03 December 2018 - Cybersecurity has become an essential component of modern society. Critical societal infrastructure, the financial sector, governmental services, the security sector, schools, and hospitals are increasingly and irreversibly dependent on interconnectivity and the global network. Risks accompany the merits of the open Internet.
Cyberspace is an intrinsic part of the development of any country. Strong information and cyber capacity are crucial for the region to progress and develop in the economic, political and social spheres. Montenegro has advanced fast in the cybersecurity area since 2010 when the umbrella piece of legislation – Law on Information Security - was adopted, along with the Regulation on Information Security Measures. The country has an official university master-level program on cybersecurity policy, developed and delivered by the Donja Gorica University in Podgorica, which gives a unique mix of technical and policy-based knowledge on a variety of cybersecurity issues. The Donja Gorica University is also a partner in the above mentioned EU-funded TEMPUS project.
On December 3, Minister of Public Administration of Montenegro, Suzana Pribilović and UK Ambassador to Montenegro Alison Camp opened a roundtable dedicated to cybersecurity in Podgorica, sponsored by the Ministry of Public Administration and the UK Embassy, in cooperation with the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF).
Minister Pribilović thanked the UK Government for the support provided, hopeful that the project of support in the field of cybersecurity will continue in the time to come. She said that one of the objectives of the Cyber Security Strategy for 2018-2020 is to carry out as many cyber exercises, training and simulations as possible, with the aim of strengthening the capacities for cyber defence. She recalled that the National CIRT (Computer Incident Response Team) successfully participated in resolving numerous incidents in the past period, which in many cases demanded cooperation, information exchange and coordination of activities with other relevant organisations, institutions and CIRT teams. Resolving such incidents resulted in developing contacts and collaboration with partners at regional and international levels, creating CIRT team at the local level and establishing cooperation with the private sector.
The national CIRT is also very active in promoting the culture of being safe in cyberspace. In 2015, it developed the document titled “Guidelines for Security and Protection of Information in Cyberspace”. In cooperation with the ITU, CIRT.me organised a cyber-drill in September 2015 for CIRT/CERTs from Europe. The drill was attended by more than 50 participants from Montenegro and other countries. Also, CIRT.me actively participates in the overarching TEMPUS project related to cybersecurity education in Montenegro.
During the roundtable meeting, Ambassador Camp said that the United Kingdom and its partners share concerns about the scale and complexity of cyber-attacks.
Camp explained that the only effective way to deal with these common threats is joint action. She added that the ability to deliver successful cybersecurity relies on the strength of the partnerships we create: partnerships between the government and its agencies, and between the public and private sectors, including academia and civil society. According to her words, Britain will continue to strengthen the shared vision of an open, peaceful and secure digital world based on the rule of law. Camp also pointed out that cybersecurity is a priority of bilateral relations between Great Britain and Montenegro, as it concerns the security and prosperity of the two countries.
The roundtable aims to increase the awareness of decision-makers and other relevant subjects on the growing threat of cyber-attacks. The national roundtable organized by DCAF is the first of the three annual roundtables where representatives and experts for cybersecurity are participating in the project "Cybersecurity in the Western Balkans."
01 December 2018 - The Information on the accession of the Montenegrin Ministry of Defense to the framework Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Defense of Germany and combat forces of Sweden, with reference to the “Resolute Support” mission, announced by the Government of Montenegro, says that costs of the Army of Montenegro and its soldiers in this mission will amount to 2.000.000 EUR on annually. The costs will include contribution fees, accommodation, and travel costs, moving of forces, as well as other expenditures arising from the engagement of members of the Army of Montenegro into the mission in Afghanistan.
The document also says the Army of Montenegro have continued with the engagement in Afghanistan, in accordance with the decision of the Parliament of Montenegro on sending the Montenegrin soldiers into the international “Resolute Support” mission in Afghanistan.
