From the NATO Defense College (NDC) in Rome, so far, three representatives from Montenegro have got a degree that will enable them to advance in the service.
"Two of them attended the Integrated Partnership Orientation Course, and one attended the Senior Course after Montenegro became a member of the Alliance. No Montenegrins have ever attended the NATO course for regional cooperation or an even higher course. Anyway, we would love to see more Montenegrins in Rome," said the Commissar of the College, General Lieutenant-Colonel Chris Whitecross. When asked who t his College is intended for, the collocutor points out that its attendance is recommended to all those who will fill any NATO or national positions associated with that organization. She also points out that networking opportunities will continue long after the participants leave the College and return to their national or international positions. "We serve the needs of all NATO members and help our partner countries. At the college, we focus our programs on education, research, and information: on the process of education in the states of allies and partner states on how NATO works, on the importance of consensus, skills that are the cornerstone of the Alliance's decision making process and on the creation of a network of military and civilian leaders who get to know each other and cooperate with each other, " Whitecross said.
He adds that at this institution in Rome, they explore topics that are relevant to the Alliance and which can lead to a better understanding of the challenges we face and the opportunities ahead. The College itself has a large number of courses - the most prominent is the Senior Course, which lasts almost six months, and the NATO Cooperation Course, which lasts 10 days.
The first course brings together senior civilian and military rankings from the defense, foreign and internal affairs sector to get acquainted with the Alliance activities, discussing the challenges NATO faces and, as already mentioned, gaining the skills to work in NATO organizations. Participants of the Higher Course are taught through daily lectures by experts from the University, military and civilian leaders and by well-known experts. Moreover, they have the opportunity to participate in study visits, where they come in contact with representatives of the national institutions - from parliaments and ministries, military and civilian - just like here in Montenegro this week," Whitecross explained, adding that such visits are an exceptional opportunity to gain knowledge from people belonging to a particular region, to better understand local geopolitical and geo-social issues, but also to make the relevant questions. The delegation of about 100 representatives of the College, led by the Commander, is staying here for a visit to Montenegro. It is a visit that is being realized within the study tour for the participants of their High School, which brings together senior officers and civilian officials from 32 countries. Whitecross goes on to say that NATO's course for regional cooperation is similar by its description to the higher one. "But it lasts shorter and therefore gets less in the details, and its discourse is limited to the region of the Middle East and North Africa. Both courses are for officers of the rank of lieutenant colonel and colonel. However, there are courses available for senior officers, diplomats and public clerks," she said.
Just as NATO relies on Montenegro, Montenegro can rely on NATO, the College Leader said. "The Montenegro Trust Fund enables the destruction of more than 400 tons of surplus weapons, and our mission to protect the air ensures safety in the airspace above Montenegro, with the support of the aircraft of Italy and Greece. Therefore, we can conclude that relations between NATO and Montenegro are mutually beneficial and that they are of importance to the collective security system as a whole. I must point out that without security there can be neither progress nor prosperity. This link is already noticeable in everyday circumstances as the inflow of foreign direct investment from the Allied states to Montenegro doubled since Alliance 2017, and in the Republic of Northern Macedonia this number tripled over the past year, "she said. Whitecross also stressed that Montenegro - first as a partner and now as a member - is responsibly contributing to Euro-Atlantic security, including KFOR missions in Kosovo, "Decent Support" in Afghanistan, Enhanced NATO presence in Latvia and intends to participate in the training mission in Iraq. "NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has been pleased to discuss our longstanding relationship when he hosted the president (Milo) Djukanovic at the NATO headquarters in Brussels in March this year and thanked him for the continued contribution of Montenegro in improving security," she said.
Text by Milos Rudovic, on June 20th, 2019, read more at Vijesti
20 June 2019 - At its latest session, the Government of Montenegro passed the Smart Specialisation Strategy for 2019-2024, which is the first time that a non-EU country approves a strategy of this kind.
"This strategy is not a strategy of the Ministry of Science, but of the State of Montenegro, which recognises the priority areas that have the greatest potential for economic development, for which research and innovation are key factors that can significantly increase competitiveness. In fact, it is a recipe for the European Union to trace the modern development of an economy based on domestic potentials, but with openness to the international market, and to advance technologically the traditional sectors, especially through digitisation," Minister of Science Sanja Damjanović said in press conference for Ministry of Science of Montenegro.
