15 June 2019 - The Summit of finance ministers, governors and directors of the tax administration of the region, organized by the Belgrade’s weekly news magazine NIN, was held recently in Bečići and it included a panel of directors of tax administration devoted to the reform of tax administration and fight against the grey economy.
Director of Montenegro’s Tax Administration, Mr Miomir M. Mugoša, in his introductory speech, emphasized that the Government of Montenegro invested significant funds in the project ‘Reform of tax administration’ having in mind the importance of this institution in the system of public finances. On this occasion, he also noted that he expects that this project will contribute to the reduction of administrative burden and somewhat greater compliance with tax regulations, that is, reduction in the overall tax gap.
“Mugoša presented the activities implemented so far, within the overall reform of taxes in Montenegro, including modernization of business processes, investment in information technologies, greater autonomy and reorganization, all with the aim of establishing a modern tax administration capable of responding to market’s requirements and ensuring high levels of public revenue collection,“ it was said in a statement of the Montenegrin Tax Administration.
At the end of this summit, the panel members concluded that there was a need for even closer regional cooperation and not just in terms of sharing experience and knowledge but for the region to be able to establish a single approach in dealing with common challenges, such as the fight against the grey economy and tax evasion.
Source: Cafe del Montenegro
16 June 2019 - The ban on smoking in the facilities where food and drink are consumed will decrease the income of the restaurants, said the president of the Montenegrin Tourist Association Žarko Radulović, while the president of the Association of Tourism and Catering Association of the Chamber of Commerce, Dragan Ivančević, believes that the business of catering facilities cannot be compromised, reports RTCG.
On Thursday, the Government passed a new Bill on Restriction on the Use of Tobacco Products, which stipulates a ban on smoking in indoor areas, among other things in parts of cafes, bars and restaurants serving drinks or food.
According to new legal provisions, it will also not be possible for the restaurants to pay a fee for smoking in some part of the facility.
Radulović said he expects the new Bill to be adopted, stating that the provisions are precise and clear. "I think that this time the state will have to persevere in its application, but I think that it is too early to assess whether it will and how this new bill will come to life in practice," Radulović said.
Radulović, who was a supporter of the previous legal solution that stipulates that caterers pay a fee of EUR per square meter, if they want to allow tobacco consumption in catering facilities, said that he now considers this the best compromise solution. However, as he added, in practice this solution was compromised to the extent that much lower income was incurred than it was supposed to be.
"So, unfortunately, by disregarding the solutions we proposed, one of the key arguments for the defence and a special decision that corrects the proposed provisions has erupted," Radulović said, adding that the newly proposed solutions are more rigorous.
Asked about how this legal ban will affect catering facilities, Radulović claims that this will reduce revenues, as was the case everywhere in the world. He expects caterers to disagree with the proposed restrictions. "If we all agreed on something in 2017, and only individuals respected the agreement, I think it will be difficult to maintain such a situation. If we all took the previous law seriously and paid our obligations, I think the negotiating position would be even better and more serious," Radulović said.
As he said, it is not realistic that someone can force people to stop consuming tobacco products by law and fines. Radulović thinks that a drastic increase in the price of a pack of cigarettes is the most effective measure. "This is the only measure that has brought results in other countries, but then other issues arise: socioeconomic policy and various policies, so I do not believe that this measure will be adopted. But let's go with the ban, so we'll see how much progress it will make, but I don’t think this progress will be drastic," concluded Radulović.
Ivančević believes that such a decision by the Government follows European trends, which are characteristic of the democratic and civilized world and hold to the core values - the protection of health and the human environment.
"The decision is good and there should be places where it is possible to consume tobacco products, and where people who do not want to feel the smell of nicotine, where they drink and eat, should be free of tobacco products and all the harmful substances it brings," said Ivančević to the MINA Agency. According to him, it's okay to have rooms that are strictly for smokers. "But people who do not want to be close to those who consume tobacco products should be protected," Ivančević added. The use of cigarettes in rooms where people are staying and consuming some services, he said, is not good for tourism, nor is it a trend with the protection of human health, the environment.
Asked whether he thinks that the state will be persistent in applying the law this time, unlike the previous one, Ivančević said that the country has so far adopted many norms, laws, and rules that were good and on the track of European standards, but that it did not have the strength to implement them.
