera AD – Budva, the Council agreed that the new Decision on sale by public bidding would indicate the price of 152.000 EUR, since the book value of the Hotel amounts to 150.966,98 EUR. The Council instructed the Auction Commission to conduct the sale procedure for the part of Piva Hotel in Plužine in accordance with the Decree on sale of shares and assets through public auction.
The Privatisation and Capital Investment Council reviewed the Information on the fulfillment of conditions for the issuance of the fourth bank guarantee to Global Ports Holding and proposed to the Government to adopt the Information, which states that this company invested the amount of 2.027.879,05 EUR in the rehabilitation and reinforcement of the construction of the southern coast of Gata 1, which created the conditions for the issuance of the appropriate bank guarantee.
The Council passed the Proposal of Decision on amendments to the Decision on the privatisation plan for 2019, which envisages the sale of the remaining part of 1,45 percent of state-owned shares in the New Tobacco Plant AD Podgorica, after the current majority owner expressed his interest in the purchase of the remaining state-owned shares.
Read more about business in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
16 June 2019 - Led by Zoran Roganović, Montenegro National Handball Team managed to secure a victory at the Morača Sports Centre in the match against Ukraine, winning 27: 21 and in the second place, they qualified for the European Championship.
The European Championship will be held in January in Austria, Sweden and Norway.
"Certainly, these are the two most important matches. In the first duel, we did not play well against the Faeroes Islands, and now we had to have a more serious approach. It is important that we play smart, divide the time and celebrate against the Faeroes Islands and then against Ukraine and give the maximum to win. It is true that some players just joined the team two days ago and that it is the end of the season, but these are the two most important matches, and everyone will give the maximum to win the placement," said Stefan Čavor for Vijesti before the game, commenting on how important this victory is for the team and for Montenegro as a country.
Montenegro lost to Ukraine after the drama with the Faeroes (29: 24), and as expected in Denmark (37: 26), but the "Lions" defeated the Olympic and World Champions Denmark (32:31) in the previous round, and now on the wings of that triumph they managed to win the remaining two games and achieve the goal.
"We do care whether we are going to be the second or third. The better placement also allows us to get an easier group at the European Championship. When we already have a chance, we have to enter with 100 per cent in both games,” said the goalkeeper, Nebojša Simić, who is now thrilled that the team managed to secure the second place.
Read more sport related news at TMN's dedicated page.
16 June 2019 - At the recent United Nations General Assembly elections, Montenegro was elected a member of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) from 2020-2022.
The Economic and Social Council is at the heart of the United Nations system to advance the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental. It is the central platform for fostering debate and innovative thinking, forging consensus on ways forward, and coordinating efforts to achieve internationally agreed goals. It is also responsible for the follow-up to major UN conferences and summits.
ECOSOC links a diverse family of UN entities dedicated to sustainable development, providing overall guidance and coordination. The entities include regional economic and social commissions, functional commissions facilitating intergovernmental discussions of major global issues, and specialized agencies, programmes and funds at work around the world to translate development commitments into real changes in people’s lives.
Building on its coordination role within the UN system, ECOSOC is a gateway for UN partnership and participation by the rest of the world. It offers a unique global meeting point for productive dialogues among policymakers, parliamentarians, academics, foundations, businesses, youth and 3,200+ registered non-governmental organizations.
Each year, ECOSOC structures its work around an annual theme of global importance to sustainable development. This ensures focused attention, among ECOSOC’s array of partners, and throughout the UN development system.
By emphasizing combined economic, social and environmental concerns, ECOSOC encourages agreement on coherent policies and actions that make fundamental links across all three.
As a member of the ECOSOC, Montenegro will be committed to meeting the mandate of this body and its proactive and effective role in the field of sustainable development.
Read more about Politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
15 June 2019 - It is essential to maintain the credibility of the enlargement policy and strengthen the European perspective of the Western Balkans, Foreign Minister of Montenegro Srđan Darmanović and his Czech counterpart Tomaš Petriček concluded at the meeting that recently took place in Podgorica.
The head of Montenegrin diplomacy stressed that Montenegro and the Czech Republic are allies and partners that foster very good relations, and reiterated Montenegro's gratitude for the strong support of the Czech Republic in the achievement of Montenegrin strategic foreign policy priorities. As noted within the official announcement of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro, Srđan Darmanović also added that the cooperation between the two countries has been further strengthened by the alliance in NATO, emphasising the importance of interior cohesion and the continuous strengthening of transatlantic dialogue. By the same token, he pointed out that Montenegro, as a responsible and reliable member, is strongly committed to the values, strategic goals and activities of the Alliance.
With regard to the bilateral agenda, Minister Darmanović stressed that these open and very constructive talks affirmed the Montenegrin-Czech partnership and he welcomed the signing of the Agreement on Scientific and Technical Cooperation, which testifies to the efforts of the two states to develop a legal normative base of mutual relations continuously. He also highlighted the importance of intensifying economic cooperation, especially in the fields of energy, agriculture, and tourism.