In this way, investments focus on domains and areas for which the strategy has shown that Montenegro can be competitive on a wider scale. In that regard, Montenegro has identified the following priority areas: sustainable agriculture and food value chain, sustainable and health tourism, energy and sustainable environment, with the technological support of information and communication technologies.
The Smart Specialisation Strategy is one of the conditions for using EU funds, as well as a strict prerequisite for the use of structural funds once they are available to Montenegro.
It took two years to draft the strategy according to the methodology developed by the EU, which closely followed and evaluated each stage of the process. The Ministry of Science coordinated this process with the support of the Ministry of Economy, but in fact, more than 300 people from the academic, economic, public and civil sectors worked on this strategy, more than half of which were from the business sector.
"An important benefit from this strategy is to access European thematic platforms for smart specialisation, which will be available to us from today. Thematic platforms are created by the countries of the European Union that have similar strategic priorities within their S3 strategies. In this way, they implement joint projects and enter the international market. Our country is striving to join such platforms," Minister Damjanović explained.
The Science Minister said that the next step is to define the national structure that will be in charge of both the management and the implementation of the S3 strategy.
The Smart Specialisation Strategy is adopted for the period 2019-2024. The Strategy will form the basis for priority investment in research, innovation and development. During this period, investments worth about 174 million EUR are planned. Out of the total planned investments, 116.5 million EUR will be provided from the budget, while investments from the private sector are projected at 21.7 million EUR. A total of 33.5 million EUR will be provided through the EU funds and 2,5 million EUR from other international organisations and programmes.
Read more news about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
20 June 2019 - For the first time ever, the Government of Montenegro has agreed that the Malaysian owners of the company Kolašin Resort & Spa which is to build a condo-hotel in Kolašin, can obtain Montenegrin citizenship based on this investment.
At the 126th session of the Government of Montenegro, chaired by Prime Minister Duško Marković, the Government established the List of Development Projects in the Field of Tourism. This Development Projects List includes the construction of the condo hotel Kolašin Resort & Spa, Kolašin, delivered by the Stock Company Kolašin Resort & Spa from Podgorica.
“The first project submitted under the Governmental Decision on the criteria, method and procedure for the election of a person who can acquire Montenegrin citizenship by admission for the implementation of a special investment program of special importance for the economic interest of Montenegro implies the construction of a four star hotel in Kolašin, with a capacity of 93 accommodation units or 380 beds and an estimated investment value of 11.360.959,00 EUR, and that the investment implies the opening of 66 new jobs,” says the official report of the Government from the session.
The Government agreed that the owners of the company "Kolašin Resort & Spa", "hiding" behind an offshore company from Malaysia, which is to build a condo-hotel in Kolašin, can obtain citizenship of Montenegro based on this investment.
In the Government's proposal, this condo hotel is included in the "list of development projects in the field of tourism", which is the basis for obtaining "Montenegrin citizenship by the reception to realize a special investment program of special importance for economic and economic interest".
In the decision of the Government, the names of the new Montenegrin citizens from this company are not listed, but they will be determined in continuation of the procedure before the Government Agent for Economic Citizenship Affairs, reports Vijesti daily.
According to data from the Central Registry, the founder of the company "Kolašin Resort & Spa" is the offshore company "Oriental Management INC" from Malaysia. Representatives in the Board of Directors and potential new Montenegrin citizens are Rowshan Ara Chowdhury, Mohammed Abdul Alim Chowdhury and Salim Chowdhury Nirjhor.
Damir Davidović, Secretary of State at the office of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism of Montenegro, explained that “the investor for economic citizenship is expected to meet strict criteria, primarily related to the size of the investment, the number of jobs the investment would create and the financial ability to realize the project, so the business plan for such projects requires serious and extensive preparation”, reports Vijesti daily.
