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.
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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.
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12 June 2019 - The fight against organized crime, terrorism and illegal migration was the main topic of the bilateral meeting in Ljubljana between the Minister of the Interior Mevludin Nuhodžić and his counterpart from Slovenia Boštjan Poklukar.
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.
As the Ministry of Interior of Montenegro reported, Minister Nuhodžić assessed that the cooperation between the two police organizations had yielded good results. Furthermore, he emphasised the importance of further strengthening the cooperation between the two departments to provide a high-quality response to common security challenges, but also to prevent all forms of crime.
Minister of the Interior of Slovenia Poklukar confirmed Slovenia's strong support to the European integration of Montenegro, and in that sense announced the continuation of cooperation and assistance through new joint projects.
Speaking on organized crime and terrorism, Minister Poklukar pointed out that the Montenegrin security authorities are a strong partner of the Slovenian police. In this regard, the ministers agreed that successful response to security challenges requires close cooperation and continuous exchange of information between the police of the two countries, and agreed to intensify cooperation in this regard.
Speaking on the topic of illegal migration and the situation in that area from a regional perspective, the ministers agreed that migrations are not a matter of a single state. In that regard, they noted the importance of continuous and open communication of the police in the region and further strengthening of cooperation.
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12 June 2019 - Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Montenegro Songul Ozan said that Herceg Novi is an attractive destination, stressing that Turkey is interested in finding a model and helping the reconstruction project for the Kanli Kula Fortress and rehabilitation of this landslide-degraded area.
Н.Е. Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Montenegro, Songul Ozan, recently paid a working visit to Herceg Novi, where she met with the Mayor of the Municipality, Stevan Katić and his associates, reports the local government.
The management of the Municipality of Herceg Novi welcomed Ambassador Ozan, who pointed out that this coastal city is one of the most beautiful in Montenegro, and that the country is one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
The Ambassador gained insight into current events in Herceg Novi, cultural events throughout the year, as well as into the cooperation between Herceg Novi and city Jedrene, whose orchestra participated in the 50th Mimosa Festival. This cooperation resulted in the guest appearance of City Music Herceg Novi and majorettes at the 9th International Festival of Wind Orchestras in Jedrene in early March. Both sides agreed that this is a good example of cooperation between the two cities and states, which should continue in the future.
Katić also reminded the Ambassador of plans that are not in the municipality's jurisdiction, but their realization is crucial, such as the construction of the bypass and the rehabilitation of the slopes at Kanli Kula, one of the most beautiful summer stages in this part of the Adriatic. He also pointed to the current socio-economic status of our citizens, caused by unsuccessful privatization processes, both in Herceg Novi and throughout Montenegro.
As the focus of the city government work, President Katić emphasized the arrangement of infrastructure and the revitalization of cultural objects.
Ambassador Ozan pointed out that Herceg Novi is an attractive destination for Turkish tourists, and that Montenegro and Turkey are connected with history and culture. She expressed the interest of the representatives of the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey, in cooperation with the city and the state, to find a model to help the Kanli Kula Fortress and to implement a landslide rehabilitation project that threatens this fortress.
The Ambassador expressed her hope that Herceg Novi will further increase the number of Turkish investors and she invited the municipality's leadership to consider the candidacy of projects at the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA).
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Local experts in spatial planning, sustainable development, and protection of the cultural heritage of Kotor believe that the Draft Spatial Plan of Kotor represents only the continuity of inadequate planning documents for this area and leads to further devastation of space.
Within the public hearing on the Draft of the Spatial Plan of the Municipality of Kotor and the accompanying Draft of the Report on Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment, the local expert group submitted their remarks to these documents to the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism. Experts are supported by part of the participants on the round table on this topic, Center for Sustainable Spatial Development Expeditio from Kotor organized on 5 June.
"Considering the current situation in Kotor, risking to lose the World Heritage status due to over-urbanization, the general importance of adopting a Spatial Urban Plan for the development of municipalities, and the problematic procedure and the quality of the document itself, local experts claim that the Draft Spatial Plan is only a continuation of inadequate planning arrangements for this area," Expeditio said on their official FB page.
"Even though the plan suggests, with the pressures of the outside, before all UNESCO, that it will partly limit the construction of facilities, we consider it still doesn't help the city to start from the deadlocks that it found by the lack of responsibility of local and state institutions."
Apart of the local experts, comments have been signed by some of the participants of the round table under the project "Active Citizens for Better Montenegro - The Rule of Law and Sustainable Development of Montenegro." At the roundtable, representatives of the profession, competent institutions, as well as all political parties operating in Kotor, were invited.
Experts recall that the neglect of expert opinion in the field of spatial planning in the last 15 years has caused Kotor today threatening to review status on the World Heritage List of UNESCO.
