21 June 2019 - Members of the first class of voluntary military service went down in the history of Montenegro, as they showed their personal bravery and courage in assuming such responsible duty as military service. They made their own contribution to the development and growth of their country, said the Minister of Defence, Predrag Bošković, during the ceremony in Danilovgrad organized to honor those who completed their military service.
As representatives of the Ministry of Defence said, Bošković is very satisfied with the level of training. The team deserves compliments and attention.
He thanked volunteers for forging the way to a very important project.
“You have shown awareness and responsibility for your country. You have earned my respect because you dared to step into the unknown,” said Bošković.
However, he expressed hopes that none of them would ever have to come to the situation where they need to put on the uniform to defend this country from a foreign enemy.
Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Montenegro, Colonel Svetozar Brajković, said that no individual could perform a heroic deed the way a group of people could.
“Our objective was establishing a collective spirit and we did it,” said Colonel Brajković.
Milorad Bojović, Dimitrije Došljak and Tea Idrizović were the best in the first class of voluntary military service. Minister Bošković handed them diplomas.
On behalf of the entire class, Milorad Bojović thanked the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces of Montenegro for giving them a chance to serve a military term. He said it was an honor for them to be part of the Armed Forces of Montenegro and perform tasks just like professional soldiers.
“There is no vocation as honorable as the military vocation. Anybody who gets the chance to put on the military uniform and defend their own country has already done a lot for a lifetime. I promise that the Armed Forces of Montenegro can count on us whenever necessary,” said Milorad Bojović.
Source: Cafe del Montenegro
21 June 2019 - The cooperation mechanism between Central and Eastern European countries and China today represents one of the most modern ways of connecting 17 countries of the Old Continent with high potentials of the Far East.
Ambassador of “16+1” Mechanism, China’s Special Representative for China-CEE Cooperation Affairs, Huo Yuzhen, knows this part of the world very well. She was in the diplomatic mission to the Czech Republic, and later on the head of embassies in the Czech Republic and Romania.
When it comes to Montenegro, according to her, there is no dilemma about areas where we can establish even better cooperation.
“From China’s point of view, we want to call on even closer cooperation with Montenegro, especially in the area of tourism. That would contribute to the two-way exchange between our cultures, and people as well,” stressed Ms Yuzhen in an interview for Dnevne Novine daily, as reported by the CdM.
She reflected on the possible new areas of cooperation between the two states and continued that different countries have different needs.
"We want to assist the Balkan countries in the construction of motorways, as is the case with Montenegro, but also bridges and power plants in other states,” said Ms Yuzhen.
Chinese companies wish to be engaged even more, according to her, beyond the country’s borders and that’s extremely significant for them. One of the reasons is the fact they want to get to know and reach international standards, and thus gain more experience and enhance quality through international cooperation.
Read more about travel in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
21 June 2019 - The U.S. State Department's 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report states that Montenegro is continuously making significant efforts to meet the standards for the elimination of human trafficking fully.
The U.S. State Department, led by US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, has recently published the 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report. The Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report is the U.S. Government’s principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking. It is also the world’s most comprehensive resource of governmental anti-trafficking efforts and reflects the U.S. Government’s commitment to global leadership on this key human rights and law enforcement issue.
Within the 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report, it was concluded that Montenegro is a country whose Government does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. "The government demonstrated significant efforts during the reporting period by undertaking awareness-raising efforts and reaffirming its commitment to enact anti-trafficking legislation. However, the government did not demonstrate increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period. The government did not show evidence of overall progress in prosecuting and punishing trafficking offenders and identifying victims of trafficking," it is stated within the Report.
The U.S. State Department recognized the efforts of Montenegro in regards to the establishment of a multi-disciplinary task force to proactively investigate trafficking and changed case referral procedures to decrease the chances of trafficking cases prosecuted under other offenses and thus praised the country for drafting and adopting a national anti-trafficking strategy for 2019-2024 and a national action plan for 2019.
Prioritized recommendations for Montenegro in relations to the prevention of trafficking include the focus on vigorous investigation, prosecution, and conviction of traffickers under Article 444 of the criminal code, increasing proactive screening of potential victims, especially for women in prostitution, migrants, seasonal workers, and children engaged in begging, providing advanced training to judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement on trafficking investigations and prosecutions and incentivizing and encouraging victim participation in investigations and prosecutions in a victim-centered manner.
The U.S State Department also highlighted the great need for Montenegro to create and finance an accessible compensation fund and inform victims of their right to compensation during legal proceedings and to ensure the Office for the Fight against Trafficking in Persons has adequate independence, capacity, and impact on implementing anti-trafficking efforts.
