December 9, 2018 - There is no place for luxury resorts on Skadar Lake, said the Council of Europe.
Therefore, at the last session in Strasbourg held at the end of November, the recommendations of Berne Convention on halting the construction of Porto Skadar Lake and the White Village in the National Park "Skadar Lake" were adopted.
"We recommend the Government of Montenegro to stop further construction on land and the coast at the Mihailovići site in the next 12 months. The new Spatial Plan of the Special Purpose of the National Park Skadar Lake should rely on the assumptions of the Spatial Plan of 2001 and proclaim the wider area of Rijeka Crnojevica and the islands of Liponjak and Galići as a zone I of strict protection. The new Spatial Plan of Special Purpose should also declare Poseljanski Bay and Biški rep as a Zone I of strict protection," the recommendation of the Bern Convention states.
This conclusion is the result of a visit by the representatives of Berne and RAMSAR, i.e. the Convention on the Protection of European Wild Species and Natural Habitats and Wetlands, to Skadar Lake in June this year.
Skadar Lake was on the agenda of the session of the Secretariat of the Berne Convention thanks to the informal association of citizens of Virpazar, who launched a petition in the summer to ban construction on the lake. It was signed by about 13,000 people. Today, however, we were unable to get a comment from the representatives of this association.
After several days of waiting they did not answer our question: if they will act upon the recommendations of the Council of Europe, no answer was received by the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism.
NGO Green House reminds that Montenegro has ratified both Ramsar and Berne conventions.
"If these recommendations were violated, this could significantly escalate at the international level and lead to the deletion of Skadar Lake from the RAMSAR list," says Natasa Kovacevic from Green Home.
Citizens of Virpazar hope, however, that by the arrival of foreign investors to the lake they would finally get roads and jobs.
"I think that they should be allowed to work, with the satisfaction of those standards that are implied, the protection of the lake and the rest..."; "They will offer jobs, and it will look good..."; "Personally, as a citizen here, when I go home and when somebody comes to visit, it would be nice to have better roads and ambience when someone passes by..." are some of the opinions by the locals.
Kovačević says that such comments are not surprising, because the inhabitants of the settlement around Skadar Lake have never been given an alternative that they would benefit from, and the lake remained protected.
"This is an alternative to the development of tourism based on traditional architecture, based on the natural features of the lake, because it is the only curiosity that the lake has. The only alternative offered to them is the mega-touristic infrastructure ...".
Although the damage to Biški rep is made, Kovačević believes that it is not irreparable. "This devastated area should return to its former state, and this should be done at the expense of the investors." Porto Skadar Lake is worth around 160 million euros, and it is planned to have 51 apartments, 30 villas, and its marina. The French investor Lionel Sonigo started preparatory works two years ago, and his opinion on the Spatial Plan of the Special Purpose of the National Park Skadar Lake in late September was supposed to be given by Montenegrin MPs, but the plan was returned for refinement.
Text by Marija Otasevic, on December 8th, 2018, read more at Vijesti
08 December 2018 - Montenegro has received an additional 68.6 million EUR of non-refundable support from the EU and bilateral donors of the West Balkans Investment Framework for the implementation of four investment projects in the area of transport and the environment and the preparation of project documentation for two new projects.
Additional funds were approved at the nineteenth meeting of the Steering committee of the West Balkan Investment Framework, held in Luxembourg, organized by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank.
Additional non-refundable grants were approved through the fourth call for investment projects and the twentieth call for project preparation, and in the context of the financial support provided by the EU and the bilateral donors of this instrument in the framework of the Berlin Process.
For the construction of the priority part of the bypass around Budva within the route of the coastal variant of the Adriatic-Ionian motorway, the EU will allocate 42.1 million EUR for works, whose total value will exceed 188 million. By building a priority part of the bypass, road transport in this part of the coastal region will be significantly improved and the problem of traffic jams in the center of Budva will be resolved, especially during the summer months.
