11 Aug 2019, 12:16 PM

11 August 2019 - The following article represents the personal perspective of author Gunther Fehlinger on the 10 central strategic considerations for European Herceg Novi and the views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Total Montenegro News.

This article is the 3rd in series to contribute to better tourism and economic development by Austrian and European best practices in transport and tourism planning and pricing. For more information about the economic part, read Strategy for European Boka 2020 and for transport and mobility issues, read Smart Mobility Strategy RecommendationsRecommendations from 2018, still fully to be implemented. The 3rd is Smart Mobility 2.0 for Montenegro – the personal perspective July 2019 – with 12 concrete recommendations for European Montenegro. The Austrian author lives every summer since 2006 in Morinj, Montenegro and is an economic consultant for European transition economies.

  1. The Herceg Novi Riveria 2020 – Complete Sea side Pedestrian Walk Verige 65 -IberoStar Nivice

Herceg Novi has one central feature – a central Unique selling proposition – the pedestrian sea side walk from today Melinje to Igalo. It makes night life unique and create the Mediterranean Italian Giro – the night walk in the hot summer nights tourists love and it is the envy of all Coastal towns to have such a long one and it is the central feature of Herceg Novi Riveria. But Herceg Novi is not only that but goes from the Verige to the Prevlaka and it is time to extend the Pedestrian Walk way from the Verige 65 coffee to the Iberostar in Nivice and so create a 23 km long pedestrian walk along the sea side unique along the Eastern cost of the Adriatic Sea and a key feature of the branding of Herceg Novi Rivera. Nobody should need to walk along the Magistrale – walk along the sea! Herceg Novi needs a own branding and the Riveria – the Herceg Novi Riveria is better than being just one of the cities in Kotor Bay! Herceg Novi is more than that an is more than just old town Herceg Novi. Now with Porto Novi and Lazure Marina the assets are there and now build and complete the 5 Star Šetalitse – the main asset from the Verige to the Iberostar in Nijvice. It is possible to do it all along including Kamenari and Bjiela and it will be a major asset for all coastal Herceg Novi. True it in some area there will be the need to make some concession to the Ferry but it is fully possible to build the most amazing coastal promenade along the Adriatic with one great Marina after the after and connect all coastal villages with such a pedestrian zone which can be open for small e-buses as well during the day. It is a new coastal artery connecting Kamenari with Njivice. I will discuss some feature like the Sutorina Ferry port, the future Bilja Marina, the Kamenari Marina in the next items but central is to ensure the Herceg Novi strategic plan makes sure the whole of the Coast is a walk way and this is used as the Central USP Unique Selling Proposition of Herceg Novi – the Riveria of the past is the Riveria of the future and the case for this is the unique Coastal 23 km walk way. The basis was done by the Austrian small-scale railway from Zelenika to Vienna. If that was possible more than a century ago sure a full Rivera Walk is possible for Herceg Novi for all Herceg Novi Rivera Coast! And no take no exception and just do it. And fully connect it from Verige to Prevalaka and include all area in-between. Organise a Coastal Half marathon along. Make sure e-shuttle drive the distance and make this the prime asset for Herceg Novi and market Herceg Novi to the Global Tourism Industry as the city with the longest Coastal Promenade in the World! Or maybe in Europe or only the Adriatic but use this asset as the prime asset!

  1. Time for second Ferry line –Sutorina River Ferry Port to Tivat Airport Ferry Port

Much of the traffic is transit to Albania and Kosovo and Budva and Bar or Greece and beyond. If they anyhow do not want to visit Herceg Novi Rivera nor Kotor nor Tivat it is essential to ferry them off before they enter Herceg Novi – at the new Ferry port where the Sutorina River meets the Adriatic Sea and build a access road and the Ferry port there and agree with Tivat to build a Ferry Port after Tivat City at the river going into the Sea close to the Airport so avoid Tivat city traffic and that road from the Airport to Budva can and will be anyhow extended to 4 lanes. It required some expropriation and change from the Marina Port Sutorina to a Ferry Port in Herceg Novi but it is essential to get this done before more is build making it more expensive because there is no other way to handle the traffic. Best is to extend the Ferry concession to include this line Herceg Novi to Tivat in the existing Concession and if the concession taker does not like it well auction it off and let competition decide which Ferry transit takes. As the existing ferry concession is powerful politically let them have it for now and let DG Competition work this out later. But for sure the transit needs to be on the more expensive longer but more reasonable ferry for Herceg Novi before Herceg Novi City to Tivat after Tivat City.