“Investment projects aimed at economic citizenship in the field of tourism can be hotels with at least five stars, 60 accommodation units and at least 80 new jobs in the coastal region and Podgorica. In the north, it is necessary that the hotel has at least four stars, 35 accommodation units, and 25 new employees. The minimum value of the project on the coast and in Podgorica is 15 million euros, and in the north five million euros,” highlighted Davidović.
Read more about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
20 June 2019 - Sunday will be a non-working day for trade shops in Montenegro, since during its latest session, the Government of Montenegro and the Montenegrin Parliament voted for approval of this amendment to the Internal Trade Act. Total of 44 deputies voted in favor, while there were no abstentions and votes against, as reported by Investitor.
In the trade sector, which employs 37.000 people, through the proposed legal solution, Sunday will be declared a non-working day, and bylaws will bring decisions on exceptions and what are the basic needs of the citizens.
The Ministry of Economy has previously explained that the application of the law will start three months after its publication in the Official Gazette of Montenegro.
"By introducing a non-working Sunday, employers will be able to significantly increase labor productivity, reduce maintenance costs and regular service costs, so such a legal solution cannot affect the reduction in the number of employees, but jobs can be evenly distributed on working days, and employees in the shop have a non-working Sunday as they have employees in other industries," Ministry of Economy stated earlier.
The introduction of a non-working Sunday was proposed by traders in October 2108, and they soon received the support of the trade association of the Chamber of Economy of Montenegro and employers.
The committee then announced that the introduction of a non-working Sunday would "increase the productivity of labor". The employers' union has announced that they will submit an initiative to review the constitutionality of the changes to the Law on Internal Trade.
Read more news about lifestyle in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
20 June 2019 - Organized by NIP Art Press from Budva, a joint exhibition of 25 famous authors from the country and the world will be opened at the Adria Gallery in Budva on Saturday, June 22, reports RTV Budva.
The exhibition will officially open on June 22 at 9 pm at the gallery of the gorgeous hotel in Budva – Hotel Adria. Hotel Adria is a modern and elegant 4-star hotel in the heart of Budva, sharing the same building with the shopping centre TQ Plaza. The exhibition space at the Adria Hotel will present the works of renowned painters from the country and the world and enrich the cultural offer of the city, but also represent a place of positive energy for the artists, the citizens of Budva and the guests of the hotel. Hotel Adria is thus recognizable as a place that fosters the connection between tourism and culture, both with citizens of Budva and with foreign guests. The hotel has over 360 valuable artworks and is certainly one of the largest hotel galleries in the Mediterranean.
At the exhibition, art lovers and guests will be able to see numerous artworks by famous painters, made in acrylic and oil on canvas.
Deputy Mayor of Budva Municipality, Vladimir Bulatović, recognized the importance of the Adria Gallery and cultural content that the gallery offers to citizens of Budva and Montenegro, as well as tourists who come to visit Budva. “The people who run this hotel, in cooperation with Budva's Art Press, are very well aware of the cultural goods which they offer to their guests from the world, but also to the citizens of Budva. This is a true proof of how fine arts have no boundaries and how much they can bring people from different parts of the world together,” said the Budva’s Deputy Mayor Bulatović for in4s News Portal.
This large exhibition of paintings by twenty-five authors will be opened by the end of August, it was announced from Budva's Art Press.
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The oldest Montenegrin brewery "Trebjesa" delighted consumers and lovers of different brewing styles with a new beer. Niksic’s IPA comes from a brewery that is regionally known for its lager beers.
IPA beers differ from lager beers by using different yeast, more hops and production methods. IPA is an abbreviation for India Pale Ale, a sub-type of beer, made by the British in the 18th century and is today one of the most popular beers around the world.
The first presentation of the new beer of “Trebjesa” was organized in their home town ofNiksic, at the cafe bar “Floyd”, with the presence of employees, partners, media representatives and friends of the company.
"The oldest Montenegrin brewery is expected to inherit the tradition, but also to be modern and up-to-date with the trends. Our answer is to keep the existing quality and recognizability, but also to innovate, offer different tastes, and bring global beer trends," said Jelena Pavicevic, marketing manager at "Trebjesa ".
