Politics

13 Dec 2019, 07:33 AM

December 13, 2019 - On 14 December, Montenegro’s Prime Minister, Mr Duško Marković, will be on his official visit to the Holy See, where he will hold talks with Pope Francis.

Mr Marković will also have meetings with the Secretary for Relations States, Mr Paul Gallagher. He will also visit Historical Archives and meet with its director, Mr Johan Iks.

Government representatives say that Mr Marković’s visit to the Vatican is aimed at further strengthening already stable political relations and highest-level dialogue.

“The fundamental agreement between Montenegro and the Holy See, signed in June 2011, represents a platform for deepening and improving overall inter-state relations. Two parties attach great importance to its full application and thus organize regular sessions of the Mixed Commission to discuss bilateral questions and other questions relevant to the Catholic community and the Catholic church in Montenegro”, said Government representatives.

The visit to the Vatican will enhance cooperation between the two states, especially in the domain of political dialogue. They will discuss the possibility of Pope Francis’ visit to Montenegro.

 

“The fundamental agreement between Montenegro and the Holy See regulates the most important segments of bilateral relations. Therefore, activities related to its implementation are expected to become more dynamic”.

Mr Marković’s official visit to the Holy See means the continuation of the highest-level talks, based on the principles of mutual respect, tolerance and understanding.

“At the same time, this visit is a chance to highlight how important it is for us to cooperate with the Holy See and to demonstrate our resolve to pledge support for the opening of Holy See’s nunciature in Podgorica. The visit will confirm a constructive approach to the implementation of the Fundamental agreement through regular sessions of the Mixed Commission”, concluded representatives of the Government.

The delegation of Montenegro will be headed by Mr Duško Marković.

Text by CDM, read more here

To read more about politics in Montenegro, follow TCN's dedicated page

08 Dec 2019, 07:20 AM

December 8, 2019 - Everything points out to the fact that the opposition does not want to reach agreements, as it means that we must approve the election results in the end and congratulate the winner. That has never happened so far. Therefore, we have enough reasons to believe that they [the opposition] already know they cannot win, and it’s just a matter of time when they are going to reveal their alibi questioning the validity of elections, Mr Andrija Nikolić, the DPS MP said in an interview for Dnevne Novine daily.

 

Mr Nikolić was talking about current events on the political scene, in the Montenegrin parliament, the Committee on the Electoral Legislation Reform, as well as about the messages from the recently held DPS Congress, noting that the strongest Montenegrin party at its 8th Congress “have come as a leader of the emancipation movement in Montenegro”.

 

He said: “First all alone, then along with the coalition partners, the DPS has staged all the victories in the new political history of Montenegro. We have reasons to be satisfied with what we have achieved, but there’s no place for the exaggerated feeling of euphoria. Even though we are entering the election year with optimism, our mission is of a long-term character. That’s a key message we’re sending from the Congress to the citizens of Montenegro. And it’s based on the data that Montenegro is among leaders in Europe when it comes to the economic growth rate over the two last years. Our task is that the growth reflected through the motorway, construction and reconstruction of many main and regional roads, energy facilities, construction of new schools and kindergartens, decreased unemployment rate by 8 per cent and increase in the number of employees for 30,000, the citizens of MNE can additionally feel in their wallets.”

Text by CDM, read more here.

To read more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

05 Dec 2019, 19:22 PM

December 5, 2019 - Montenegro is in a place where it can contribute to peace and stability, said the president of Montenegro’s Government, Mr Duško Marković, who is attending NATO Summit in London. 

Prime Minister said that meeting leaders of ally countries were a great opportunity for Montenegro to confirm its NATO membership, which is crucial to our security.

Summit in London is organized to mark NATO’s 70th anniversary.

Mr Marković says that the Summit is a confirmation of the power of union and solidarity of its members.

“Decisions made at the Summit today encourage and improve NATO policies and its ability to counter threats. NATO’s commitment when it comes to Western Balkans is clear. The attendance of North Macedonia proves it”, says Prime Minister.