Read more about Politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
21 June 2019 - President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović, at the invitation of the Romanian ambassador, the EU presiding country, Ferdinand Nagy, was guest at the working lunch with the ambassadors of the EU member states accredited in Montenegro.
President Đukanović thanked Ambassador Nagy for the initiative for the meeting and Romania on the dedicated relationship to bilateral cooperation and the European perspective of the region during a successful presidency. At the same time, he thanked the Head of the EU Delegation and all ambassadors of the EU countries for their unambiguous contribution to the adoption of European standards and value systems in Montenegro on its path of integration. The President emphasized the significance of the timing of this meeting in the context of the yesterday's conclusions of the General Affairs Council, the recent elections for the European Parliament and the published report on the progress of the countries of the WB, as well as the discussion on the EU's strategic movements and its attitude towards the WB.
The President assessed that the Council's conclusions were below what the WB's expectations were, pointing out that a better level of compromise would have been achieved for the stability of the region and Europe and economic and democratic development.
"The balance may be a real expression of how the state sees the EU, but it is not in agreement with what we see from the region," Đukanović said, especially in the context of postponing the decision to open negotiations with Northern Macedonia and Albania, and added that this region will never be stable without integration and can not experience the required pace of economic and democratic development. Therefore, according to the President, the future competitiveness of European politics is extremely important, to find a balance between the expectations of the Balkans and Europe as a global player.
According to the official statement of the President of Montenegro Cabinet, Đukanović said that in the past few years Montenegro has made evident progress and a clear strategy and continuously growing capacities that guarantee that this strategy will be implemented.
"With the awareness of the inability to overcome all the overnight deficits, the President stressed that Montenegro has managed to preserve the multiethnic harmony and emancipate the country from its dependence to the region, and today, as a NATO member, on a protracted road to the EU proves that it is able to cope with all the challenges. Montenegro will continue to uncompromising advancement of the rule of law and preserve a good pace of economic development," Đukanović said among other things.
The host of a working lunch on behalf of the Romanian presidency said that the country would continue to support the enlargement policy in line with individual progress and share the Commission's assessment of the need for the EU to be a credible partner that respects its promises to candidate countries that have fulfilled their obligations. I am very proud that I witnessed the exceptional progress of Montenegro during my diplomatic mandate, Nagy said.
The head of the EU Delegation to Montenegro, Aivo Orav, spoke about the successful presidency of Romania and the conclusions of the Council, which, he said, was the best compromise and the best possible result.
"What is important is that strong commitment to the expansion has been confirmed," Orav said.
He stressed that further efforts are needed in order to improve the rule of law, fight against corruption and organized crime, freedom of speech and media freedom, and that the EU recognizes positive progress in economic development, and cordially welcomes the active role of Montenegro in the region and in relation to its neighbors and one hundred percent compliance with the common foreign and security policy.
"The Union is ready to help Montenegro, including financially, to become part of the EU as soon as possible," concluded Orav.
The ambassadors expressed interest in the position of the President on the current issues of internal and regional policy. Among other things, Montenegro's contribution to strengthening regional stability and a constructive view of Montenegro on EC assessments and Council conclusions has been recognized.
During the working lunch, the interest in the process of passing a new law on religious freedom was especially expressed.
President Đukanović stressed that Montenegro is determined to solve the very delicate issue of the church, and will not resort to provocation, refraining from further straining the situation, but will uncompromisingly defend its interests. In response to the interest in applying ODIHR recommendations, the President expressed optimism about the further work of the Interim Parliamentary Committee, carefully developing a two-thirds consensus.
"In this regard, we will initiate the renewal of the dialogue with the opposition, which we discussed earlier with the EU delegation, and our offer is fully in place," said Đukanović.
Regarding the protection of freedom of speech, Đukanović emphasized that there is no dilemma in the state political course as far as this is an important issue and the importance of the media for the democratic development of society. The aim is to create the conditions for full freedom and independence of the media and maximum professionalization, which can only be a contribution to the democratization of the society by the legislative and institutional framework.
Read more about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
20 June 2019 - The Venice Commission adopted a positive opinion on the Draft Law on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Legal Status of Religious Communities, finding that the proposed legal text “brings important positive changes to the existing, out-dated legislation”.
In its opinion, the Venice Commission welcomes “the genuine efforts of the Montenegrin authorities” to replace the out-dated 1977 Law on Legal Position of Religious Communities. Furthermore, the Venice Commission welcomes the approach of the draft law to guarantee not only the freedom of religion, but also the freedom of non-religious beliefs, while commending the liberal approach taken in the provisions that prescribe the registration procedure for religious communities, safeguard their autonomy and guarantee the rights to religious teaching and establishment of religious schools.