“After Montenegro joined NATO Alliance, its presence in the international missions has increased, so the Parliament of Montenegro decided on sending the Montenegrin soldiers into the “Resolute Support” mission in Afghanistan on 5 July 2018. The Decision approved sending of 40 soldiers into the Mission,” the government's decision states.
During this summer, Montenegro marked one year anniversary of membership in NATO, when it was noted that Montenegro's accession benefits the state, stability of the Western Balkans and international peace and security as well. Also, by joining NATO, Montenegro gained long-lasting stability, as well as favorable conditions that benefit future economic prosperity. Read more information about one year anniversary of membership in NATO here.
Recently, NATO stated that Montenegro is ready to face challenges on its own.
01 December 2018 - According to the latest data, Montenegro has been one of the fastest growing economies in the region and even beyond its borders, with a 4.8% growth rate in the first half of this year. It has already been recognized as one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the Mediterranean and one of the fastest developing tourist destinations in the world. Other areas, such as energy and agriculture, also have high potential. In this sense, we believe Montenegro is on the right track and has many possibilities in future, the ambassador of the UAE to Montenegro, Abdulsalam Hareb Obaid Al Romaithi said.
“This year, the United Arab Emirates and Montenegro mark ten years of establishing diplomatic relations that we traditionally foster through friendship, trust, solidarity, and mutual understanding. Over the past ten years, both countries have learned a lot of each other and found the way for partnerships in many areas. As a result of our cooperation, we’ve signed a vast number of significant agreements with the aim of improving our relations and achieving common goals based on the interests of both nations,” said the Ambassador of UAE, adding that “the UAE strongly support Montenegro, and will be committed to fostering relations with Montenegro even more.”
Montenegro has already reached significant progress in numerous areas since restoring its independence in 2006, according to Abdulsalam Hareb Obaid Al Romaithi.
During the last week, to mark ten years of diplomatic relations between the United Arab Emirates and Montenegro, the embassy of the United Arab Emirates organized UAE-MNE Cultural Evening on November 27 at the Great Hall of the Cultural and Informational Centre "Budo Tomović".
During this occasion, it was concluded that the audience in Montenegro had the opportunity to enjoy the folklore performances of the cultural, artistic associations from the UAE, in a friendly exchange with the cultural, artistic association from Montenegro for the first time.
Read more information about the cultural exchange of United Arab Emirates and Montenegro here.
29 November 2018 - The first transaction using UnionPay cards in Montenegro was made yesterday in Atlas Bank in Podgorica, which is the first bank in Montenegro that enabled that the card of this brand be accepted at the ATM, POS and e-Commerce terminals. The transaction was made by Mr. Wei Zhihong, director of the International Market and General Director of China UnionPay for Europe. Atlas Bank AD Podgorica has recently obtained a cross-border license issued by the most significant Chinese Card Association.
“On behalf of the Embassy of China, I hereby congratulate you on this collaboration which would have great effects as it will attract even more Chinese investments and promote cooperation between China and Montenegro,” said Mr. Liu Jin, the Chinese ambassador to Montenegro.
Mr. Wei Zhihong, director of the International Market and General Director of China UnionPay for Europe, said the beginning of the close cooperation with Atlas Bank is a very important event for UnionPay because Montenegro has become 40th country in Europe and 171st country in the world that accepts UnionPay cards.
“The exchange between China and Montenegro in the field of investments and tourism has substantially increased. That is why there is a need for UnionPay to be in Montenegro,” said Mr Zhihong, and announced there would be even more intensive cooperation with Atlas Bank by introducing the services regarding card issuance, online payment, electronic wallet option, etc.
Until this date UnionPay International has issued 7 billion cards. Mr Zhihong added there are 23 million retailers in Europe who accept the payments via UnionPay cards, which comprises 60 percent of all retailers receiving the card payments.
“UnionPay is not solely the favourite card brand of Chinese citizens, but also more and more foreign clients are accepting it,” pointed out Mr Zhihong.