Mr Marković says this was a great opportunity for Montenegro to reiterate that it supports NATO and cherishes its values.

“NATO is important for the security of the region and our country. Cooperation between Montenegro and NATO is very comprehensive. This was a very successful Summit that conveyed messages of unity, power and solidarity”, pointed out Mr Marković.

President of the Government confirmed that messages conveyed by the French president, Mr Emmanuel Macron, were also discussed at the Summit.

“We should work on strengthening NATO. Mr Macron himself agreed”, said Mr Mrković.

A CHANCE AND A CHALLENGE

China’s progress was also one of the topics discussed at the Summit.

 

“China is a chance and a challenge for Montenegro and the Alliance as a whole. We should do our best to understand China as much as we can”, says PM.

VALUES OF THE DEVELOPED WORLD

Mr Marković said that Montenegro’s interest was not only to become part of some alliance, but its main interest was to develop and improve living standards.

“NATO Member States create conditions for a better life. After Montenegro became NATO member, it got a chance to develop its economy in a sustainable way and that’s why our economy has been recording enormous growth”, says Mr Marković.

NORTH MACEDONIA TO BECOME NATO MEMBER NEXT YEAR

Prime Minister said that the fact that North Macedonia “will become NATO member next year” was very encouraging.

“That’s important for the entire Western Balkans”, says Mr Marković.

€35 MILLION FOR MILITARY EQUIPMENT

Asked is Montenegro was really negotiating with Israel reading the purchase of armament, Mr Marković says that one of its duties is to earmark a specific amount for the defense.

“There’s no hidden agenda. By 2024, we want to reach a 2% level of funds intended for defense. We’ve already provided part. We’ve earmarked €35 million for the provision of equipment next year”, says Mr Marković.

Montenegrin soldiers will be part of the military mission in Iraq.

At the beginning of the Summit, Mr Marković met with the President of the Government of Canada, Mr Justin Trudeau and President of Latvia, Mr Egils Levits.

During the meeting with Mr Trudeau, the emphasis was put on great bilateral relations with Canada, and high-quality cooperation within NATO.

Meeting with the Latvian president was dedicated to Latvia’s support for the European integration of Montenegro and WB countries.

Mr Levits said that they appreciated Montenegro’s contribution to the goals of the Alliance.

Text by CDM on December 4, 2019, read more here

To read more about politics in Montenegro, follow TMN's dedicated page

01 Dec 2019, 10:17 AM

December 1, 2019 - Delegates of the eighth DPS Congress held today in Podgorica re-elected Mr Milo Đukanović as the party leader, while Mr Duško Marković was re-elected as a deputy leader of the party. There were 598 delegates who took part in the work of the Congress, and after all the votes were counted, it was noted that two votes concerning Mr Đukanović were invalid, and as for Mr Marković, two were invalid and two against his election for the function of the party’s vice-president.

“We have fulfilled all the promises made at the previous congress. We have managed to preserve Montenegro’s stability, to join NATO and move towards the EU, which are important steps in the area of economic and democratic development,” President Đukanović said after his re-election.

According to him, the DPS is steadily moving towards the Europeanization and emancipation of the Montenegrin society, and it creates conditions for a quality life of citizens.

“Over the last four years, the DPS has more or less won all the electoral victories. The party is in power in 17 municipalities. There is no room for being relaxed. We have a long-term mission. There are challenges regarding further economic development because in that way it’s possible to solve numerous social problems,” he was adamant.

Mr Đukanović and Mr Marković were the only candidates running for these posts.

 

In addition, the Congress elected the Main Committee comprising 146 members, the Statutory Commission, the Supervisory Board and adopted the party’s Political Program.

Text by CDM on November 30, 2019, read more here

To read more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

26 Nov 2019, 10:38 AM
November 26, 2019 - The movement "Odupri Se" is set to hit the streets again, and the next gathering is likely on Saturday, December 7, said movement representative Nikola Grdinic. He explained the new protests required a reorganization of the Odupri Se movement, as well as an analysis of previous work, primarily because of the wrong moves that were made.
 