In addition to investing in road transport, the EU has approved the allocation of 16.3 million EUR of non-refundable support for the development of rail transport. In addition to the reconstruction of steel bridges and sections of the railway line Lutovo-Bioče, the project envisages the procurement of three new passenger trains, which will significantly improve the safety, efficiency and comfort of this type of traffic for citizens. An integral part of the project is the reconstruction of workshops and depots for train maintenance in Bar and Nikšić and procurement of new equipment for this purpose.
In addition to investment projects in the field of transport, 7.7 million EUR of non-refundable support was granted for strengthening infrastructure in the area of environmental protection. With the amount of 4.7 million EUR, the construction of the sewerage system in Risan and Perast will be financed, which will solve the issue of wastewater collection in these coastal areas, which will influence the improvement of the quality of bathing water in the Bay of Kotor. For the construction of a wastewater treatment plant in Bijelo Polje 3 million EUR were allocated, which makes almost half of the necessary funds for solving the issue of wastewater treatment in the largest municipality in the north of Montenegro. Support to environmental projects is in line with the EU's commitment to support Montenegro's efforts to improve the environmental protection system in the long term.
In regard to financial support for the preparation of projects, 1.3 million EUR was approved for the preparation of the necessary documentation for the reconstruction of the railway line from Podgorica to the border with Albania and 1.2 million EUR for the preparation of a project to build a new prison in Mojkovac.
"Given that the funds are allocated through calls open to all Western Balkan countries, the fact that Montenegro has been granted the most funds this year confirms the ability of the Government and the administration to properly plan investments and infrastructure and prepare projects in accordance with the requirements and EU rules," Deputy Chief Negotiator - National IPA Coordinator Ivana Glišević Đurović said.
She stressed that the Government will continue to work dedicatedly when it comes to planning investments in infrastructure, that infrastructure projects are among the main priorities of the Government. "I am convinced that the implementation of these projects will be of great importance for everyday life of citizens, but also for intensifying economic growth and development through improving the infrastructure connectivity and creating preconditions for the development of tourism through improvements in the field of environmental protection," Glišević Đurović said.
On the margins of the meeting, Deputy Director-General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Katariná Mathernová congratulated on approved projects and expressed willingness to continue the successful cooperation.
08 December 2018 - Minister of Foreign Affairs Srđan Darmanović participates in the 25th OSCE Ministerial Council Meeting, which took place on 6-7th December in Milano, Italy.
Speaking about the role of the OSCE in strengthening security, Minister Darmanović said that the activities of the organisation and the full respect of the fundamental values of the OSCE are of paramount importance in resolving security challenges. "The current crises just confirm the relevance of the concept of comprehensive OSCE security and show the importance of the role that the OSCE has in providing a single platform for a constructive dialogue on the most important security issues," Darmanović said, pointing out the need for firm commitment to the OSCE's core values – respect for democracy, the rule of law, and human rights and freedoms.
In the context of the recent use of military force and Russian activities in the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait, which currently represent the biggest and most serious challenge to European security architecture, Darmanović said that this is another direct consequence of violating the fundamental principles on which the OSCE and the international order are resting. He recalled that Montenegro expressed concern about the incident and joined the calls for de-escalation of tensions. He reiterated that Montenegro fully supports a peaceful and diplomatic resolution of the crisis, including the Trilateral Contact Group and the Normandy format, based on the sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine in its internationally recognised borders.
On the margins of the Ministerial Council, Minister Darmanović met with his Italian counterpart Enzo Moavero Milanesi. The two officials welcomed the priorities of the Italian presidency aimed at strengthening the role of the OSCE to reduce conflicts, restore confidence, combat radicalisation, promote good governance, fight corruption, combat intolerance and discrimination, and strengthen structural dialogue.
Minister Darmanović also met with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia Miroslav Lajčak, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, as well as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov.
07 December 2018 - A person who decides to be the mediation agent to persons applying for obtaining economic citizenship through investments, will have to pay 50.000 EUR for the licence. This was defined by the Government’s decision on the criteria, manner, and procedure of the selection of a person who can gain Montenegrin citizenship.