"The state has a good law, and then there is no power to implement it. We expect that the state will finally find a way to implement those laws and norms that it determines itself," Ivančević said.
He believes that this legal solution cannot particularly jeopardize the business of catering facilities. "Those who propose and pass laws do not have to go in this direction, nor have ambitions to like everyone, but they must protect the public and the general interest primarily," Ivančević concluded.
Read more about Politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
15 June 2019 - Minister of Public Administration Suzana Pribilović attended the Regional Conference of Europe and Central Asia on building effective, responsible and inclusive institutions, which took place in Ankara.
The main topics of the first ECA conference were innovations in governance reforms, raising the capabilities and responsibilities of governments, as well as examples of good practice in management reforms and presentation of the latest solutions and applications for society and companies. In addition, the conference divided into six thematic areas that are fundamental for development of capabilities and responsibilities of the governments, discussed strengthening public policies, effective management resources, the improvement of public services, strengthening of the public-private cooperation in order to the effective operation and investment, understanding and engagement with political and economic drivers and Gov. – Tech.
On the sidelines of the Conference, Minister Pribilović met with Vice President of the World Bank for Europe and Central Asia Cyril Muller, who supported Montenegro's public administration reform path.
Minister Pribilović thanked Vice President Muller for the opportunity to attend the Conference, as well as to discuss important reform processes in the area of public administration.
"We are aware of the fact that it is not possible to improve the competition and economic growth without quality of public administration reform and I thank you for the World Bank's support for Montenegro and we expect support to be continued in the future," Minister Pribilović pointed out in the public announcement for Ministry of Public Administration of Montenegro.
Vice President Muller emphasised the importance of the financial reform sustainability and highlighted that Montenegro has done much more in this area, bearing in mind the complexity of this process and that it should continue with the initiated processes.
The Conference that was organised under auspices of the World Bank for Europe and Central Asia (ECA) was attended by about 450 delegates, including senior government officials, international partners, representatives of academia, the private sector and civil society from all the countries of the Europe and Central Asia, including the EU member states.
Read more about business in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
15 June 2019 - Montenegro has made significant progress in pursuing reforms and showed that, as a NATO member state, it is a reliable partner that contributes to the common values and remains firmly dedicated to achieving further progress, especially in the rule of law area, it was noted at today's meeting of Prime Minister Duško Marković and Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Hendrik van den Dool.
"We want to enter the EU once we meet the conditions and to show that we are a credible partner and that by Montenegro’s accession new value is obtained. Also, it is important for Europe to improve the enlargement policy, make it unquestionable and send a clear message that there is no united Europe without the Western Balkans,” the Prime Minister told the Dutch Ambassador, who was paying a farewell visit.
Prime Minister Marković pointed to the strong economic growth and activities undertaken in order to increase competitiveness, improve the business environment and administration efficiency. As noted by the Government of Montenegro announcement, the Prime Minister assessed as positive the presence of the Dutch company Damen in Montenegro, hopeful that the increasing number of the Dutch business people will be investing in Montenegro.
Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Hendrik van den Dool emphasised that Montenegro has made huge progress although certain challenges remain. The progress, in his words, can be seen with the naked eye.
"As Montenegro progresses to the EU, the task will become more difficult. But, the Netherlands is there to help," the Dutch Ambassador stated.
The meeting also discussed the situation in the region and the importance of the continuation of the European and Euro - Atlantic integration with regard to peace, stability and prosperity on the Balkans.
The two officials agreed on the importance of the decision of Montenegro to open the embassy in the Hague and that it is about boosting high–quality relations between the two countries.
"It is a privilege to have partners such as the Netherlands, which has always objectively considered our possibilities and progress but also pointed to the real challenges. Such an attitude was very incentive for us and our progress," Prime Minister Marković concluded.
Read more about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
14 June 2019 - During his working visit to Slovenia, Interior Minister of Montenegro Mevludin Nuhodžić visited the most frequent border crossing, Obrežje, on the border with Croatia. The visit was an opportunity for the Montenegrin delegation to become familiar with the closer procedures that are being conducted within border checks in line with the Schengen standards, given that Slovenia became part of the Schengen area more than a decade ago.