 "The protests must last. Everything that is happening on the political scene, as well as what lies ahead for us next year, will have a much more serious reach in terms of pressure on this arrogant government if we are mature to recognize the value of continuity of protest. The bottom line is that citizens need a guarantee that free elections will take place. No one guarantees it at this point. This authority has shown numerous times that she cannot be trusted and that she is ready for anything to survive. That is why, in the spring, we started a total boycott of all institutions, but we did not reach that goal. We are now in a situation of a partial boycott," Grdinic said.
 
As he pointed out, the Committee on Comprehensive Reform of Election and Other Legislation works in incomplete composition, as does the Parliament.
 
He sees the way out of many social problems only in the final unification of citizens on the street.
 
"It creates a counterweight to this government, and it is an announcement of control over those who will exercise power after the fall of the DPS. If the situation on the political scene happens to be used as an alibi for going to the polls next year, and these elections, in our estimation, are not sufficiently free, we will work to have protested on the election day and block the polls," Grdinic announced.
 
Asked how they view the announced protest of the Democratic Front, also in December, Nikola Grdinic said that they are looking forward to any rally aimed at overthrowing the regime.
 
"Within the idea of ​​Odupri Se, there is also a section that promotes protest at all levels as one way of civic activism to raise the political awareness of every citizen. Thus, only a growing number of local protests and initiatives by individuals targeting social issues and fighting for the public interest are thorough, argumentative, and courageous. In all these activities, we see blows to the system created by this government on bad values, as well as the hope that an alternative will be created to such a system, and we must all contribute together," the Odupri Se representative Nikola Grdinic concluded.
17 Nov 2019, 17:00 PM
November 17, 2019 - The importance of protecting the Sinjajevina Mountain was discussed yesterday at the UNESCO main building in Paris - Doctor of Anthropology and Professor at the University of Toulouse Pablo Dominguez presented the case at the headquarters of the Biosphere Reserve.
 
He will do the same early next week in Brussels. He will explain European parliamentarians that Sinajevina, where the Montenegrin Ministry of Defense planned to form an exercise range, present the part of the already protected Tara biosphere. Aleksandar Milatovic, from the Citizens' Initiative Let's Save Sinajevina and an activist of the Coalition for Sustainable Development (KOR), told Vijesti.
 
Dominguez is a world-renowned scientist who has been exploring the connection between humans and the Mediterranean nature for years.
 
Milatovic said a KOR adviser in Paris talked about what he saw during a scientific study of Sinjajevina.
 
"Dominguez, whose advice we have been listening to for months and who helps us preserve Sinjajevina, was yesterday in Paris ours and the voice of all herdsmen from Sinjajevina, as well as those who sip teas on the mountain and enjoy the untouched nature. He told UNESCO experts that the site where the military training ground is planned falls under one of the reserves that are already protected- the biosphere of the Tara River Canyon. He explained to them the impact of a possible military exercise field on the living world, talked about the role of local communities, the traditional way of life, and what he had been studying for years - nomadic livestock."
 
Dominguez also talked about the earlier intentions to declare Sinajevina as a nature park, but also that he discovered with fellow scientists while researching the socio-ecological jewel of Europe that, contrary to the recommendations, the Montenegrin Government decided to use this space as a military training ground.
 
Domingos emphasized that the Government of Montenegro plans to build a military training ground "in the heart of populated pastures and within UNESCO's biosphere reserve, without publicly available environmental and health impact assessment, without an available economic impact study and substantive negotiations with affected pastoral communities, rejecting the petition Civic Initiative Let's Save Sinjajevina."
 
"Government officials have qualified those fighting for the preservation of the Sinjajevina region as state enemies or anti-government propagandists," Dominguez said in Paris, according to a report in which Vijesti had insight.
 