In their view, the Draft Spatial Plan does not represent the sustainable development strategy with the idea but allows for further alteration of the ambiance, thus destabilizing the values for which the Natural and Cultural Historic Area of Kotor is enrolled on the World Heritage List.
The presented document experts commented in the remarks as unworthy of the profession, without the minimum of professional standards.
"Methodologically, the document is at an inappropriately low level, full of contradictions, copied pieces from different materials, which, in a large extent, represent the content of the document itself, which is unacceptable. Such a plan will be impossible to implement," states the letter addressed to the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, which has signed 13 of the most subordinated space planning and protection experts from Boka Bay.
They point out that a significant role for this plan plays the legislative framework - the Space Planning and Construction Facility Act of 2018, which instead of introducing the order and upgrading the space planning system has led to complete chaos. The established, previously confirmed planning practices were abolished, creating a prerequisite for accelerating the devastation of space, ignoring the already dramatic condition in Montenegro.
One of the critical remarks of experts from Kotor is that the Draft Spatial Plan does not entirely rely on the Cultural Heritage Protection Study for the area of the Kotor Municipality, which was done precisely for this document. This Study is only formally cited, but its core guidelines and the way of treating the Invertebrate Areas are not taken into account, which is incomprehensible, because, for a municipality where more than one third of the territory is on the Heritage List, it must have been the primary starting point for making the plan, experts conclude.
The only solution to the current situation is that the planning is brought back to experienced teams of planning experts, with the involvement of experts in the area of protection of the World Heritage, who would, without resorting to politics and personal interests make a document that would represent a breakthrough from the previous harmful planning practices.
"Of course, the prerequisite is a complete change of the space planning system (because its improvement is unfortunately impossible), including the legislative framework. The priority should be given to preserving the extraordinary universal value of the Kotor Area, as clearly indicated by the UNESCO / ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring Mission Report of November 2018, "states the remarks, experts from Boka Bay submitted yesterday to the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism of Montenegro.
10 June 2019 - By joining the European Union, Montenegro wants to be in the company of allied European countries that cherish and protect human dignity as their highest value, Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Pažin said for the Government of Montenegro at the opening of the plenary session of the Club of Venice in Bar.
"This value is exactly on what modern Montenegro was built and why we see our membership in the European Union as a natural continuation of the historical process of affirmation and preservation of the civil and European identity of our country," the Deputy Prime Minister said.
He stressed that current and future members of the European Union must be aware of the shared responsibility for the success of the United Europe project.
"We have no ambition to join the European Union before we are fully prepared to fulfill all our obligations and enjoy the full benefits of fully-fledged membership. However, we must all be aware that we share a common destiny as Europeans. That the future of European countries, the competitiveness of our economies and our way of life depend to a large extent on the success of a European project, for which we have a common responsibility," DPM Pažin emphasised.
By this occasion, he also estimated that it is very important for citizens to understand the significance of this historic mission of the European Union, as well as to understand the alleged alternatives to the European democratic values, which are offered to them.
"Advocating the accession of new members to the European Union based on merit is, in fact, the affirmation of a key EU mission – the spread of peace and prosperity across the European continent. On the other hand, greater support from the European public for admitting new members to the EU will strengthen the Union's internal cohesion and significantly strengthen the credibility and substance of its basic principle – united in diversity," Deputy Prime Minister Pažin highlighted.
He pointed out that today the EU's generations born and raised in the period of peace and prosperity, unprecedented in the history of the old continent, challenge the very purpose and key values of a united Europe, and reminded that, also in Europe, there are generations who, not so long ago, grew up in significantly different and unfavourable circumstances, in which some of the basic human needs were considered luxury.
Furthermore, the Deputy Prime Minister stated that this could be part of the reason why people in the southwest of Europe generally support the European Union more. He added, however, that the support that the European Union enjoys in the region of Southeast Europe is not only a matter of ideals, values or a common identity, but also a very specific progress in improving the quality of life and the standard of living.
"Take Montenegro as an example. Since we, as an independent state, began our path to the European Union in 2006, the average salaries and pensions in Montenegro have doubled. Today, our citizens travel freely throughout Europe, our students, lecturers and scientists participate in numerous study and research programmes, while our farmers receive significant expert and financial support from European funds," DPM Pažin said.
The Club of Venice is a European professional network that gathers senior public communications professionals from EU member states and institutions, and more recently the candidate country for EU membership. Montenegro is the first country outside the European Union to host the plenary session of the Club of Venice in 33 years of the existence of this prestigious European forum.