Slovenian colleagues presented the way of work at the border crossing, which is at the same time the external border of the Schengen area, as well as equipment for the first and second checking lines and the infrastructure solutions prescribed by the EU Schengen Catalog.
Minister Nuhodžić expressed gratitude for the assistance and praised the cooperation with Slovenia during the implementation of the Twinning project "Support to the establishment of the Schengen acquis", within which the Schengen Action Plan, which was adopted by the Government in 2017, had been drafted.
"Montenegro has made progress in terms of Schengen standards related to harmonisation of the legal framework, infrastructure and information and communication systems, and we pay special attention to education and strengthening of the personal capacities of the Border Police," said Minister Nuhodžć in the announcement of the Ministry of Interior of Montenegro.
During his stay in Slovenia, Interior Minister of Montenegro Mevludin Nuhodžić also met with Interior Minister of Slovenia and they discussed the fight against organized crime, terrorism and illegal migration.
On this occasion, the two officials agreed that Montenegro and Slovenia are two friendly countries, and that cooperation between the two ministries of the interior is traditionally good. On this occasion, Minister Nuhodžić was grateful for Slovenia's support to Montenegro in fulfilling two of the most important foreign policy goals – membership in NATO, which Montenegro has already achieved, and membership in the European Union.
Read more about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
14 June 2019 - Prime Minister Duško Marković recently hosted Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic Tomaš Petriček, who is on an official visit to Montenegro.
In Government's of Montenegro report, it was noted that Montenegro and the Czech Republic had developed high-quality bilateral relations and that Minister Petriček's visit will give an additional incentive to Montenegro.
PM Marković expressed gratitude for the continued support of the Czech Republic during the process of Montenegro's accession to NATO, and now in the process of EU integration and for the country's advocacy for the European perspective of the countries of the Western Balkans.
Minister Petriček voiced his country's full support for Montenegro as the leader in the process of integration into the European Union, stressing that his country encourages Montenegro to continue its committed reform implementation. Successful reforms, as shown on the example of the Czech Republic, directly result in economic growth and development after joining the EU, he underlined.
The Prime Minister of Montenegro and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic agreed that the economic cooperation between the two countries should be strengthened, primarily through the contacts of the chambers of commerce.
It was concluded that the investment climate in Montenegro is favourable and that the Czech Republic is interested in primarily in tourism projects and further development and restoration of Montenegro's infrastructure, especially railways.
The meeting also discussed the situation in the region of the Western Balkans and Europe as a whole.
Read more about business in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
14 June 2019 - Twenty-five organizations and 150 participants from 30+ countries will gather in Budva, Montenegro at the Digital Influencers in Action Forum hosted by Digital Communication Network. At a two-day event, digital marketers, social influencers, analysts, entrepreneurs, journalists, and other professionals will have a chance to look at digital campaigns with social impact in a comprehensive way.
The first day will have 15 talks on various topics such as identifying and engaging influencers, amplifying the reach, influencers reputation and personal branding, monitoring campaigns’ impact and key metrics, fake influencers and negative influence, reaching audiences in a whole new way.
The second day will have interactive workshops, an unconference, a mini-fair of media literacy initiatives and projects, and a mini-hackathon when participants can develop concepts of campaigns involving digital influencers. Workshop topics will address four themes: 1) Building trust between media, governments, and digital influencers; 2) Influencers management; 3) Campaigns for Children and Youth; 4) Influencers in countering disinformation.
The unconference will give the audience an opportunity to briefly present, in connection to two broad topics: 1) Digital Influencers marketing for business; 2) Influencers campaigns for non-profits. At the mini-hackathon participants will be given an hour to come up with a concept of how to build a campaign involving digital influencers on a given topic: 1) Critical thinking 2) Inclusion and participation 3) Social entrepreneurship.
The interested organizations and initiatives will be able to present their campaigns in specially designed booths, increasing the level of interactivity and creative synergies.
In addition to different forms of discussion, Digital Communication Network plans to release its updated “Mapping Digital Influencers 2019” research covering 27 countries of Europe and Asia.