  1. A Perast city toll access system for Old Town Herceg Novi

Perast is booming since traffic access is limited and the same will be true for Herceg Novi Old Town. So basically, leave the one-way traffic from Igalo as it is and the MUP (Ministry of Interior) access road is only an exit road for Igalo. At the location where MUP is today build a big parking centre with 5 floors – wont block anybody’s view and there have a shuttle bus system up the Old Town city road with a schlagbaum system only for residents, registered rental parties who need access to their flats but no transit or cars looking for parking anymore. And after the old town well there is the double pass way from which can be a second ring road best as well on a one way basis like in Igalo. Meaning from Meljine roundabout to the Kani Kula exit a one-way ring system but starting from entering in Meljine to leaving at the Kani Kula. And the MUP crossing turn into a roundabout same like in Meljine. Basically, nobody who has no flat rented or as resident needs to drive in Old Town and turn that road into a bus shuttle semi Pedestrian road.

  1. A new Joint Government, MUP, Police and Municipality Service Centre in Suturing

Where to put the MUP then when this will be a parking centre and how to access the Municipality easy when this is restricted traffic zone and how to finance such changes? Simple by building a new joint Governmental service centre along the Motorway in the Sutorina district close to the shopping centre and sport centre to re-locate all existing public service function from Old Town Herceg Novi to the new Center along the Motorway with decent big modern parking and office facilities and located all Government and Municipal functions now in Old Town into that new Admin Centre. This reduces traffic and parking pressure for Old Town and makes live cheaper and easier for employees and customers in one new admin centre and allows to sell the land of today’s municipalities building to one reasonable investor able to attract a new international branding Hotel like Sheraton or Hilton similar to Regency or Chedi – such a hotel is urgent for Herceg Novi and why to have a municipality in Centre a prime location of Herceg Novi with a sea view. Allow them to build 10 floors and include all the area as well the parking up of Post Office and this will pay for the new Admin building at Sutorina.

  1. One Cruise ship per Day for Herceg Novi!

There is big debate for this and please not more than one ship per day but please exact one cruise ship per day for each Dalmatian city which is anyhow rather empty during the day when most people are on beach! And it brings the port and the tourism industry valuable revenues during off time during day and by 5 they are gone back to the ship. How to auction this off is simple in time of block chain and having one per day depends on price of access. Cruiser pay more during season and less in winter and spring but one ship per day is essential to show Amazing Old Town Herceg Novi to the world and make it a great place to have a restaurant, coffee of souvenir shop and no it is not too much but about right for be more successful.

  1. The future of the Bijela Shipyard – a expensive illusion?

Please on the danger to annoy the reader. The Government of Montenegro gave this concession for Damen and Porto Montenegro.

While this is good news please such 20 Million committed investment won’t turn Bijela again into a shipyard. Please this is a project driven the the the Government socialist illusion of great YU industrial capacity which never had an economic basis not in YU not now nor in any possible future. While some service facility might be useful and reasonable the future of Bijela is to be a similar but lower priced Marina like Porto Montenegro and having given it to Porto Montenegro juts helped them to corner the market. They will for sure only invest what is commercially reasonable that means the minimum to keep the Government of their back and do a secondary Marina Port there for Porto Montenegro. Nothing bad with that. But kindly ask them from start to build a Coastal Promenade and allow them to do a second Porto Montenegro and you have much better success in employment and FDI as this will bring 200 Million to Montenegro and allow them the same like in Porto Montenegro in terms of flats and Marina Village and Bijela has the southern sun exposure and end Bijela status as victim of YU industrial megalomania and today semi slum and give it a bright future! There will never be thousands of industrial workers working on building bad quality ships for bloc free countries with no other choice or quality criteria but there will be thousands of jobs in sustainable service industry and all Bijela and with it the Eastern Herceg Novi Rivera will be booming. So, change the concession criteria and allow the Concession takers a commercially more realistic scenario and less industrial nonsense but more concrete tourism future with flats, restaurants, marina and a kind of White Harbour – Porto Bijela – White Harbour in Black Mountains. Bijela has deserved better than just a sad bad side and step sister of Tivat. And be sure this project as now signed will never be what the Government fantasies wishes for. The only case working for Yachts is parking and these super-yachts do not need to be repaired every year and if then for sure not in Bijela but back in Hamburg where they are produced. None of these ships will be ever repaired in Bijela.