Dominguez was invited to speak at the beginning of next week about what he saw in Montenegro and Brussels - first before the Parliamentary Committee on Stabilization and Association and then before the European Commission or their Directorate for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement.
 
"In addition to Sinjajevina, there will be talking about the problems of construction of small hydropower plants, Durmitor, Skadar Lake, destroyed Tara, polluted air in several Montenegrin municipalities. We have no other mechanism to deal with those who are destroying Montenegro's natural resources and protecting the ecological state, except to inform the European Commission directly what is happening here, which we are doing now. It is fortunate that our advisor, Dominguez, is truly a scientist who does not have to go anywhere for his opinion like most of the 'experts' here, but will talk about what he came up with and what he saw. And he saw what all the well-intentioned people saw was that natural resources were being destroyed because of investors' interests," Milatovic said.
 
The KOR activist referred to the opinions of experts on the devastation of nature throughout Montenegro, included in the Draft Report for Chapter 27 - Environmental Protection and Climate Change, for the period November 2018 to October 2019, which was submitted to Members of the European Parliament and to which European Parliamentarians can act in the future.
 
"This is entirely expected because it reflects the real situation. We hope that after hearing Dominguez and our friends from the European Greens, they will set an ultimatum for Montenegro - to stop destroying nature. "
 
Source: Vijesti
12 Nov 2019, 12:50 PM

November 12, 2019 - Parliament speaker of Montenegro Ivan Brajović opened the final regional workshop today in Podgorica on strategies and technical approaches to strengthening cooperation between parliaments and supreme audit institutions. The three-day event organized by the parliamentary Committee on Economy, Finances and Budget alongside the World Bank, provides the basis for experts from parliaments and supreme audit institutions to share practices, summarize strategies and technical approaches in fostering mutual cooperation.

 

In his speech, Mr Brajović stressed the importance of activities implemented by the Network of parliamentary committees on economy, finances and EU integrations, which significantly contributed to networking of parliamentarians in our region, and mentioned the contribution of the World Bank and their experts who have been continuously providing support to MNE and its institutions in various areas.

Speaking about the cooperation between the Parliament of Montenegro and the State Audit Institution, he said that current joint work has been based on the principles of mutual trust, independence, and common interest, in line with the Constitution and competencies defined by the law.

Text by CDM on November 12, 2019, read more here.

To read more about politics in Montenegro, follow TCN's dedicated page.

09 Nov 2019, 11:18 AM

November 9, 2019 - EU accession isn’ Montenegro’s only interest. We want to be fully ready for the membership and meet all the criteria, especially in the rule of law, as it is the foundation of the European quality of life. That’s our top priority, said vice-president of the Government, Mr Zoran Pazin, during the meeting convened as part of the ongoing Strategic Dialogue on the Western Balkans with the officials of the Western Balkans, EU member states and European institutions, organized by the World Economic Forum in Geneva.

 

Mr Pazin pointed out that the essence of the European policy in Montenegro was reaching the higher living standard and developing society which would function by rules applied in the most developed European democracies. He added that the total transformation of the society was achievable but only through the unhindered process.

“Never in its long history has Montenegro managed to get hold of something easily. Therefore, we don’t expect that to happen now. On the contrary, we are working hard on developing a society where European rules and standards will apply. However, we expect our European partners to recognize our real progress”, said Mr Pazin.

While talking about the reserved view on the EU enlargement policy, Mr Pazin said that considering some more efficient way of functioning within the Union was completely legitimate. He said that the integration process should continue as it “is in the interest of both the EU and WB”. Any other scenario would leave room for the increase of anti-European and populist forces.

 

The idea of the so-called reversibility principle is not a sustainable solution, states Mr Pazin, considering the already established principles of international law.

Mr Pažin emphasized Germany’s important role in the promotion of European values. He expressed gratitude for the support members of Višegrad group pledged for Montenegro. In that context, Mr Pazin stressed that so far the German principle of Euro-integration had produced concrete results and that such relations between the EU and other countries aspiring to be part of it should continue.

