30 Jun 2019, 15:04 PM

30 June 2019 - At a recent joint press statement following the tenth meeting of the Stabilisation and Association Council between the EU and Montenegro, it was highlighted that The SA Council encouraged Montenegro to make further efforts to improve key areas like the rule of law, economic governance and public administration, and welcomed the country’s positive track record in implementing its obligations under the Stabilisation and Association Agreement.

The EU-Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Council (SA Council) held its tenth meeting on 27 June 2019. The meeting was chaired by Ambassador/State Secretary Zoran Janković of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro. H.E. Luminița Odobescu, Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Romania to the European Union, led the EU delegation on behalf of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini. Ms Genoveva Ruiz Calavera, Director for the Western Balkans represented the European Commission.

The SA Council meeting provided a timely opportunity to review Montenegro's progress in its preparations for accession and to consider priorities for further work within the framework of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement.

In the context of the accession negotiations, the SA Council welcomed the opening of two additional chapters since the last meeting. The SA Council encouraged Montenegro to continue its work on meeting all benchmarks and to continue focusing on the fundamentals of the accession process: rule of law, economic governance and public administration reform. It encouraged Montenegro to continue the genuine inclusion of civil society and other stakeholders in preparations for EU accession and the policy-making process in general.

Concerning the Copenhagen political criteria, the SA Council noted the prolonged boycott of Parliament by parts of the opposition and encouraged all political actors to fully return the political debate to the democratic institutions, notably to Parliament, where it belongs. The SA Council recalled the importance of a comprehensive reform of the electoral framework, and of addressing the findings and recommendations of electoral observation missions. It also underlined the need to continue to provide a credible, independent and effective institutional response to allegations of corruption and illegal political party financing.

The SA Council noted the results already achieved by Montenegro on reforming its legal and institutional framework and establishing an initial track record in most areas under chapters 23 and 24. It stressed that Montenegro’s overall priority in the accession negotiations and the next important step ahead, was the fulfilment of the interim benchmarks set under chapters 23 and 24. It, therefore, encouraged Montenegro to continue intensifying its efforts, in particular by addressing the remaining shortcomings in certain key areas, such as media freedom, the fight against corruption and trafficking in human beings. It stressed that concrete results in the area of the rule of law were now crucial.

The SA Council strongly commended Montenegro for its consistent cooperation with the EU on foreign policy issues, in particular, its continuous full alignment with the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy. The Council also welcomed that Ulcinj Salina has been proclaimed a nature park and encouraged further efforts of Montenegro to protect the Salina and to improve the management of all protected areas and other potential Natura 2000 sites. It also held an exchange of views on developments in Montenegro and the Western Balkans.

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

30 Jun 2019, 03:08 AM

29 June 2019 - Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković recently hosted Vice President of Bulgaria Iliana Iotova, reports Government of Montenegro.

During the meeting, it was concluded that friendly and partnership relations between Montenegro and Bulgaria are in particular strengthened by Bulgaria's continued support during Montenegro's accession to NATO and now in the process of EU integration.

"Our relations can hardly be better than they are. They could only become stronger in terms of economic cooperation," said Prime Minister Marković.

He thanked the Vice Presidents of Bulgaria for the important initiative that last year, during the Bulgarian presidency of the European Union, actualised the issue of enlargement of the Union, which resulted in the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia. The Prime Minister added that the initiative launched by President Boyko Borisov to include the Adriatic-Ionian corridor on the list of European corridors co-financed by the European Union was of paramount significance for Montenegro.

Vice President Iotova announced the continuation of strong support for the European integration process of Montenegro and other Western Balkan countries, especially stressing that Bulgaria insists on regatta principle or on a separate evaluation of the success of each candidate country. Prime Minister Marković reiterated Montenegro's firm position on the need to open accession talks with Northern Macedonia and Albania.

Bulgaria's Vice President pledged her country's support to the initiative of Montenegro to open the International Institute for Sustainable Technologies.

The meeting concluded that it is a mutual interest to include Bulgaria in the governing part of the Berlin Process for the Western Balkan countries.