Bijela is still the poorest city of Herceg Novi and why not allow Bijela to have its Porto Novi like Kumbor? With that the sea side Promenade from Njivice to Verige will turn reality. So, start listening you your investor and do not dream the dream of past glory never ever that successful nor glorious. YU industrialisation was a pipe dream funded by blackmailing Western taxpayers afraid of YU turning fully towards the east and poor block free nation consumer and your own people have to buy 3rd category industrial goods and machinery and all at crazy costs for the environment which now European taxpayers have to invest billions to somehow rescue all over Eastern Europe and former Yugoslavia. And once you have a working business case with Marina and flats please why not keep on building parking spots for Yachts and flats for rich people if it works? And if it works in Tivat why please shall it not work in Bijela?

  1. Porto Kamenari – just between Bocara and Kamerari Ferry Port.

Time to build the Porto Kamenari between Boćari and the Ferry terminal and turn that 2 old stone houses into the center of that now Stone Porto and take the old Port Master House down from where it blocks the road and ferry off loading and re-locate it to this Stone Porto and all sides are happier, The land owners, the people of Kamenari, the police and Ferry Operator and the tourist and transit passengers.

  1. The Adriatic Highway or the Adriatic Speedway?

I have written so much about it hard to believe nobody is listing. In Simple terms, please in the own 2020 the Government Infrastructure and spatial plan you have it all right. There needs to be an Adriatic Ionian Highway INLAND – from Trebijne to Nikšić to south of Podgorica to Shkoder and a real highway European standard and one north which for purely internal electoral reasons you build first while nobody will use it for a long term in any meaningful quantity justifying the most expensive project ever in Montenegro history. But Ok it is done and all infrastructure is helpful so hopefully it will help to connect Republic of Kosovo to Bar and then at least it is fine. But now because the Government is out of financial funding limits you want to cancel the real highway connecting EU Croatia with EU Greece and your coast with all the real 510 Million EU consumers interested and capable paying for good accommodation? And you want to join EU or Serbia? Really? Get this straight! And no, a new coastal upper Highway in the hills above the Bay of Kotor for a billion is not a good idea if there is no highway for transit and Diaspora! So what needs to be done is to build the Adriatic Highway inland and build the upper highway above the main coastal village as I have outlined in Smart Mobility for Montenegro with specific Upper Coastal Village bypasses but not a transit truck lane with 3 lane speedway with a view destroying the only asset you really have in Montenegro of European significance – your coast. So build upper village roads at the main coastal town Herceg Novi & Zelenika, Bijela, Risan, not in Kotor nor Morinj, but in Tivat, Budva and Bar but not as transit trucks speedway but to develop the upper hills for touristic settlement along the new roads and build more accommodation with views and access by these roads and yes to share the burden of traffic equally between coast and upper road but none of them as transit roads. Everybody who want to go to Pogorica, Kosovo, Greece or Albania has to use the Inland Adriatic Highway and not the pay toll coastal roads. Why pay toll because you the role model for all these coastal roads is the Herceg Novi Border to Trebinje 3 Euro road concession on which basis all such new roads have to build and financed. Or do you have the 3,4 billion EUR to build all and with EU and EIB funds you won’t be allowed to destroy the environment of the coast not build mega bridged in UNESCO protected bay. Try the Chinese but without tolling that won’t happen either.

  1. No to the Verige Bridge

Have you even been in Istanbul close to the Bosporus bridge? Have you been at Brenner and followed the European transit debate? Do you really want a bridge over the Bay of Kotor? No. Nobody in his or her full mind wants that. Nor will a tunnel ever be feasible economically here in the European coastal periphery. There is no economic case for such investment and the additional traffic it might generate will only harm tourism not help it. What else than the Bay of Kotor you have that make you special? The is a lot of great coast in Europe in Croatia, Albania and Greece with much better beaches than Montenegro, much better services and infrastructures and the same sun shining for the tourist and better activities prepared when it is raining. It is the Bay of Kotor that a European brand and not Budva nor Herceg Novi nor Bar nor Ulcinj – those are great town only know to the Balkans and will stay like that. Only Kotor as a brand has a European reach – still in shadow of Dubrovnik as a global first-rate brand but well that helps Kotor as reference and so develop that brand better and no do not spoil it with a bridge. Anyhow nobody will fund it anyhow and you won’t ever have the funds as all goes into the Northern Highway but so sure it is bad idea in principle and practise so leave it.