Licences are valid for one year and can be extended two times, at the request of a mediation agent.
Costs of issuing and extending the licence are borne by the mediation agent who must fulfill the following requirements: responsible person in that legal entity in Montenegro or in some other state hasn’t been sentenced to an unconditional prison sentence that lasted longer than one year, for a criminal offence that is prosecuted ex officio, and that he/she has been performing the same or similar activities in at least three states on the basis of the agreement, i.e. licence, and in at least one EU Member State.
Starting from the 1st January 2019, and in the next three years, maximum of 2.000 investors will be able to obtain Montenegrin citizenship.
An applicant for economic citizenship must deposit 450.000 EUR for the projects that are being implemented at the south of the state or in the Capital, 250.000 EUR for the projects in the north and central part of the state, and 100.000 EUR intended for the development of less developed areas.
Deposit for administration process per applicant amounts 15.000 EUR and 10.000 EUR for every member of their family. If the family counts more than five members, 50.000 EUR tax is paid for each one.
The decision on economic citizenship was rendered with the aim of enhancing the economic development of the state and attracting investments.
December 7, 2018 - The Ministry of Education signed contracts with representatives of 24 non-governmental organizations for financing projects in 2018, for which more than 250,000 euros were allocated from the budget of the Ministry. As announced from this department, contracts were signed with NGOs whose projects were rated as the best on the basis of the public competition "Today Prepared, Tomorrow Exceptional" and "For Schools That are Loved".
"After the competition Today Prepared, Tomorrow Exceptional" contracts were signed with NGOs Association of parents of children with disabilities Podgorica, NGO Montenegrin Association for New Technologies MANT, NGO Association of parents of children and youth with disabilities Give us a chance, NGO Apus, NGO European Movement in Montenegro, NGO Association of Parents of Children and Youth with Disabilities, NGOs Association for Democratic Prosperity - ZID, NGO Our Future and NGO Center for the Development of Entrepreneurial Society," stated the Ministry.
They add that the best projects for the contest "For schools that are loved" were submitted by NGOs NGO Association of Parents of Children and Youth with Disabilities - Podgorica, NGO North Land, NVO Association of parents of children and youth with disabilities Staze, NGO Association of speleological societies of Montenegro, NGO Centar Democracy and Human Rights - CEDEM, NGO Alfa Center, NGO Development Center, NGO Parents, NGO Fenix Montenegro, NGO NOVI HORIZONT, NGO NLP NETWORK, NGO Equivalence, NGO Center for Civic Education CGO, NGO Identity and NGO Alliance for Children and young people - HOUSE, with whom the contracts were signed.
"The representatives of NGOs signed the agreement with the president of the commission Vesna Gajević and Majda Mulić, and the state secretary of the Ministry of Education Aleksandar Mitrović attended the meeting, who wished successful cooperation and quality implementation of the projects of the aforementioned non-governmental organizations," concluded the Ministry of Education.
Text by CdM, on December 5th 2018, read more at CdM
06 December 2018 - For the first time in Kotor, on Saturday, December 8 and Sunday December 9, a two-day NLP Basic training for improving business skills is organized.
Whether you are an employer, manager or employee, the complexity of the business environment is conditional on the need for continuous additional training said Aleksandra Anđelić from NLP Network.
NLP methodology is currently the leading methodology for improving business skills and it is used in all activities, such as sales, marketing, management, etc.
For the improvement of business, three reasons are of the utmost importance.
Interpersonal relationships in the workplace - numerous research has come up with data that employees in over 80% of cases leave companies because of poor communication, poor relationship with the manager. Employees do not actually leave companies, but bosses. The reason is the inability of quality communication, a lot of stress, reduced productivity or motivation. You can imagine the cost, when every time someone leaves the company because of bad interpersonal relationships.
Research say that more than 80% of sales are made due to the relationship the seller builds with his client, not because of the product or service. What makes this relationship - first of all, quality communication, which includes respect and trust, flexibility to diversity. The third reason is the increase in employee motivation.