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

29 Jun 2019, 01:10 AM

28 June 2019 - During the conference Seven Years of Montenegro's negotiations with the EU, Prime Minister Duško Marković noted that Montenegro’s goals coincide with the goals of the enlargement process, that Montenegro has progressed confidently towards the EU although it is the first time that a new, more demanding negotiating model is being implemented, that it had been  implementing some policies as if it was already an EU member state and that the Government will organise meetings with relevant non-governmental organisations in order to provide the synergy of the accession process.

"The most important political priorities of Montenegro are compatible with the goals of the enlargement process. Regional cooperation, reaching European standards and promoting of democratic values and the rule of law, together with economic development are within its core. It is what drives us and what we consider as the highest value for Montenegro, the Western Balkan region but also for the EU. Montenegro has progressed confidently towards membership in the EU. We have started negotiations based on a new model which is being implementing for the first time, negotiations based on the new and demanding principles. Montenegro is the first country with this level of involvement of civil society, faced with different challenges. A special Montenegro’s feature is that in this period we have carried out a parallel NATO integration process and two years ago we became the 29th NATO member. We have to agree that this was a special endeavour of a whole administration. We strongly promote European values trough the fulfilment of the obligations on the path to the EU and it is our most important foreign policy goal. Today, Montenegro’s accession to the EU is supported by two - third of citizens, according to the latest research," Prime Minister Duško Marković stated at the opening of the conference Seven years of Montenegro’s negotiations with the EU, which was sponsored by NGO Centre for Civic Education in Podgorica.

According to the report by the Government of Montenegro, speaking about Montenegro’s achievements, the Prime Minister stated that Montenegro has opened 32 out of 33 negotiating chapters and that Montenegro has support of 22 EU member states for the opening of the remaining chapter.

"However, the work on Chapter 23 – Judiciary and Fundamental Rights and 24 – Justice, Freedom and Security marked the previous period. Most of the temporary benchmarks have been fulfilled (83).  Implementing or amending over 70 laws in chapters 23 and 24 significantly improved the legislative framework in key areas which speaks volumes about the scope and complexity of the reform process in the rule of law area. I want to highlight that institutional framework for law implementation is significantly strengthen by strengthening the administrative capacity of the existing one, but also by establishing new institutions such as Anti-Corruption Agency, Special State Prosecutor’s Office, Sector for seized property, Centre for training of the judiciary and the State Prosecutor’s Office, Centre for asylum seekers and the Reception center for foreigners. I want to point to the concrete results which have been recognised in the last European Commission's report for Montenegro. In addition to the continuous progress in the legislative field and in the area of institution building, the European Commission notes the initial balance of the results achieved in the fight against high-level corruption and in the certain areas of organised crime, such as money laundering, financial investigations, temporary seizure of the property acquired through criminal activity. It was noted, as well, that the progress achieved in judicial cooperation, as well as boosted international police cooperation, yield concrete results," the Prime Minister pointed out.

When referring to the achievements of the negotiation process, the Prime Minister said that around 800 students and teachers attended one of the European universities, that Montenegro has achieved a national target of 33% of renewable energy sources in total final consumption and that the country has been successfully planned over EUR 260 million of non-refundable support from the European Union and achieved significant success in their use.

"Since 2014, within the framework of the Berlin Process, through the Western Balkan Investment Framework, Montenegro has received 120 million euros of EU support for seven infrastructure projects, with additional funds for project preparation. Finally, with regard to investment in infrastructure financed or co-financed by EU funds, during the first seven years of negotiations, funds of approximately EUR 167 million have been approved for infrastructure projects in various fields and for various purposes. When dealing with this topic, I want to look at an important fact that is being ignored when it comes to not only the presence but also the commitment of the EU to the Western Balkans. Many analyzes show that over the past 10 years, the European Union has invested over 8 billion euros in the region. Are our citizens familiar with the fact? Such data are often in the shadow of other, more bureaucratic messages, which, although they are also important, do not indicate the true extent of the Union's commitment to the Western Balkans and Montenegro. Such messages must come from high addresses of the Union, as well as from us who implement and promote the European Union's policy and its values. The perception must not be determined only by dry data, but by the overall picture of why the accession process is important and how important it is to both sides. Especially because the Union we are aiming for is undeniably more present than other actors in the region," Prime Minister Duško Marković pointed out.