Key speakers include:
• Adam Harrell, NEBO Agency, USA
• Nazli Ozgur, influencer (230K+ followers), Turkey
• Emma Lacey-Bordeaux, CNN, USA
• Kamile Kaselyte, Co-Founder of KIKOINNE, Belgium
• Josh Druding, Director of Social Strategy | Epic Signal, USA
• Suveer Bajaj, Co-founder, FoxyMoron, India
• Bektour Iskender, Kloop, Kyrgyzstan
• Andjela Todorovic, Machine Learning Engineer at Createsi GmbH, Serbia
• Zain Velji, Partner + VP Strategy Northweather, Canada
• Irakli Porchkhidze, Vice President at Georgian Institute for Strategic Studies (GISS), Georgia
• Katarina Klingova, GLOBSEC, Slovakia
• Raluca Radu, Digital Marketing Strategist for #eCommerce, Romania
• Nikolai Taylor, Podcaster on @ChocolatePains, Founder & CEO of Viral Spark, USA
• Žiga Vrtačič, General Manager, Danes je Nov Dan, Ljubljana, Slovenia
• Veronica Bielik, Spotlight Agency, Poland
• Iliada Evangelia Kothra, Founder of living-postcards, Business Consultant, Greece
The Forum is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Office of Citizen Exchanges and coordinated by Digital Communication Network, an international association, connecting global influencers and communicators of the digital age and World Learning, a global NGO empowering people and strengthening institutions.
The registration form for the event for local participants can be submitted at the website: https://forms.gle/4N5NCm8eMSwhEmD27
Read more about events in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
14 June 2019 - After joining NATO, Montenegro has a much greater chance of development, and its inhabitants have more opportunities for education and employment, assessed the secretary for political and economic issues at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Montenegro Anna Kasprzak.
According to RTCG, at a gathering organized by the Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM) within the framework of the project "Let's take a stand for future prospects: the Alliance of Youth and NATO", the Secretary said that the votes of all member states are equally important and that they have equal impact in making foreign policy decisions.
"Montenegro, which has celebrated two years of membership, has an exceptional opportunity for development, and the inhabitants have a much greater number of opportunities provided by NATO. The important fact is that each state has the same vote in the alliance, regardless of whether it is Poland which has 38 million inhabitants or Montenegro, with 620 thousand inhabitants," Kasprzak said.
She said that Poland's accession to NATO had made a significant step towards its development.
"The economic situation in Poland is stabilized after accession; we have a business situation that guarantees that investments in Poland can be safe and give profits to investors." The results are still visible today, and the forecast for this year shows more than four percent of GDP in relation to 2018," Kasprzak said.
She estimated that membership contributed to the reduction of unemployment and made that country more attractive to Europe's citizens.
"Unemployment in Poland in April amounted to 5,6 percent and Poland also had the lowest unemployment rate in relation to all European countries. We provide great opportunities to an increasing number of young people to come and work in our country," said Kasprzak.
Head of the Directorate for NATO, European Union and peacekeeping operations in the Ministry of Defense, Radmila Perović, said that in the past two years the Ministry of Defense has carried out numerous reforms, and the effect of which has been recognized by NATO allies.
"However, these reforms were not only aimed at membership, but also the building of institutions, strengthening the system and accepting the values shared by this society, because among the allies there are the most developed democracies of the world. This is recognized in Montenegro, we have gained reputation and precisely because of that we were received into the Alliance," explained Perovic.
She said that Montenegro's membership, apart from political and military advantages, had broader socio-economic significance and that significant results were recorded that confirm progress in relation to 2017.
Read more about Politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
13 June 2019 - Montenegro's Minister of Science Sanja Damjanović and Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Montenegro Karel Urban signed the agreement between the two governments on scientific and technological cooperation during the official visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic Tomaš Petriček to Montenegro, as stated by the representatives of the Government of Montenegro.
Before the official ceremony of signing the agreement, Minister Damjanović met with FM Petriček for talks on the exchange information on the systems of science and research in Montenegro and the Czech Republic, with particular reference to the Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3), modalities of cooperation between the academic community and the economy through the establishment and financing of Scientific and Technological Parks, as well as on the regional project the establishment of the International Institute for Sustainable Technologies of South East Europe (SEEIIST).
In that regard, Minister Damjanović spoke about the challenges Montenegro, as a small country, has been facing in the field of science, research and innovation on its path to the EU, which is why, in order to identify the advantages the country has, it is finalising Smart Specialisation Strategy, whose adoption is expected by the end of the month.