Mr Pazin reminded that one of Montenegro’s top priorities was strengthening relations with neighbors. He said that the “mini Schengen” initiative would lead to high-quality EU integration.

Mr Pazin said that it was very important that every country in the EU accession process should be enabled to make progress in accordance with reform results and other successes.

Text by CDM on November 8, 2019, read more here.

To read more about politics in Montenegro, follow TMN's dedicated page.

08 Nov 2019, 21:34 PM

November 8, 2019 - French president, Mr Emmanuel Macron, raised eyebrows with his statement that NATO “is experiencing brain death“ and that Europe “stands on the edge of the precipice”. German Chancellor, Ms Angela Merkel, was surprised as well and said he had used drastic words and she rejected his assessment. Commenting on Macron’s statement, president of the European Movement in Montenegro, Mr Momčilio Radulovic, says that Macron’s interview for The Economist cannot be seen from Montenegro’s point of view, and not even from the point of view of the enlargement policy.

 

Mr Radulovic explains that his interview is a very complex analysis of so far global policies, economic and security policies to development policies and another set of policies related to contemporary international relations.

“This text is so far away from something that should be regarded as short-term. We shouldn’t draw hasty conclusions about Macron’s definitions”, says Mr Radulovic.

Answering the question about Macron’s views, Mr Radulovic says that his views are often controversial, but also inspirational and make you think carefully about the modern world, the future of Europe and international relations.

“However, his messages are often contradictory, or, at least, strange and distorted in some way, although his conclusions are based on accurate premises. Are his dislocated conclusions fruit of his intention or wrong assessment? We’ll see. He was also contradictory when he referred to Balkan countries and enlargement policy”, says Mr Radulovic.

 

Mr Radulovic adds that the question is why enlargement policy has to be regarded separately from the general parallelism principle.

“If we analyze other parts of his interview and a whole set of remarks he made regarding the enlargement policy, we tend to get the impression that Mr Macron used question-related to WB integration to address a whole set of other questions which are nor relevant to our country and our citizens”, says Mr Radulovic.

That double-standard policy does not encourage us or other countries in the region and their leaders.

What is more important is what effects such profound Macron’s statements produce. Will they contribute to the further consolidation of the EU or further divisions?

Asked to comment on Ms Merkel’s reaction to Mr Macron’s statements, Mr Radulovic says that the French leader was expected to show a greater level of political wisdom.

As far as Montenegro is concerned, Mr Radulovic says it is important to read what Mr Macron’s does and thinks and even assist him in his attempts to address specific problems. However, it is far more useful for us to identify with the messages conveyed by Mr Mike Pompeo and Mr Heiko Mass.

Text by CDM on November 8, 2019, read more here.

To read more about politics in Montenegro, follow TMN's dedicated page.

30 Oct 2019, 16:42 PM

30 October 2019 - It is still uncertain whether Montenegro will open negotiating Chapter 8 – Competition policy, by the end of this year. Owing to the current circumstances in the EU, and especially after the opening of membership talks with North Macedonia and Albania had been delayed, the question is: What will happen with the enlargement process?

Montenegro has made considerable progress in the accession process and is seen as the next EU member. However, there is still a lot to be done. As far as Chapter 8 is concerned, Montenegro has already done what it was asked to do. It is the EU members’ turn now.

"Considering the current situation in the EU, it would not be very appropriate to predict when the negotiations in Chapter 8 will start," pointed out Biljana Jakić, director-general of the Directorate for Internal Market and Competition in the Ministry of Economy and a negotiator in Chapter 8.

She says it is important that Montenegrin institutions have been fulfilling defined tasks responsibly and devotedly and that all initial criteria for opening a new chapter have been established.