Niksic IPA is one of the company's biggest innovations this year. "Because of this, we have invested all our passion for beer and with quality ingredients and proven masters, we made a beer that with its aroma awakens all senses. Making the first IPA beer in "Trebjesa" was a great challenge for all of us, but we hope we have made a beer that everyone ready for new experiences will truly enjoy," Pavicevic said.
The Niksic IPA is already available in shops and bars, in glass bottles 0,33l and cans of 0,5l. For those who prefer draft beer - Niksic IPA beer can be also ordered at the cafe bars.
In addition to the IPA, the family of beers produced at "Trebjesa" include the Niksic original, Niksic Dark, Niksic Gold, Niksic Unfiltered and Niksic Cool.
Text by Promo, on June 19th, 2019, read more at Vijesti
Nature Park (PP) "Piva", as a way to welcome the tourist season in the best possible way and offer visitors a pleasant stay, decided to enrich the offer but also improve the existing infrastructure. Thus, in the village Unac, in the viewpoint where there the visitors can enjoy the view of Piva Lake, Pluzine and the mountain massive Bioc, Maglic and Volujak, are benches, tables, and waste bins, while four info boards were installed in the Park itself, providing information on the plant and animal world in the Nature Park "Piva”.
"On the basis of the previous agreement with the national parks 'Durmitor' and 'Sutjeska', they have also been able to open the tourist info center on Scepan Polje for visitors, where they will be able to get acquainted with the tourist offer of these parks and where foreign citizens can register their staying," said NP "Piva".
As part of the project "Supply of equipment for supervisors in the Nature park Piva in for rescuing in inaccessible areas", approved and financed by the Montenegrin Ministry of Interior affairs, they have acquired four sets of equipment, and for the employees of Crkvicko Polje, one-day training has been organized. After the completion of the tourist season, a seven-day training is planned to enable supervisors to master the rescuing techniques in difficult terrains.
The employees in the Park participated along with the ethno-villages "Izlazak" and "Nevidio" in the action of cleaning the bicycle trail "Top Trail 4", which runs between the mentioned villages.
"In cooperation with the Employment Service, through our employment program through public work, we have hired two people from the records of unemployed people in Pluzine, which will take care of environmental hygiene at the Park", said the press release.
Text by Svetlana Mandic, on June 19th, 2019, read more at Vijesti
19 June 2019 - The Tourism Council concluded that the tourist indicators in the first quarter of this year significantly exceeded the data from the record 2018, which, alongside the fact that the activities on the preparation of this year's peak season are implemented or being implemented in accordance with the plan, indicates that 2019 will be a very successful tourist year, reported the Government of Montenegro.
In the first three months of 2019, 166,628 tourists visited Montenegro, which is 38.15% more than in the same period of 2018, while 645,630 tourist nights were registered, 22.4% more than in the same period of the previous year. Tourist traffic data recorded by local tourism organisations show an increase of an average of 15.33% in the first 23 weeks of this year (from January to 14 June inclusive) compared to the same period of 2018.
"These data are even more important if you are aware that in the last year, in which Montenegrin tourism broke all records, the number of tourists increased by 10.24 percent compared to 2017, and the number of overnight stays by 8.17%," stated in the Report on the implementation of the activities envisaged by the Plan for the preparation of the 2019 summer tourist season, which the Council discussed.
The increase in the number of tourists and the number of nights is followed by the growth of revenues - in 2018, by 8.59% more than in 2017, and in the first quarter of this year, revenues increased by 7.9% compared to the record year 2018 when Montenegro exceeded one billion EUR in tourism revenues for the first.
Significant increase in the number of tourists in collective accommodation was recorded from the market of Germany (the number of arrivals for the first four months was five times higher than in the same period last year); doubled tourist traffic was recorded from the markets of Austria, the United Kingdom (32.25%), France (an increase of 11.23%) and Poland (an increase of 10.24%).
The Council noted that such good tourist trends are primarily the result of improving the quality of accommodation capacities and the development of new tourist facilities and offers. About 70 four-star and five-star hotels were opened during the mandate of this Government, while about 30 projects related to product development were supported in last year alone. Air transport accessibility has been improved and a number of activities have been implemented to promote the tourist offer by the National Tourism Organisation and the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism.