"There is a particularly important link between the academic community and the economy, with the focus on the need for greater investment of private sector funds in science and research, and for this reason, Montenegro has joined the establishment of the first Science and Technology Park in Podgorica. Greater networking and the strengthening of the process of internationalisation is provided through the membership of Montenegro in many international scientific institutions, as well as through the regional project of establishing the International Institute for Sustainable Technologies of South East Europe (SEEIIST), which would also contribute to reducing the outflow of talent but also economic prosperity of this region," Minister Damjanović said.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic emphasised his support for Montenegro's EU bid, pointing to the experience of the Czech Republic in the implementation of the Smart Specialisation Strategy, as well as the knowledge gained in relation to the academic community. In that regard, he agreed with Minister Damjanović on the need to strengthen cooperation between the Czech and Montenegrin companies, especially within the framework of the NTP concept, but also through the possibility of joint implementation of projects from S3 priority areas: health tourism, agriculture, energy, and ICT.
He also referred the need to strengthen university cooperation, especially through the ERASMUS + programme, while in the terms of SEEIIST, he pointed to the possibility of cooperation with the Institute of Physics in Prague, with the indication that the country will support the placement of SEEIIST on the European Road Map (ESFRI). Both sides supported the proposal to jointly announce the Competition for submission of bilateral scientific-research projects, with special emphasis on large research projects.
The agreement enables the Montenegrin researchers to work in research centres and institutes in the Czech Republic, use of cutting-edge technologies and modern laboratories, exchange of knowledge and experience through joint research projects, as well as the possibility of training of masters and doctoral candidates engaged in projects. It also allows for greater joint participation in international and European projects, especially in Horizont 2020.
Read more news about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
13 June 2019 - Bad weather conditions in the pre-season did not affect the number of tourists visiting Bar. Director of Tourist Organization, Mr Emil Kukalj, says that although the number of visitors at one moment was lower than last year, after the weather conditions improved, there was even an increase in the number of tourists.
“We should work on developing a tourist product that will not be affected by weather conditions. By that I mean, development of cultural tourism and tourism based on concrete events," says Mr Kukalj.
Bar, as one of the most attractive tourist destinations, was presented in the neighboring countries and Western Europe. Feedback from the trade fairs visitors is positive. Visitors expressed the greatest interest in Bar during summer. However, a town under Rumija has the potential to change that.
“We tend to point out that this is a town on two coasts and National Park Skadar lake is one the pearls of the offer. We are trying to present Bar as destination suitable throughout the entire year,” says Mr Kukalj and believes that it’s achievable.
With the construction of several high-category hotels, Bar is slowly but surely becoming a destination that can respond to the demands of high-end visitors who are used to luxury. Director of TO stresses that appropriate infrastructure is a must.
“We are very happy to see that the municipality and the state invest in the development of infrastructure, roads, public utility infrastructure… The effect of the campaign “Our Bar- clean town” is very important too. The residents and tourists have to be aware that waste disposal at places designated for such purposes increases the quality of the offer and life of our citizens”, says Mr Kukalj.
Employees in the tourism sector are satisfied with the benefits that Bar has had from cruising in the last couple of years.
“Our partners, Port of Adria, Alegra Montenegro Agency, small local souvenir manufacturers welcoming the tourists from every cruiser play a major role,” points out Mr Kukalj.
This summer residents of Bar and visitors can expect a very diverse range of amenities and programs.
“Under the auspices of “Ljeto pod zvijezdama” we are going to organize shows of musicians from the region and local bands and performers. There will be concerts every Friday at the King Nikola promenade,” says Mr Kukalj.
Something new this summer – the City games – is an event that is going to take place on 28 June.
After the season, TO Bar is going to organize Grapes Festival in Virpazar.
Tourist-information desks are open in Virpazar, Čanj, Sutomore, Šušanj, Stari Bar, Topolica and soon in Utjeha and Ostros.
TO Bar has been working very hard on the promotion of the potentials of hinterland.
“Last month we organized the action “Pohod u planine” (Visit the mountains). It was a 50-kilometer long tour from the sea to the lake shore. It is just one segment of the offer, since Bar has 100 km of very interesting footpaths. They need to be maintained, tourist signalization should be installed… We expect support from the media, agencies, and local and state-level institutions,” says the Director of TO Bar.
Source: Cafe del Montenegro