The Opinion also welcomes the legal approach not to prescribe the registration of religious communities as compulsory.
“The approach taken by the draft law and the authorities is welcome. In addition, the Venice Commission stresses that the voluntary character of registration does not mean that religious communities may operate outside the legal system. In modern democracies, the constitutional limits to the state power over religious communities cannot be considered as a barrier to the assertion of the authority of the democratic state. Religious communities are not situated above or outside the national legal order: they have their place – although a special one, safeguarded and protected by specific fundamental rights - within that order,” the document reads, as reported by the Public Relations service within the Government of Montenegro.
Referring to the issue of property of religious communities, the Venice Commission notes: “Concerning the important issue of the properties of religious communities, the Venice Commission understands the concern of the Montenegrin authorities with regard to bringing legal certainty and addressing the issue of possible illegal/abusive registration in the name of religious communities in 1990s of a number of religious immovable properties which may be part of the cultural heritage of Montenegro. This is all the more so, because the state – according to Article 78 of the Constitution - must protect the natural and cultural heritage of the country. The Venice Commission welcomes in this respect that the solutions proposed in this draft law rely on long-standing legal principles of the Montenegrin legal order, and are not based on ad hoc rules, specific for this situation.”
In the Opinion, the Venice Commission has supported the Government's key objective for the Draft Law to guarantee to every citizen of Montenegro the freedom to be, or not to be, a believer of any religion, on their own free will, while affirming the right of the state to protect the property and cultural heritage that belongs to all citizens and to ensure that the laws of Montenegro apply equally to all, on the entire territory of the country.
The Montenegrin Government delegation, which participated in the work of the plenary session of the Venice Commission, headed by Minister of Human and Minority Rights Mehmed Zenka, thanked the Venice Commission for their expert opinion, while stating that all the suggestions and recommendations for further improvement and clarification of certain legal provisions will be carefully considered and incorporated in the final text of the Draft Law which will be sent to the Parliament for consideration and adoption.
Read more about lifestyle in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
20 June 2019 - The Baroque building of the Bujović palace opened its doors to the young artist, architect Luka Pajović, who presented himself to the Perast audience with the first solo exhibition Serenissima: History of Perast Architecture (1687-1797).
Apart from the key artifacts from the archives of the Perast town, drawings of the previously unmapped Perast churches and bell towers, as well as other results of the same scientific research project are presented to the audience.
The director of the Museums of Kotor, Dušan Medin, presented the biography of architect Pajović and talked about the importance of this project, which pointed to the significance of Perast and its historical and cultural importance in Bay of Kotor and the former Venice Republic.
Professor Ilija Lalošević also spoke about the historical importance and strategic position of Perast, and recalled the importance of Serenissima for the development of the town. The catalog and exhibition are documented in the last 100 years of the rule of Serenissima in Perast.
"Luka's architect's language can particularly talk to the visitors, while the ideal interpolation and reconstruction was done well, which means that the author responded to a high-level task," said professor Lalošević on the occasion of the opening of the exhibition, as reported Radio Jadran.
Author Luka Pajović spoke about his impressions of Perast and the knowledge of the moment of construction that is characteristic of this Baroque city. He thanked everyone who provided him with assistance in this project after eight months of research and preparation.
The exhibition will be open until mid-July and the Museums of the City of Perast warmly recommended it for both professional and lay public.
Luka Pajović was born in 1995 in Podgorica. After a two-year internship at St. Peter's School in York (UK), a basic architecture study, enrolled at the University of Cambridge, where, as a full Trinity College scholar, he achieved the highest score in his class in two years. After studying, he spent years attending a practice in the multi-award-winning London studio Tim Ronalds Architects, and then in Montenegro, where he has been working on a research project for several months. From mid-July, Luka will continue to graduate from Yale University (USA) as a full fellowship scholar for architecture.
Read more news about lifestyle in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
Montenegro's Basketball Team center Bojan Dubljevic, as published on FIBA website, said that placing at the World Cup in China was "an experience that has, without a doubt, helped the country raise its rating on the international basketball scene". "It was absolutely right, the qualifications were tough, very difficult, but our mental strength and resistance helped us very much. We did our best to go to the World Cup and in the end, we felt relieved and happy when we finally managed to win a spot. Man, it was long and hard, but it was worth it," said Dubljevic. The World Cup placement has brought Montenegro so many good things, including the confidence of the players.