"The European Commission has set five criteria for opening this chapter. Those criteria refer to the changes in the legislation in the area of state aid; formation of an operationally independent body which will have all the necessary competences and resources required for the full application of state aid rules; harmonization of fiscal assistance schemes- Law on Corporate Income Tax, Law on Personal Income Tax, Law on Free Zones, programs of enhancement and promotion of business zones; list of all state aid measures and establishment of the action plan for the harmonization with other assistance schemes or other equivalent measures seen as incompatible with the duties stipulated in the Stabilization and Association Agreement. The last criterion referred to the adoption of the plan on restructuring Aluminum Plant Podgorica. It is not relevant anymore since Aluminum Plant has gone bankrupt," explained Jakić.

She adds that, concerning the set criteria, a whole set of legislative and institutional reforms have been implemented, writes CdM.

"In February 2018, a new Law on State Aid Control was adopted and it included all the required elements for efficient state aid control. Through amendments to the Law on the Protection of Competition, adopted at the beginning of 2018, competences of the Agency for Protection of Competition have been extended to the area of state aid control. In addition, in the area of financial assistance schemes, the legislative framework has been harmonized with the EU legislation," stressed out Jakić.

All the activities Montenegro has undertaken in this chapter indicate its readiness and commitment to meeting the requirements of the European agenda.

"Now the ball is in the EU court. We expect those results to be recognized and validated with the opening of this last chapter in the negotiation process," concluded Jakić.

Read more news about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.

28 Oct 2019, 18:33 PM

28 October 2019 - Minister of Culture of Montenegro Aleksandar Bogdanović recently met earlier with Minister of Culture of Azerbaijan Republic Abulfas Garayev in Baku.

The meeting discussed possibilities of strengthening cooperation between the two countries in the field of culture, since the bilateral relations between Montenegro and Azerbaijan are friendly and content.

In this regard, the two officials expressed their satisfaction with the fact that the cooperation between cultural institutions are intensified. This, as it was highlighted, primarily refers to the joint work of the National Library of Montenegro "Đurđe Crnojević" and Azerbaijan National Library within the Conference of European National Librarians and Montenegro’s Cinematography and the Azerbaijan Davlat Film Fund.

Both sides particularly emphasised the significance of the work of the Cultural and Economic Centre of Azerbaijan in Podgorica, stressing that there is a mutual interest in organising diverse programs in the field of culture in the future.

Minister Bogdanović stated that so far, cooperation is a good basis for the coming period and invited Minister Garayev to visit Montenegro and on that occasion, as he added, to sign the Programme on Cooperation between Ministries of Culture of the two countries.

Minister Garayev highlighted that he supports the mentioned initiative, proposing that during his visit to Montenegro, a programme of joint activities in the field of culture should be conceptualised in detail. Furthermore, he emphasised that he was pleased that Azerbaijan artists were increasingly represented in Montenegro and expressed the expectation that Montenegro’s artists would be as present as possible on the Azerbaijani cultural scene.

Minister Bogdanović also discussed cooperation in the field of affirmation of the cultural heritage of the two countries. He pointed to the listing of the Azerbaijani rug on the UNESCO List of Intangible Heritage could be a useful experience for Montenegro, mainly since there is an initiative to apply for the development of Bihor rug on the list above, reports Ministry of Culture of Montenegro.

In this context, Minister Garayev stated that a presentation of Bihor rug could be organised at the Baku Museum of Carpeting, with the Azerbaijani entities fully ready to transfer experience regarding the application process of their rugs to the UNESCO list.

"During the discussion, we concluded that there is an exceptional space for strengthening cultural cooperation. It is of particular significance that the first steps in this field have already been made, but I believe that a period of intensive activities is yet to come. On this path, I suggested Minister Garayev sign the Cooperation Programme of our Ministries of Culture during his visit to Montenegro. Thus we formally start broad cooperation, starting with some common trades belonging to the intangible heritage of both countries, to film, literature and other fields," Minister Bogdanović noted.

Charge d' Affairs of Montenegro to Azerbaijan Željko Radulović also attended the meeting.

Read more news about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.

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