  1. Fancy ceding Luštica to Tivat Municipality? Better establish the BokaKotorskaAgency

As you have major success with Porto Novi in the Herceg Novi northern side of the Bay of Kotor but little to no with the Herceg Novi part of Luštica and it seem really neglected while the Tivat part of Luštica is booming and some might consider it time to change of municipal borders in Montenegro.

Why not Chedi Luštica to Tivat and receive part of Kotor like Morinj and Risan and the Crkvice Hills and Tivat to receive the Lastva Coast which Kotor was all neglects and all really justified but all will not happen as this is very contentious. So how to work better in the European style together between the 3 Municipalities that share the task to administer and develop this great Bay of Kotor, Luštica Peninsula and Orjen-Zirkiva and the Kotor Mountains and all the coat towards Budva. Obviously there so much which needs to be done together and clearly there is so little common ground and cooperation between Tivat, Kotor and Herceg Novi and no changing the border is not the solution but the European way is to create a BokaKotorPublicService&Planning, Investment&Markting Agency owned by all 3 and tasked to coordinate the Herceg Novi aspects of public planning, service, investment and Marketing and Touristic Development and the the Government of Montenegro to be clearly in this as well and do the planning and implementation together, united and serious much better in European manner. Call it BokaKotorskaAgency with 4 partners and a clear list of tasks. Clearly infrastructure planning, waste water and waste management, investment promotion, tourism and traffic planning, spatial planning, regional cohesion and rural re-vitalization of the hills and mountains, international marketing effort work much better. This is key as the only real international brand of significance will be Kotor Bay. And inside such a marketing effort under the main global brand Kotor Bay can then the 3 sub brands Herceg Novi Riveria, MaritimeTivat and StonePalastPerast be developed. But not more and not alone. In global marketing terms it is Kotor and Kotor only and in real better public service you need to work better united between all 3 Municipalities and the central Government. Please that mean no political merger nor the end of competing between the municipalities for investment and tourists and central the Government and EU funding but the right mix , right level and reasonable mix between competition and cooperation between municipalities in one common region is key for better service, more investment and better results for investors citizens, consumers, domestic and tourists and it is more rewarding for municipal leaders, employees and local politicians when everything works much better and less need for head ache and mutual blame gaming and infighting. Success breed success and a mutual upwards moving double spiral or helix towards ever higher levels is possible and visible already in all Boka but such a BokaKotorAgency shared and cared by all 3 Municipalities and the the Government is much better than discussing new border and neglecting the out regions of each municipalities or a big debate on changed municipal borders. Ask the EU to co-fund it and offer EUD Podgo a seat on the board. The EU is very much about joint regional development and this is what is needed in the Bay of Kotor.

This article is the 3rd in series to contribute to better tourism and economic development by Austrian and European best practices in transport and tourism planning and pricing. For more information about the economic part, read Strategy for European Boka 2020 and for transport and mobility issues, read Smart Mobility Strategy RecommendationsRecommendations from 2018, still fully to be implemented. The 3rd is Smart Mobility 2.0 for Montenegro – the personal perspective July 2019 – with 12 concrete recommendations for European Montenegro. The Austrian author lives every summer since 2006 in Morinj, Montenegro and is an economic consultant for European transition economies.

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

09 Aug 2019, 14:10 PM

09 August 2019 - Seven years since the opening of Montenegro’s accession negotiations with the European Union, representatives of the authorities are satisfied with the work done, indicating that an initial balance of results has been achieved in the most important Chapters 23 and 24, and that the legislative and the established institutional system produces certain results in practice.

On the other hand, representatives of the civil sector estimate that it is insufficient and point to anomalies that indicate the lack of political will to apply European standards. Chairman of the Board of NGO Institute Alternative Stevo Muk stated that Montenegro has progressed on the European path, but not enough if taking into account the resources invested in this process, primarily the investments of the EU and other international and local actors.