"We are a small country and we all know that it means a lot to us players and our people to participate in a competition like the World Cup. We raised our confidence at a higher level after we won the placement, but we know we have to continue to work hard and progress to be able to offer great games in China. Qualifications are behind us, now we need to focus on the final tournament," Dubljevic added.
Montenegro will play in China with Greece, Brazil, and New Zealand. "The group is very competitive, one of the most competitive in the first phase of the competition. All of our opponents in the group, unlike us, have a lot of experience at the international level, which is very important when playing at the World Cup."
"Brazil is a very strong team; I have played in Spain against some Brazilian players, they have veterans who will have a significant influence on the game. Greece is one of the best selections in Europe and with the talent they have, including Giannis Antetokounmpo they can achieve a lot. New Zealand is a team that plays with a lot of intensity and we will have to play a good defense to play at the same physical level as they are," says the center of Valencia.
Greece was the vice-champion of the world 13 years ago, when they surprised the Americans in the semifinals. In 2002, New Zealand reached semi-finals of the World Cup and was fourth, while Brazil had not been on the winner's podium since 1978 but is still among the best selections from the American continent.
"This is an unbelievable opportunity for us, for the country, for the entire population of Montenegro. We are a small country, but we are proud and want to represent the state in the best way. We want to show that Montenegro has the talent that we want to show at the highest level".
"We know that we are not among the favorites, but we will compete and fight at each game to make people proud. We have a tremendous opportunity to show our country through the games, to show our flag, to get the people to learn something about our country and our basketball," added Dubljevic.
The performance at the World Cup will be a great promotion of Montenegro.
"A big window to let the world see who we are, and we'll be working hard to prepare for the start of the competition and be in the best form. I repeat, wearing a red jersey on our backs, we want to make our fellow citizens proud," Dubljevic said.
Our ace is also aware that there is no guarantee when you come to a major event and that there is no dilemma that he will be in our team at this championship.
"It is very important for me, I'm really excited to have the chance to compete against the best teams and players in the world, which will help our basketball progress, and all of us to gain more experience for future contests."
Dubljevic says there are a lot of things to look forward to in China:
"Starting from the audience and the fans, because the atmosphere will be great, up to big tournament competition, and more than that. Playing at the World Championship is probably one of the most important things for basketball players. That’s why I am looking forward to everything that will take place this summer. My teammates, the professional staff, all together, want us to do something big in China," concluded Dubljevic.
Text by Sasa Joncic, on June 20th, 2019, read more at Vijesti
Director of Montenegro's Public Sea Management Company “Morsko dobro” Predrag Jelusic visited the Institute of Marine Biology of the University of Montenegro in Kotor (IBMK).
"At the meeting with the Institute's leadership, we discussed the continuation of cooperation between these two institutions in the realization of current and future projects, primarily in the field of monitoring the sanitary quality of seawater in bathing areas along the Montenegrin coast, as well as projects related to sea caves research, monitoring the impacts of beach landfills on the marine ecosystem and the continuation of cooperation on international projects dealing with the monitoring of waste in the sea and on the beaches," Morsko dobro said.
It has been estimated that the sea water on controlled beaches since the beginning of this year's season was of excellent quality and that more than 95% are of the first K1 category, as well as that from the next season in practice will be applied a new categorization as prescribed by the new Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development that transposes the provisions of the EU Directive on Sea Water Management. It is particularly emphasized the significance of the project dealing with biodiversity and pollution impacts in the Blue Cave in order to propose measures for the sustainable management of this cave, which represents a tourist attraction on our coast.
IBMK Director Mirko Djurovic thanked for the very successful cooperation with JP Morsko Dobro.
"After obtaining international accreditation for testing the sanitary quality of sea water, IBMK is fully committed to the realization of this activity, and it is planned to extend the scope of accredited methods for future obligations to be provided by Montenegro. related to different segments of the marine ecosystem monitoring in accordance with the requirements of the EU Directive," said Djurovic.
He and Jelusic with their associates also visited works on the construction of the first public aquarium in Montenegro - Boka Aquarium, which is being built on the ground floor of the IBNMK building in Dobrota. As announced, it was agreed that the Public Sea Management Company and IBMK would jointly invest in the design of an open part of the future aquarium complex that will be located in the yard of the Institute. The visitors will be allowed access to the aquarium with the planned landscaping, trails and green areas, and setting up of exhibition pavilions, and thus the outdoor presentation space will be complete. This joint investment will enable complete works on the public aquarium to be finished in the foreseen deadline, i.e., until April 2020.
Text by Sinisa Lukovic, on June 20th, 2019, read more at Vijesti