It is known that only motivated employees are productive employees, however, a very small percentage of employees is truly motivated. Some research says that every 4th employee like the job they do. At work more and more employees often spend more than 8 hours, and it is important to be motivated. However, employers seem to fail to find adequate drivers for their employees. It is not easy because everyone is starting different things.
These are some of the topics covered by the NLP Basic two-week training conducted by licensed NLP coaches Danka Ćetković and Aleksandra Anđelić, founders of NLP Network.
"We are all more and more seriously disturbed by the balance between business and private life, and for that reason, we feel dissatisfaction, constant stress, worry, nervousness and so on. All of this, in the end, leads us to, in spite of the increased effort, to miss the desired results and not to realize all that we can for what we have potential. These are some of the reasons why it is necessary to work on improving the communication skills, flexibility, goal setting, as well as reconsidering their beliefs that can be supportive or even limiting to achieve the desired results, in which NLP can greatly help us with its methods," concluded members of NLP Network during their lecture about methods of neuro-linguistic programming which took place in mid-November in Kotor. Read more information about this lecture here.
Until now, NLP education was conducted only in Podgorica, however, due to the interest shown after the Info Lectures, for the first time in Kotor NLP Basic is being organized - a two-day training programme which will take place during December 8-9. Information and applications can be found here, and you can also follow NLP Network on their Facebook Page.
December 6, 2018 - Cultural and tourism cooperation is of particular importance to Montenegro, said Minister of Culture Aleksandar Bogdanovic during the panel that was held within the Third World Conference on Tourism and Culture under the slogan "Culture and Tourism: For the Good of All" in Istanbul.
"Given that tourism in Montenegro represents one of the central economic branches, and that cultural heritage, material and intangible, testifies to the millennium past, whose traces today represent exceptional cultural and tourist potential, through the cooperation of the cultural and tourism sector in Montenegro, there have been developed cultural trails 'Between Two Magical Shores', which include a visit to the National Park Skadar Lake, as well as numerous cultural goods in this area. Also, the 'Circle around Korita' route has been developed, which besides the exceptional natural environment, enables visitors to get acquainted with museums, memorials and famous places that are an integral part of the route. Such projects make lesser-known heritage sites visible to the broader community, at the same time provide tourists with the opportunity to visit unknown destinations of exceptional cultural and historical significance," the minister said in his presentation.
As stated by Bogdanović's office, participation in the conference is an opportunity to strengthen the relations of the participating countries, exchange experiences and practices in the field of tourism, as well as to stimulate economic cooperation. The ministerial session, on which Bogdanovic spoke, gathered the ministers of tourism and culture to exchange examples of positive practice on policies that can be networked to achieve sustainable development. Speaking on the thematic panel titled "Strengthening cooperation among all participants in the field of tourism and culture", Bogdanović emphasized the importance of cultural tourism through the aspect of economic benefits that can be achieved in this way, primarily in terms of generating income and new jobs, training for jobs and maintenance of traditional crafts, the revival of city centers, the increase in value of assets, the improvement of small entrepreneurship and much more. During his presentation, he emphasized that cultural tourism cannot be treated as a separate and isolated segment, but, on the contrary, that in cooperation with creative industries, the issue of heritage can be comprehensively addressed, and that it contributes to sustainable development and creation of additional values.
"The economic significance of cultural tourism is reflected in the financial support of preserving, revitalizing and promoting cultural goods on the one hand, and enabling the financial and organizational independence of cultural institutions on the other. This is precisely why cultural tourism is the driving force behind the development of cities, regions and countries. The social impact of cultural tourism is material, but it also has intangible effects, such as the development of awareness and the care of cultural heritage, its own cultural values and the creation of a cultural identity. Cultural sites that are attractive to the local population are also striking for tourists," the minister said.
He is convinced that intersectoral connectivity will provide favorable socio-economic and socio-cultural effects.
"Also, in order to make the effects of the cultural tourism more important, it is necessary to observe cultural resources as market products that are becoming more and more important, because tourists are, above all, customers and therefore should be treated as such," Bogdanović said.