"It has especially made too little of progress in those fields that were disputable from the very beginning and about which we are negotiating from the first day. However, the rule of law, good governance and corruption permeate many other issues of negotiation, such as the environment, where it is noticeable almost on a daily basis. The impression is that enthusiasm was significantly more present in the first years of negotiations, possibly because issues of the institutional and legal framework have been mostly addressed. But, when it came time for concrete results, we entered into a phase of stagnation," said Muk for European Pulse.

Muk assessed that readiness for change, unfortunately, exists only in those issues where the interests and monopolies of big ones are not threatened, while when it comes to sensitive issues, state structures change only as much as they have to. And it seems that they have to change less and less, as stated by Muk, because the internal pressure is weak, and the EU conditionality policy shows its limitations.

Montenegro opened the EU accession negotiations on 29 June 2012 during the mandate of Prime Minister Igor Lukšić. It was the first state that negotiates according to the so-called new approach, upon which the first ones to be open, and the ones to be closed the last are Chapter 23 (Judiciary and Fundamental Rights) and Chapter 24 (Justice, Freedom and Security).

Source: Milan Sekulović, European Pulse

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

09 Aug 2019, 13:15 PM

09 August 2019 - General Secretariat of the Government - Public Sector for Information on the European Union and the Process of Accession to the European Union, has launched a public call for proposals for the development of the preliminary design and the execution of the selected proposal of murals on the theme: "Me for Europe, Europe for Me" - ME4EU, EU4ME.

At three locations in Montenegro - in Podgorica, Bijelo Polje and Bar, murals will be drawn as a “response” to a mural that celebrates the ties of the Western Balkans and EU "It is only with the heart that one can see well", presented in April in Brussels. Dedicated to the people of the European Union and the Western Balkans, the mural - art piece created by Rikardo Druškić, one of the most acclaimed young artists from Bosnia and Herzegovina, conveys messages of peace, tolerance, and reconciliation.

Contest for Mural Design and Execution Me for Europe Europe for Me

The jury will select the three best solutions, and their authors will have one month to draw the mural, in accordance with the proposed and chosen concept.

An amount of 1.000 EUR is earmarked for the preliminary design and the drawing process of each individual mural. The mural fabrication material will be provided from the EU4ME project.

The competition is conducted in accordance with the Strategy for Public Information on the Accession of Montenegro to the European Union 2019-2022, within the framework of the EU4ME project, funded by the European Union, and implemented by UNDP.

Considering that the European Union's youth policy is one of the most important ones it implements, and that research data shows that young people are the most enthusiastic when it comes to EU membership and that they will benefit the most from membership, the murals and the competition are aimed at bringing Montenegro's EU accession closer to young people and encouraging them to become more actively involved in the European integration process.

The primary goal of the communication strategy is to contribute to a better understanding of the process of European integration among citizens and to provide support to Montenegro's EU accession process.

Find more information on the contest at the website eu.me, or read more about Montenegro's EU accession process at TMN's dedicated page.

03 Aug 2019, 19:49 PM

Jovanka Lalicic, MP and member of the DPS Tivat Municipal Committee, was elected president of the Tivat Municipal Committee by the newly formed Tivat Democratic Party of Socialists Municipal Committee, the party announced. She was elected unanimously.

Jovanka Lalicic received the consent of the Presidency of the Party after it took a unique and principled stance on deaccumulation and the inability of the President of the Municipal Committee to be the President of the Municipality at the same time.

The session was attended by Predrag Nenezic, Coordinator on behalf of the Presidency of the Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro and Goran Jevric, Coordinator on behalf of the Executive Board of the DPS of Montenegro.

Jovanka Lalicic thanked the former President of the Municipal Committee as well as the members of the Municipal Committee for their unanimous support and emphasized that she was honored with the confidence given, which additionally obliges her to perform this responsible function in a quality manner and exclusively in the interest of the Party.

At the session of the Municipal Board after the decision on the method of election and the number of members of the Executive Board was adopted, the Municipal Board unanimously, at the proposal of the President of the Municipal Committee, also elected a new Executive Committee.

Explaining the criteria for the composition of the Executive Board, Jovanka Lalicic emphasized that one of the principles used to nominate candidates was precisely the deaccumulation of functions, but also respect for the principles of national, gender and territorial representation.