The plenary session of the Club of Venice in Montenegro discusses the issues of communication strategies for engaging citizens in European politics, experiences from recently held European elections, combating misinformation, communication of enlargement policy and development of communication capacities and practices of European institutions, member states and candidate countries. This is the first event of this kind that gathered government officials from EU member states and institutions after the European Parliament elections.
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11 June 2019 - The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), under its Tourism Development and Promotion EU funded project, launched the second consecutive grant call for projects developing the tourism offer in the Western Balkans on June 10. As stated in their 2nd Call for Proposals, while the grants scheme totals EUR 1.62 million, this second tranche is making available EUR 750,000 for the implementation of some 14 pilot projects worth up to EUR 54,000.
The goal of the RCC's grant scheme is to develop and globally promote the joint regional cultural and adventure tourism offer, bring more visitors to the Western Balkans, lengthen their stay and increase revenues and employment in the tourism industry. Therefore, the grants to be implemented under the 2nd Call for Proposals will be geared towards the improvement of tourism infrastructure and services along three new regional cultural tourism routes now under development: Western Balkans – Crossroads of Civilisations; Illyricum Trail and Balkan Monumental Trail, and along Via and Trans Dinarica, regional hiking and biking routes and their auxiliary adventure tourism attractions.
“The region is stronger together. This is as true for tourism as is for any other fields. The difference is that tourism has an advantage of growing faster than other industries – it already accounts for 14% of employment in the Western Balkans. More than 12 million tourists entered the region last year. This is why we are intensively working on the development of a joint regional tourism offer and further supplementing efforts of the governments specifically in the cultural and adventure tourism niches,” said Majlinda Bregu, RCC Secretary General.
“Our goals are simple. We want to create a more attractive tourism offer which will attract more tourists to the region and lead to bigger profits and more people being employed in tourism. While our Tourism Development and Promotion Project works on the big picture, the grant scheme is making it possible for local level governments, NGOs and development agencies to get involved in tourism and contribute to the development of a joint regional offer by implementing actions that will improve the quality of services and tourism infrastructure at the local level,” stated Secretary General Bregu.
To provide sufficient information about the 2nd Call for Proposals to all interested parties, between 12 and 20 June 2019 the RCC will organize a series of Info Days covering all six Western Balkans Economies.
This is the 2nd Call for Proposals under the RCC’s tourism grants scheme.
The 1st Call for Proposals implemented between July 2018 and June 2019 resulted in the implementation of twelve grants in a total value of EUR 548,000 which led to the creation of preconditions for development of seven new cultural routes in the region, as well as the implementation of actions that upgraded the quality of the adventure tourism offer, specifically along Via Dinarica trail and in equestrian tourism.
The 3rd call for proposal is expected to be launched in September 2019.
Read more about tourism in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
11 June 2019 - The Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism of Montenegro recently stated that the goals of the state related to sustainable development - regionally balanced and sustainable economic development, full employment and decent work for all, should be fulfilled by 2030.
"Our sincere intention is to achieve the vision of sustainable development of Montenegro by 2030, which means that we should achieve regionally balanced and sustainable economic development, full employment and decent work for all," Minister Pavle Radulović said at the opening of the 18th Session of the Mediterranean Commission for the Sustainable development.
Within the framework of the two-year presidency of the Mediterranean Commission for Sustainable Development, Montenegro is the host of the session which is held from 11 to 13 June 2019.
The 18th Session of the Mediterranean Commission for Sustainable development is hosted at the Maestral Hotel in Budva.
During his presentation, Radulović reminded the participants that by adopting the 2030 National Sustainable Development Strategy, Montenegro became one of the first countries in the world that fully accepted and integrated the requirements of the United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development into the national system. The goal of this strategy is to build a society based on continuous, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, protecting natural resources and strengthening social inclusion. Radulović also pointed out that with this strategy, Montenegro shows that its method for achieving sustainable development of its society is, in fact, having an objective and critical point of view in regards to current issues and finding appropriate solutions to these issues.
Minister Radulović highlighted that it is of great importance to launch initiatives that should concretize practical approaches and actions in order to implement the activities of the Mediterranean Action Plan and the Mediterranean Commission in the upcoming period. Also, he pointed out that an important measure for sustainable development is the creation of optimal practical models for applying the principles of integrated coastal management, in synergy with the application of the ecosystem approach in the planning of the purpose of marine areas.
Mediterranean Commission acts as an advisory body to the Contracting Parties of the Barcelona Convention, and its members, participating on equal footing, include representatives of the Member States and the European Commission, as well as Civil Society representatives from the region’s local authorities, economic partners (chambers of commerce, etc.), environmental NGOs, etc. It is basically a think tank on policies for promoting sustainable development in the Mediterranean Basin and focuses on key issues in its drive for tangible outcomes.
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