The President of Atlas Group Duško Knežević said that Atlas Bank continues to be the forerunner of the innovations in the field of digital economy, further developing the business activities with Chinese partners. He emphasized that Union Pay, together with Alibaba and WeChat, is one of the financial symbols of China.
“We are proud to cooperate with them. With the cooperation between Atlas Bank and UnionPay, the billions will enter into Montenegro, and the card has huge potential. After announcing the news that we got the UnionPay license, we received the invitations from one of the biggest corporations from Hong Kong and Singapore to establish the strategic partnerships,” said Knežević.
Atlas Bank as an innovator in the field of card processing systems and digital economy, has recognized the promising potential the cooperation with the Chinese Card Association – China UnionPay or more specifically, with their international branch office – the UnionPay International carries.
Atlas Bank is the first bank in Montenegro which has established the cooperation with the UnionPay Company. After the initial Cooperation Agreement was signed on 22 November 2017, Atlas Bank commenced the process of formally joining this card association.
At the end of December last year the Membership Agreement was signed, and in June this year Atlas Bank received the authorization documents, by which it was officially granted all the permissions to accept the UPI cards at the POS terminals, ATMs as well as in e-Commerce network of Atlas Bank. Atlas Bank will, after the official commencement of the cooperation, work on the project of issuance of the UnionPay payment cards.
The guests at the ceremony and the cocktail reception were the representatives of the Embassy of China, China UnionPay, and UnionPay International as well as the representatives of Chinese companies doing business in Montenegro, the representatives of the Association of Montenegrin Banks on whose behalf Mr. Goran Radonjić addressed the assembled guests, and other representatives of governmental and economic institutions.
Source: Cafe del Montenegro
28 November 2018 - Executive Director of the Joint-stock Company Airports of Montenegro, Danilo Orlandić, has recently met with the managing directors of the Laudamotion Airline, Andreas Gruber and Colin Casey, in Vienna. Since Laudamotion will establish the Stuttgart-Podgorica-Stuttgart line from April of next year, the details of this line have been considered, but the main topic of the meeting was the potential launching of additional routes from Montenegro.
During the meeting, Orlandić highlighted how it is a great pleasure for the Montenegro Airports to establish a relationship with a company like Laudamotion. He also mentioned the line to Stuttgart, assessing that the route will be hugely successful, given the growing interest in Montenegro from the German market. Significantly, the representatives of the two companies opened the topic of launching additional routes. Orlandić expressed his hope that they will complete these negotiations. “We agreed that we would meet again in Podgorica at the end of the year when I hope, we will deepen our cooperation," Orlandić said.
It is well known that the low-cost airline is looking to develop its destination map. During the meeting, Andreas Gruber explained that with the airline’s concept of prices that are in the service of passengers and an unbeatable price and quality ratio, Laudamotion manages to satisfy the needs of passengers. “We are looking forward to seeing our enhanced presence in Stuttgart during the summer of 2019. We are pleased that from now, on we can offer flights from Montenegro. Establishing a new line between Podgorica and Stuttgart, to be maintained by Laudamotion will significantly improve the connection between Montenegro and the German province Baden-Württemberg," he said.
Laudamotion, the No. 1 low-tariff airline in Austria, was founded in 2004 as a provider of charter flights for executive travel, serving European and international destinations. Years later, the company was taken over by Niki Lauda, former Austrian Formula One driver and a three-time F1 World Drivers' Champion. Europe’s largest budget carrier Ryanair bought 75,1 percent stake in Vienna-based Laudamotion in 2018.
From its headquarters in Vienna, Laudamotion is oriented to the fastest growing base in Dusseldorf, Stuttgart, and Palma. This Austrian airline operates flights to 50 destinations in 18 countries.
28 November 2018 - Public Company Parking Service Podgorica recently acquired three new parking meters, which will be set up in the city centre, allowing visitors to the area to pay for their parking with paper bills and coins. Drivers looking for on-street parking in downtown Podgorica will no longer have to send text messages to different numbers depending on parking zones, nor will they have to pay for parking on the newsstands.