Coordinator Predrag Nenezic, expressed his satisfaction with the job done - the election of a new Municipal Committee, the President, but also the composition of the new Executive Committee. He is convinced that the new leadership of the party will continue with the successful implementation of the party's programs and goals, which will result in even greater citizen confidence and better results in the upcoming elections.

At the session, members of the Municipal Committee were briefed on the documents for the preparation of the upcoming DPS Congress, which will be held in November this year - concludes the announcement of MC DPS Tivat.

01 Aug 2019, 00:23 AM

31 July 2019 - The Secretary-General of the Government of Montenegro has published the fourth issue of Eurokaz - Magazine on EU integration of Montenegro in July 2019.

The latest issue of Eurokaz emphasizes the importance of Montenegro's accession to the European Union, and the authors of the articles and their interlocutors talk about Montenegro’s accomplishments during the seven years of the negotiation process, the importance of proclaiming Salina in Ulcinj a nature park, Montenegrin prosciutto as a quality Montenegrin product that deserves European attention, regional cooperation, as well as many other topics of importance for the EU accession process.

Within a number of columns, Eurokaz presents the current status of the negotiation process, the results of the reforms that Montenegro is implementing in the accession process, successful examples of the use of EU funds, as well as evaluations by the partners from the civil sector.

“EU membership will present numerous opportunities before our citizens and our country as a whole. We need to be prepared in time and be informed in the right way. For this reason, the Ministry of European Affairs started the Eurokaz, which is the result of our desire to present to the citizens of Montenegro, to our friends and partners the activities and mission of this sector of the Government and to familiarize the citizens with the EU accession process and to keep them informed of the development along that path,” said Aleksandar Andrija Pejović, Minister of European Affairs.

Interviewees of Eurokaz from Montenegrin institutions and organizations, as well as representatives of EU Member States, speak on current topics in the negotiation process and on the current issues in the field of EU functioning.

The magazine is published every six months and is available on the websites of the Office for European Integration and eu.me.

The authors of Eurokaz include representatives of the Government of Montenegro, journalists of Montenegrin print and electronic media and representatives of the civil sector.

“Every six months, Eurokaz will testify to the dedication and decisiveness of the society to take Montenegro to the group of the most developed countries of the European continent, point out to the remaining but also to the fulfilled tasks and commitments from all negotiation fields,” highlighted  Mr. Pejović.

The fourth issue of Eurokaz can be downloaded here, while you can review and download earlier issues here.

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

26 Jul 2019, 00:47 AM

24 July 2019 - Over the past period, significant progress has been made in joining the EU, but instead of slowing down, the negotiating structure has new tasks and activities to intensify reforms that will lead to the completion of accession negotiations, it was estimated at the meeting of the Negotiating Group, reported the Office for European Integrations of Montenegro.

The twentieth session of the Negotiating Group, chaired by Chief Negotiator Aleksandar Drljević, was held today in Podgorica.

Members of the Negotiating Group discussed the current and planned activities of the negotiating structure aimed at fulfilling the final benchmarks and the implementation of recommendations from the European Commission's Montenegro 2019 Report.

Chief Negotiator Aleksandar Drljević assessed that a large number of obligations and significant results were achieved in the previous period, but that additional efforts are needed in the forthcoming period in order to maintain the dynamics and quality of the process, and, above all, to further improve the standard of living.

"It is the right moment is to intensify reforms in the negotiation process, because Montenegro entered the final stage of the negotiations, which will be completed by opening chapter 8 - Competition. After the elections and a new organization in EU institutions, we have received confirmation that Brussels' commitment to enlargement to the Western Balkans remains unchanged, which gives us additional motivation to engage and dedicate ourselves to our part of the job," the Chief Negotiator stressed.

Bearing in mind that Montenegro is entering the mature phase of the negotiation process which requires the highest commitment of all members of the negotiating structure, it is determined to respond effectively to all the requirements of the process. In this context, the negotiators pointed out that in July, the work and meetings of the Collegium for Negotiations, the Rule of Law Council, Negotiating Group and 32 negotiating working groups were intensified, the recommendations from the EC Report were reviewed, as well as a detailed plan of activities of all bodies for the upcoming period. In order to intensify reform activities and accelerate the negotiation process, the working groups actively monitor the activities that lead to meeting the final benchmarks and recommendations from the EC Report.