Minister Petriček emphasised that the two countries foster excellent and traditionally friendly relations characterised by intense contacts at political and expert levels. He underscored the importance of joint consideration of the modalities of the development of economic cooperation, and the greater presence of the Czech capital on the Montenegrin market. Regarding the European integration of the Western Balkans, Minister Petriček stressed that in the next five years he expects progress in the enlargement process, stating that Montenegro is the leader of the integration process.
Both sides agreed that the European future of the Western Balkans is the only way to long-term stability and the overall development of the region. Furthermore, they noted that the strong support of the Višegrad Group for the process of European integration is very significant, primarily due to the confirmed commitment to continue strengthening the enlargement policy.
Read more about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
15 June 2019 - The Summit of finance ministers, governors and directors of the tax administration of the region, organized by the Belgrade’s weekly news magazine NIN, was held recently in Bečići and it included a panel of directors of tax administration devoted to the reform of tax administration and fight against the grey economy.
Director of Montenegro’s Tax Administration, Mr Miomir M. Mugoša, in his introductory speech, emphasized that the Government of Montenegro invested significant funds in the project ‘Reform of tax administration’ having in mind the importance of this institution in the system of public finances. On this occasion, he also noted that he expects that this project will contribute to the reduction of administrative burden and somewhat greater compliance with tax regulations, that is, reduction in the overall tax gap.
“Mugoša presented the activities implemented so far, within the overall reform of taxes in Montenegro, including modernization of business processes, investment in information technologies, greater autonomy and reorganization, all with the aim of establishing a modern tax administration capable of responding to market’s requirements and ensuring high levels of public revenue collection,“ it was said in a statement of the Montenegrin Tax Administration.
At the end of this summit, the panel members concluded that there was a need for even closer regional cooperation and not just in terms of sharing experience and knowledge but for the region to be able to establish a single approach in dealing with common challenges, such as the fight against the grey economy and tax evasion.
Source: Cafe del Montenegro
16 June 2019 - The ban on smoking in the facilities where food and drink are consumed will decrease the income of the restaurants, said the president of the Montenegrin Tourist Association Žarko Radulović, while the president of the Association of Tourism and Catering Association of the Chamber of Commerce, Dragan Ivančević, believes that the business of catering facilities cannot be compromised, reports RTCG.
On Thursday, the Government passed a new Bill on Restriction on the Use of Tobacco Products, which stipulates a ban on smoking in indoor areas, among other things in parts of cafes, bars and restaurants serving drinks or food.
According to new legal provisions, it will also not be possible for the restaurants to pay a fee for smoking in some part of the facility.
Radulović said he expects the new Bill to be adopted, stating that the provisions are precise and clear. "I think that this time the state will have to persevere in its application, but I think that it is too early to assess whether it will and how this new bill will come to life in practice," Radulović said.
Radulović, who was a supporter of the previous legal solution that stipulates that caterers pay a fee of EUR per square meter, if they want to allow tobacco consumption in catering facilities, said that he now considers this the best compromise solution. However, as he added, in practice this solution was compromised to the extent that much lower income was incurred than it was supposed to be.
"So, unfortunately, by disregarding the solutions we proposed, one of the key arguments for the defence and a special decision that corrects the proposed provisions has erupted," Radulović said, adding that the newly proposed solutions are more rigorous.
Asked about how this legal ban will affect catering facilities, Radulović claims that this will reduce revenues, as was the case everywhere in the world. He expects caterers to disagree with the proposed restrictions. "If we all agreed on something in 2017, and only individuals respected the agreement, I think it will be difficult to maintain such a situation. If we all took the previous law seriously and paid our obligations, I think the negotiating position would be even better and more serious," Radulović said.
As he said, it is not realistic that someone can force people to stop consuming tobacco products by law and fines. Radulović thinks that a drastic increase in the price of a pack of cigarettes is the most effective measure. "This is the only measure that has brought results in other countries, but then other issues arise: socioeconomic policy and various policies, so I do not believe that this measure will be adopted. But let's go with the ban, so we'll see how much progress it will make, but I don’t think this progress will be drastic," concluded Radulović.
Ivančević believes that such a decision by the Government follows European trends, which are characteristic of the democratic and civilized world and hold to the core values - the protection of health and the human environment.
"The decision is good and there should be places where it is possible to consume tobacco products, and where people who do not want to feel the smell of nicotine, where they drink and eat, should be free of tobacco products and all the harmful substances it brings," said Ivančević to the MINA Agency. According to him, it's okay to have rooms that are strictly for smokers. "But people who do not want to be close to those who consume tobacco products should be protected," Ivančević added. The use of cigarettes in rooms where people are staying and consuming some services, he said, is not good for tourism, nor is it a trend with the protection of human health, the environment.
Asked whether he thinks that the state will be persistent in applying the law this time, unlike the previous one, Ivančević said that the country has so far adopted many norms, laws, and rules that were good and on the track of European standards, but that it did not have the strength to implement them.
"The state has a good law, and then there is no power to implement it. We expect that the state will finally find a way to implement those laws and norms that it determines itself," Ivančević said.
He believes that this legal solution cannot particularly jeopardize the business of catering facilities. "Those who propose and pass laws do not have to go in this direction, nor have ambitions to like everyone, but they must protect the public and the general interest primarily," Ivančević concluded.