Bogdanović also spoke about the area of protection and preservation of cultural goods, as one of the main priorities in the work of the Ministry of Culture, but also about the modality of moving from massive to exclusive tourism, in which culture and cultural heritage play the most important role.
Text by CdM, on December 4th, 2018, read more at CdM
05 December 2018 - During an official business breakfast, the Mayor of Podgorica, Ivan Vuković, had a discussion with representatives of the diplomatic corps and foreign businesspeople in Montenegro about the planned capital projects and investment potentials of the Capital City, inviting them to help their realization in the domain of their competencies.
At today's discussion, the Mayor pointed out the ambition of the Capital to continue the accelerated development that was started during the mandate of the former mayor, Miomir Mugoša, and remained during the mandate of Slavoljub Stijepović. Among the projects whose realization is ahead, besides the most important one - the wastewater treatment plant - Mayor Vuković also pointed out the planned construction of boulevard access to the city from all sides, a project to convert biogas from landfill to electricity and the plan to build a solar power plant. In the field of sports, the Vuković highlighted the construction of the eastern segment of the City Stadium, the construction of a tennis academy, the reconstruction of the Small Sports Stadium, and the construction of a national football stadium.
Stating that one of the biggest challenges in Podgorica is solving the problems of public transport, the Mayor said that in that field, the Capital would look up to the solutions already implemented by Belgrade, mentioning the possibility of introducing electric buses. When it comes to the need to revive the city centre of Podgorica, the Capital representatives will use the example of Ljubljana which opened its centre for both pedestrians and cyclists.
The Mayor informed the guests about the possibilities of building an expo centre, shopping malls, an aqua park, as well as more hotels in different parts of the city. In addition, Vuković drew their attention to areas in which investors are granted favourable benefits - Industrial Zone A, Agro-Industrial Zone and Service-Warehouse Zone with a marshalling station. “We are trying to attract investors through various models such as private-public partnership, foreign direct investments, and through the new ESCO method that will be very significant from next year,” said Vuković.
He specifically referred to the ongoing struggle with the problem of unemployment, stating that projects such as a business incubator, Center for Competences and others - aim to motivate, first of all, young people to run their business instead of seeking employment from the state.
The Mayor concluded the meeting with expectations of support for numerous social projects initiated by the Capital, especially in the area of environmental protection, sport, and culture.
05 December 2018 - Coal Mine Pljevlja produced 1.247.975 tons of coal from the beginning of the year until October. That is by 7% more than in the same period last year.
“Generated income was above the amount planned and it amounted to around 35 million EUR. Around 75% of total production accounted for the export,” said the representatives of the Coal mine.
In recent years they have extended the market to the region. The Coalmine can satisfy all the required quantities for the needs of wide consumption at a much higher level than they are now. Currently, reserves of coal amount around 62 million EUR.
In the next year, prices of coal will not change.
“Coal prices for wide and industrial consumption is different, depending on the caloric value. Prices range from 31,50 EUR per ton for fine coal to 48,27 EUR per ton for a cube or a piece. (VAT not included)”.
In the middle of July of this year, the ownership structure of Coal mine changed and Electric Power Company of Montenegro became the complete owner of the company in Pljevlja.
“It was quite logical and almost inevitable that two business entities whose capacities are directed towards each other and mutually dependent should integrate into a group or one common company. The existing model is functioning well, for now, business results in the first ten months are better than expected,” said the representatives of the company.
Text by Dnevne Novine, on December 5th, 2018, read more at CdM.
December 5, 2018 - The Central Bank of Montenegro sent the Government recommendations for economic policy in 2019, which, among other things, proposes introducing taxes or revenues on plastic products to reduce their use. An independent consultant, organized by Zero Waste Montenegro, Masha Tomkovic, believes that the introduction of a fee on plastic products, especially disposable ones, would certainly reduce the use of such products.