According to the report by daily newspaper “Dan”, by the end of the year, the parking meters will be installed at the corner of Hercegovačka Street and Sloboda Street, at Bokeška Street and the third location is yet to be determined. These are the more up-to-date models of the parking meters for which the Parking Service paid about 6,000 EUR per piece.
"If the weather conditions are favourable, we will set up three parking meters by the end of the year. To install the equipment, it is necessary to have good weather conditions. Two locations are already determined, and for the third, we are still thinking. The third location will be Vučedolska Street or Vuk Karadžić Street, " said Nusret Canović, director of the Parking Service Company.
Canović also said that these models of parking meters are newer, and the installment of the devices will be convenient for the citizens of the Capital and visitors. "The new parking meters enable payment for all three zones that we have, and the machines can receive paper bills. These are the parking meters of the newer generation. We’re installing these devices, not only for the citizens of the Capital but also for people coming from abroad. Given that they will be operating in multiple languages, it will be much easier for visitors to pay for parking services. These parking meters will certainly improve our services," said Canović.
Coming to downtown Podgorica will now be a little more convenient, and that will be welcome news because many people don’t like to send text messages to pay for parking services, nor they enjoy searching for the nearest newspaper stand.
26 November 2018 - Construction works on the bridge Moračica, the most demanding and complex facility on the priority section of the Bar-Boljare motorway, are being performed in line with the planned schedule.
There are around 150 workers on the construction site being engaged every single day.
China’s CRBC Company assessed the construction of the Moračica Bridge spanning structure will require around 30,000 cubic meters of concrete and over 5,000 tons of metal framework.
The most complex facility on the first section of the highway Bar-Boljari will be finished by April 2019.
“Because of its height, range, use of formwork, the bridge connects in the air. We are going to do console construction of the main carrier. We are going to lay concrete on both sides of pillars, simultaneously. Everything has to be balanced,” said Ivana Maksimović earlier this year, from the Department of technical preparation in Section I.
She also added that the bridge has been designed in such a way that it meets all standards and noted that if the speed of the wind reaches the limit that the company will stop the works.
Apart from this one, 19 more bridges will be built at the 41-kilometer long section.
25 November 2018 - There are significant advantages in using wind energy, which explains why it's one of the fastest-growing energy sources in the world. As an alternative to burning fossil fuels wind farm and its power is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation, consumes no water, and uses little land. Montenegro has recognized the benefits of wind power and decided to invest in a capital-intensive project of building the necessary station infrastructure.
After two years of construction of 23 windmills with 46 MW power, worth 40 million EUR on the hill between Bar and Ulcinj, Možura wind farm will begin producing electricity by the end of this month as part of the country’s efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and meet the renewable energy standards of the European Union it aspires to join.
Speaking in a morning TV show of the public broadcaster RTCG, Minister of Economy of Montenegro Dragica Sekulić said that the Možura wind power plant is going to be operational by the end of this month, which will, according to her, significantly contribute to the stability of the electricity supply throughout the country. “According to the information we obtained from the investor, we expect the Možura wind power plant to be tested by the end of November,” emphasized Sekulić.
As the Minister explained during the interview, in 2016, Montenegro produced an output of 4 billion EUR, while a year later the economic growth accounted for 4,7%. In 2018, Montenegro also recorded an increase in its domestic product. Any production significantly contributes to economic growth, which is why it is especially crucial for the country to vary in methods of electricity production. The plan is for Montenegro not to depend on hydropower plants and the rainfall concerning electricity supply.
The state representatives have signed the contract in which it is stated that the purchase price of electricity produced in the wind farm would be warranted and fixed for the first 12 years of operation and would not be less than 95,99 euros per megawatt hour (MWh).
The Ministry hopes that this project, which most certainly has a safe future on the energy market, will encourage new investment in renewable sources.