Furthermore, members of the Negotiating Group discussed the findings of the working groups which expressed disagreement with the individual evaluations from this year's EC Report and pointed out that the Group will inform the European Commission about this.

With the aim of better promotion of the negotiation process and presentation of the achieved results and further obligations in the accession to the EU, more active participation of the members of the Negotiating Group was agreed in activities aimed at improving the information of citizens about the EU and the negotiation process, through more active cooperation with local self-governments, academic and business community and civil sector.

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

23 Jul 2019, 22:22 PM

22 July 2019 - President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović received the NATO Commander for Transformation Andrea Lanat, who is visiting Montenegro.

President Đukanović expressed satisfaction with the visit of Commander Lanata at a time when Montenegro is proudly marking the two-year membership in the Alliance. During that period, as well as during the accession process, Montenegro recognized numerous chances that membership in the club offers, understanding the responsibility of membership, and accepting that it is the only reliable prospect for stability in Southeast Europe.

"In Montenegro, you have a reliable partner and a responsible member promoting the European and Euro-Atlantic value system in this part of the continent," Đukanović said in an announcement by the Cabinet of the President of Montenegro.

He expressed satisfaction with the completion of Montenegro's integration process in NATO and thanked the Alliance's support for the implementation of activities for the accession and integration of the national system in NATO over the past two years. Montenegro remains actively committed to NATO's priorities and directions, including open door policy and support for the integration of Northern Macedonia, and presence in Alliance missions.

The commander of NATO's Allied Command emphasized that he was honored at the occasion of his visit to Montenegro in such an important moment, which is the completion of Montenegro's integration into NATO. He congratulated the Montenegrin Team and the President personally on everything that was done in the integration process and invested efforts, stressing that the success of the process is not merely the defense sector of all institutions.

"I am impressed with everything that has been done in the past two years, it was a collective effort, comprehensive and efficient. With your integration process, you gave an example to others in the region," Lanata said, with gratitude to Montenegro for the support it provides to Northern Macedonia on its full integration path.

Lanata stressed that Montenegro will continue to have strong support from the Allied Command that will continue to work closely with Montenegro in further aspects of adaptation and transformation.

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

20 Jul 2019, 20:57 PM

20 July 2019 - President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović received the Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia Mitja Močnik on a farewell visit, and on that occasion gave him a medal for merit on behalf of the state of Montenegro.

The President of Montenegro emphasized that the high state recognition is a result of the exceptional interstate cooperation and support and understanding of Slovenia, which as such dates back to the Yugoslav times, and is particularly intensified in the period after the restoration of independence.

"Emphasizing that interstate connections are always made by people, the ambassador of Slovenia was awarded medal as a mark of respect for personal professional and friendly contribution to the improvement of relations and a full understanding of Montenegro's need to build its European future," said Đukanović in the announcement of the Office of the President of Montenegro.

"Thanks to that, the voice of Montenegro has also been heard from friends like you, the representative of an EU member state, who has a special sensitivity to Montenegro's aspirations, when we are moving forward towards the EU, believing in the perspective of the European perspective," said President of Montenegro.

Đukanović also pointed to an appropriate relationship of trust between Montenegro and Slovenia with high marks for the quality of bilateral cooperation, especially in the field of economy, and its value in terms of adopting new knowledge and standards. Special gratitude to Slovenia for the development aid that continuously provides to Montenegro.

Ambassador Močnik, with gratitude for his recognition, emphasized that he is honored to have served his country in Montenegro and contributed to the improvement of interstate cooperation.

"Medal for merits is also a recognition for my predecessors and the state officials of Slovenia in continuity," Močnik said.

With the assessment that Montenegro deserves the affection of the future structure of the EC, the ambassador of Slovenia said that the country will continue to give full contribution to the integration of Montenegro into the EU.

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

19 Jul 2019, 23:26 PM

19 July 2019 - Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Policy and Financial System of Montenegro Milutin Simović hosted today the United States Ambassador to Montenegro Judy Rising Reinke.

In the report of the Cabinet of Deputy Prime Minister of Montenegro, it was noted that Montenegro and the United States maintain excellent bilateral and partnership relations at all levels. Deputy Prime Minister Simović and United States Ambassador to Montenegro Judy Rising Reinke agreed that the circumstances of the existence of stable, allied relations between the two countries in the coming period should be used to boost economic and trade ties further, and to identify and implement concrete business and investment projects.