Read more about Politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
15 June 2019 - Minister of Public Administration Suzana Pribilović attended the Regional Conference of Europe and Central Asia on building effective, responsible and inclusive institutions, which took place in Ankara.
The main topics of the first ECA conference were innovations in governance reforms, raising the capabilities and responsibilities of governments, as well as examples of good practice in management reforms and presentation of the latest solutions and applications for society and companies. In addition, the conference divided into six thematic areas that are fundamental for development of capabilities and responsibilities of the governments, discussed strengthening public policies, effective management resources, the improvement of public services, strengthening of the public-private cooperation in order to the effective operation and investment, understanding and engagement with political and economic drivers and Gov. – Tech.
On the sidelines of the Conference, Minister Pribilović met with Vice President of the World Bank for Europe and Central Asia Cyril Muller, who supported Montenegro's public administration reform path.
Minister Pribilović thanked Vice President Muller for the opportunity to attend the Conference, as well as to discuss important reform processes in the area of public administration.
"We are aware of the fact that it is not possible to improve the competition and economic growth without quality of public administration reform and I thank you for the World Bank's support for Montenegro and we expect support to be continued in the future," Minister Pribilović pointed out in the public announcement for Ministry of Public Administration of Montenegro.
Vice President Muller emphasised the importance of the financial reform sustainability and highlighted that Montenegro has done much more in this area, bearing in mind the complexity of this process and that it should continue with the initiated processes.
The Conference that was organised under auspices of the World Bank for Europe and Central Asia (ECA) was attended by about 450 delegates, including senior government officials, international partners, representatives of academia, the private sector and civil society from all the countries of the Europe and Central Asia, including the EU member states.
Read more about business in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
15 June 2019 - Montenegro has made significant progress in pursuing reforms and showed that, as a NATO member state, it is a reliable partner that contributes to the common values and remains firmly dedicated to achieving further progress, especially in the rule of law area, it was noted at today's meeting of Prime Minister Duško Marković and Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Hendrik van den Dool.
"We want to enter the EU once we meet the conditions and to show that we are a credible partner and that by Montenegro’s accession new value is obtained. Also, it is important for Europe to improve the enlargement policy, make it unquestionable and send a clear message that there is no united Europe without the Western Balkans,” the Prime Minister told the Dutch Ambassador, who was paying a farewell visit.
Prime Minister Marković pointed to the strong economic growth and activities undertaken in order to increase competitiveness, improve the business environment and administration efficiency. As noted by the Government of Montenegro announcement, the Prime Minister assessed as positive the presence of the Dutch company Damen in Montenegro, hopeful that the increasing number of the Dutch business people will be investing in Montenegro.
Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Hendrik van den Dool emphasised that Montenegro has made huge progress although certain challenges remain. The progress, in his words, can be seen with the naked eye.
"As Montenegro progresses to the EU, the task will become more difficult. But, the Netherlands is there to help," the Dutch Ambassador stated.
The meeting also discussed the situation in the region and the importance of the continuation of the European and Euro - Atlantic integration with regard to peace, stability and prosperity on the Balkans.
The two officials agreed on the importance of the decision of Montenegro to open the embassy in the Hague and that it is about boosting high–quality relations between the two countries.
"It is a privilege to have partners such as the Netherlands, which has always objectively considered our possibilities and progress but also pointed to the real challenges. Such an attitude was very incentive for us and our progress," Prime Minister Marković concluded.
Read more about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
14 June 2019 - During his working visit to Slovenia, Interior Minister of Montenegro Mevludin Nuhodžić visited the most frequent border crossing, Obrežje, on the border with Croatia. The visit was an opportunity for the Montenegrin delegation to become familiar with the closer procedures that are being conducted within border checks in line with the Schengen standards, given that Slovenia became part of the Schengen area more than a decade ago.
Slovenian colleagues presented the way of work at the border crossing, which is at the same time the external border of the Schengen area, as well as equipment for the first and second checking lines and the infrastructure solutions prescribed by the EU Schengen Catalog.
Minister Nuhodžić expressed gratitude for the assistance and praised the cooperation with Slovenia during the implementation of the Twinning project "Support to the establishment of the Schengen acquis", within which the Schengen Action Plan, which was adopted by the Government in 2017, had been drafted.
"Montenegro has made progress in terms of Schengen standards related to harmonisation of the legal framework, infrastructure and information and communication systems, and we pay special attention to education and strengthening of the personal capacities of the Border Police," said Minister Nuhodžć in the announcement of the Ministry of Interior of Montenegro.
During his stay in Slovenia, Interior Minister of Montenegro Mevludin Nuhodžić also met with Interior Minister of Slovenia and they discussed the fight against organized crime, terrorism and illegal migration.
On this occasion, the two officials agreed that Montenegro and Slovenia are two friendly countries, and that cooperation between the two ministries of the interior is traditionally good. On this occasion, Minister Nuhodžić was grateful for Slovenia's support to Montenegro in fulfilling two of the most important foreign policy goals – membership in NATO, which Montenegro has already achieved, and membership in the European Union.
Read more about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.