"The proposal of the measure is quite general, but it shows a clear focus on the goal, which is a reduction in the use of plastic products on the territory of Montenegro. In principle, I support the measure of introducing a tax on a group of plastic products, but I think that the fees for importers of disposable bottles, mostly packaging products should be significantly higher," says Tomkovic for CdM. This incentive measure would, she says, if adopted, come at the right moment.
"Because according to the new Strategy on plastic waste in the circular economy on the EU market from 2030, only plastic products of design and composition which enable the complete recycling of products be possible. Countries outside the EU, including Montenegro, will become, I believe, an attractive market in the future for the placement of those plastic products that do not correspond with the quality of the market in the countries of the European Union," Tomković warned. It advocates a significant increase in the price of disposable plastic products, as they account for 59% of the total plastic waste and precisely the products from this group are, explains, the dominant polluters of our environment, and especially the sea.
“Reducing the use of these products and moving to more sustainable solutions would have many positive multiplier effects on human health, our environment, and the country's economy itself. Therefore, we should not neglect the need for continuous education of citizens about the harmful effects of plastic products," explains Zero Waste Montenegro consultant. He reminds that this organization launched a petition in July last year for banning plastic disposable bags in Montenegro which was signed in more than a month by more than 3,500 citizens.
"This campaign was aimed at voting to ban plastic bags for single use, as well as the so-called oxo-biodegradable bags. A large number of collected signatures speaks in favor of a significant part of our citizens noticing the problem of excessive use of plastics and plastic bags for our nature, and expecting healthier alternative and long-term solutions," Tomković adds.
According to her, after this action on the Montenegrin market, linen bags began to appear spontaneously, as a good substitute and a long-term and healthier solution. "The ban on the distribution of free bags, especially those of the thinner ones, as well as the significant increase in the price of the bag, would contribute to the fact that the trend of replacing plastic bags with a linen bag will come to life in full scope," Tomkovic assured.
Prohibitions around the world
The use of plastic bags is banned in several countries around the world, in some, they are taxed, and in some, their production, sales, and carrying are punished in cash, or even in prison. At the end of October, the European Parliament's representatives supported the proposal of the European Commission on the complete ban and reduction of certain plastics products, and it is expected that within a period of two years from the end of the adoption of the directive in the territory of the EU, the production of many products, such as plastic Q-tips, plates and cutlery, drinking straws... These products make up as much as 70 percent of the total waste found in the seas. Have we destroyed the Earth?
Scientists are increasingly warning that the planet has inflicted irreversible damage in the last few decades. Some go so far as to claim that in the 1950s it was Anthropocene - a geological epoch, characterized by the influence of man on Earth, radioactivity and plastic contamination began, which brought human survival into question.
Experts still debate this issue, but one thing is sure - we have to start to act more responsibly towards ourselves and the environment.
Text by Ž. Novović, on December 4th, 2018, read more at CdM
December 4, 2018 - In Antwerp, a consulate of Montenegro led by the Honorary Consul Enisa Jarović was opened. At the opening of the Consulate, Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic said that Montenegro and the Kingdom of Belgium have traditionally friendly relations and that the opening of the consulate headed by the Honorary Consul will give additional impetus to a stronger, especially economic and cultural connection of the two countries.
"Belgium is our true friend. As one of the first countries to officially recognize Montenegro, it has given us full support in the process of joining NATO and is a strong supporter and partner in our integration into the European Union," said Darmanovic. During the opening ceremony, the head of Montenegrin diplomacy pointed to positive trends in the development of bilateral relations and commitment to continuously consolidating Montenegro's relations with Belgium through intense political dialogue and meaningful cooperation. He considered it important that there is now, beside the embassy in Brussels, another address, in the historically, administratively and economically important region of this country.
Ambassador of Montenegro in Belgium, Vladimir Radulovic emphasized that by opening a consulate led by Honorary Consul in Flanders, the two countries, two regions, are additionally connected, creating new opportunities for cooperation in various domains. The opening, as announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was attended by the Belgian officials, representatives of local authorities and diplomatic corps.
Text by Vijesti online, on December 4th, 2018, read more at Vijesti