Deputy Prime Minister of Montenegro Milutin Simović presented the measures the Government of Montenegro has successfully implemented in the fiscal consolidation process, thus creating a favourable business and investment environment, and the plans for further economic development, stressing the Government's willingness to undertake activities, in cooperation with the United States Embassy and Ambassador Judy Rising Reinke, to draw attention of the United States investors to the potential of projects' implementation in Montenegro. Deputy Prime Minister Milutin Simović referred to energy, agriculture, tourism and infrastructure as particularly attractive investment fields.

Ambassador Judy Rising Reinke pointed out that Montenegro has taken steps towards strengthening its economy, overall stability and increasing the standard of living. She added that work on improving the business climate should be continued, which would enable a greater presence of the United States investors, which is one of her priorities.

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19 Jul 2019, 01:25 AM

17 July 2019 - During the first half of the year, out of 134 commitments planned by the EU Accession Programme, Montenegro fulfiled 95 commitments, that is, more than 70%, while the expected realisation of final regulations in the next few weeks will significantly increase the overall level of commitments, Deputy Chief Negotiator Marko Mrdak told the press following Cabinet session, reported the Office for European Integrations.

At this session, the Government passed the Report on the implementation of the Programme on Accession of Montenegro to the European Union 2019-2020, for the first half of 2019.

"Out of 134 planned commitments, 95 (71%) were fulfilled, out of 84 planned laws and by-laws 52 (62%) were implemented, while out of 50 planned strategic documents, 43 (86%)  were fulfilled," Mr Mrdak said.

The cabinet meeting also adopted the Information on the Collegium for Negotiations' guidelines for the further functioning of the negotiating structure, defined at the 22nd session of the Collegium, with a view to intensifying the dynamics of the negotiating process and achieving better results in the continuation of the EU accession process.

In addition to agreeing that meetings of the Negotiating Group, Rule of Law Council and the Collegium for Negotiations with the EU will take place once a month, and that meetings of all working groups will take place by 15 July, it was agreed that periodic meetings of line ministers with non-governmental organisations that are members of working groups should be organised.

"In this way, not only do we want to formally boost the system of cooperation with civil society organisations, but essentially find a mechanism for improving all public policies and the use of all knowledge in our society. We can say that the Government has defined the most intensive and most dynamic a plan of work in the coming period, focusing on all of its expert capacities and consulting the political level," Deputy Chief Negotiator Mrdak concluded.

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14 Jul 2019, 21:00 PM

13 July 2019 - The Communication Team of the Interdepartmental Commission of the Council for NATO launched a media campaign aimed at improving providing information to the public about all the aspects of Montenegro's membership in the North Atlantic Alliance, as Government of Montenegro reported.

A multi-month campaign has been created in line with the Communication Strategy - Montenegro NATO member for the period until 2020, adopted by the Government of Montenegro on 28 June last year and in partnership with NATO and the experts of the Government of the United Kingdom, with whom the Government Montenegro developed its first Communication Strategy.

During the campaign, the Communication Team will, in partnership with the interested media and NGOs, open up topics related to NATO membership that are of interest to the public.

A public opinion poll conducted prior to the development of the Communication Strategy Montenegro NATO member for the period until 2020, as well as research carried out during the preparation of the campaign, commissioned by two specialised agencies, showed that most citizens of Montenegro feel safe in their environment, and Montenegro in general.

Furthermore, more citizens of Montenegro today feel more secure than they felt before the country became a member of NATO.

Although citizens are divided in their opinion about the sense of security, a slightly higher proportion of the Montenegrin citizens believe that Montenegro is safer today than it was ten years ago.

The Montenegrin citizens who are against NATO say that the country "should be neutral". However, almost half of them (45%) cannot name any neutral state in Europe. They consider some of the countries neutral that are founders of NATO (Norway) or that are members (Slovenia).

Both advocates and opponents of Montenegro's membership in NATO share the view that the key aspect of membership is the security of the country.

According to the research, more citizens believe that Montenegro’s membership in NATO has contributed to regional security. The number of citizens of Montenegro who consider that Montenegro’s membership in NATO does not contribute to regional security has declined.

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