Council President Duško Marković emphasised that the impressive growth of tourism as a leading economy, by its scope and financial effects, has again positioned Montenegro as a top tourist destination.
Despite the significant improvements that are evident from year to year, the Council pointed to constraints that exist when it comes to occasional traffic jams, the permeability of borders, execution of construction works during the season, improvement of utility services. It was noted that the constraints need to be addressed through additional coordination of the state authorities responsible for these issues and institutions at the local level. Furthermore, the Council stressed the need for additional engagement when it comes to employing foreigners and defining systemic solutions related to the education and training of lacking staff in the tourism sector. In order to effectively monitor the development of the tourist season and undertake measures to overcome the challenges, especially during the upcoming peak tourist season, the Council established a Coordinating Body for the season monitoring headed by Minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism Pavle Radulović.
Read more news about travel in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
19 June 2019 - Minister of the Interior Mevludin Nuhodžić and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia Nebojša Stefanović noted in Belgrade the high-quality cooperation between the Montenegrin and Serbian police in the fight against organized crime, adding that criminals will not be safe either in Montenegro or in Serbia, as reported by the Ministry of Interior of Montenegro.
Minister Nuhodžić praised the cooperation of criminal police, as well as joint operational teams, which resulted in locating internationally wanted persons, the intersection of the narcotics smuggling channels and the solving of serious crimes.
"We are witnessing that criminal groups operate not knowing the boundaries, not only in our region, but also around the world. That is why our best answer is an open, efficient and honest cooperation that clearly states that criminals are not and will not be safe either in Serbia or Montenegro and that our countries will strongly oppose and fight against the organized crime," Minister Nuhodžić said.
Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Nebojša Stefanović said that cooperation in the field of fighting organized crime is effective and that members of the criminal police quickly exchange information that is important for detecting criminal offenses.
"We have exceptional cooperation that will continue in the future because we want to send a clear message to the criminals that the police will come out as winners in the fight against organized crime," Stefanović stressed.
Speaking about the cooperation between the border police of the two countries, the two ministers discussed expanding the capacity of border crossings in order to facilitate the transit of citizens, not only during the summer season, but throughout the year.
"Our aim is also to stop the smuggling of narcotics, goods, as well as the transfer of persons who belong to a criminal milieu," said Stefanović, who thanked Minister Nuhodžić and members of the Montenegrin police for exceptional cooperation.
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18 June 2019 - At the invitation of Deputy Director-General of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Ms. Charlina Vitcheva, Minister of Science of Montenegro Sanja Damjanović participates in the conference Supporting Smart Specialisation Strategies and Transfer of Technology in Southeast Europe at the Polytechnic University in Bucharest, Romania.
In her introductory address, Vitcheva commended Montenegro's efforts in the development of the Smart Specialisation Strategy, which, after two years, is in the final phase of the process. Vitcheva reminded that last May in Sofia the main theme of the conference on strategies for smart specialisation was the Western Balkans and the development of these strategies in the Balkans region. The first international workshop in the Western Balkans, dedicated to this process, was held in Podgorica on 5 February 2019, organised by the Ministry of Science and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.
During the panel session "Improving Innovation Policies in Southeast Europe through Smart Specialisation Strategies and Transfer of Technology", Minister Damjanovic said that Montenegro was very proud because on Thursday the Government will consider the Smart Specialisation Strategy.
In Montenegro, there are more than 105 strategies, but the Smart Specialisation Strategy will unite all those that are focused on developing economic, or scientific and technological potential, as stated in the Ministry of Science's report.
As the Minister pointed out, Montenegro is also working on establishing innovative ecosystems by encouraging the creation and development of start-ups. The first Scientific and Technological Park in Podgorica will be a leading institution dedicated to the promotion of technological transfer, and one of the main instruments for the implementation of the Smart Specialisation Strategy.
Based on the strategic vision of Montenegro's development, the Strategy defines four priority areas, three vertical ones: sustainable agriculture and a food value chain, energy and sustainable environment and sustainable and health tourism, as well as a horizontal priority area: information and communication technologies, because it provides business and technical support to other priority areas.
Read more about business in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.