The Prime Minister concluded by announcing new meetings with the non-governmental sector in order to re-ensure the synergy of the negotiation process.

"Cooperation with the civil sector and non-governmental organisations is an important part of the process. As we know, since the beginning of the negotiation process, we have been open to their contribution, and it has been very important in these seven years, both from the aspect of independent monitoring, but also in terms of providing knowledge the administration lacks. Lately, the Government has suffered constant criticism that we have abated our desire for such cooperation. In the context of the new approach, we will put this issue on the agenda by organising a meeting with all NGOs which take part in working groups and other relevant NGOs to restore confidence and synergy in this key process for us. The Government is, if it is wrong, ready to confess its mistake as it is ready for cooperation," Prime Minister Duško Marković stressed.

CEO of the Regional Office of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Foundation Max Brandle, the Executive Director of Centre for Civic Education Daliborka Uljarević, Chief Negotiator Aleksandar Drljević and Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro, Ambassador Aivo Orav, also spoke at the conference.

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

28 Jun 2019, 23:51 PM

28 June 2019 - Prime Minister Duško Marković recently hosted a delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), led by Head of the IMF Mission to Montenegro Srikant Seshadri.

According to the report by the Government of Montenegro, the meeting concluded that the Fiscal Strategy, adopted by the Government two years ago, was successful and generally yields good and expected results and that the maintenance of fiscal discipline remains a priority of the Government in the forthcoming period.

"This Government will abide by all obligations arising from our Fiscal Consolidation Programme, addressing the needs of citizens and development," Prime Minister Marković said at the meeting.

PM Marković Hosts IMFs Delegation Economic Growth of Montenegro Exceeded Expectation 2

The Prime Minister and the Head of the IMF Mission to Montenegro agreed that economic growth over the past two years exceeded the expectations of international experts and pointed out that such a high base is a challenge in this year and in the next period, especially after the completion of the priority section of the Bar – Boljare motorway. In this context, PM Marković reiterated Montenegro's determination to continue working on creating all the preconditions for defining the planning and financial elements of the continuation of the motorway construction on the principle of a sustainable solution.

The IMF delegation said that in the coming period it will focus on: reform of the pension system, public sector optimisation and full harmonisation of our tax system with the European Union system.

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

28 Jun 2019, 11:58 AM
June 28, 2019 - The Mayor of Kotor, Vladimir Jokić, and the President of the Kotor Municipal Assembly, Dragica Perovic, assessed the position of the Montenegrin Government regarding the political situation in that town as a flagrant violation of the Constitution, laws, and decisions of the Government of Montenegro itself. The Government announced yesterday that it was acquainted with the alleged sitting of the local parliament and the majority ruling led by the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) to mutilate Perovic.
The meeting held yesterday at the hotel Vardar, which the Government considered a Kotor Municipal Assembly legitimate session, since representatives of Kotor find "informal cafes to gather group members" that cannot produce any legal consequences.
Kotor leaders objected to Prime Minister Duško Marković's cabinet, which did not react to Jokic's demands that the Government dispose of the Kotor Municipal Assembly and form a Committee of Commissioners to perform the assembly duties to extraordinary elections. Also, they overwhelm their disapproval of their own decision on 30 May, when the Government warned the Municipality of Kotor for a threat of dissolution and gave it 20 days to begin serving it.
Jokic and Perovic point out that the deadline the Government left to the Municipality of Kotor expired on 23 June.
Therefore, the Government could only decide on that day to dissolve the Kotor Assembly and initiate the procedure for extraordinary local elections in that city. However, as pointed out, the Government decided that due to the party's need for DPS, the official position that was adopted at the session of the Government under the feet dropped the Constitution, laws and personal dignity, disregarding its decision as of 30 May.
Jokic and Perovic announced that they would continue with all legal means in front of the Montenegrin courts to fight, as they say, the legal and political violence and the DPS's intent to change the local Government in Kotor with political corruption.
The Government will not dissolve the Municipal Assembly (SO) Kotor, but will "keep track of the further development of the situation" after they have been informed that a session of the SO has been held.
In Kotor, the Assembly has not functioned for half a year because the budget was not adopted, and from the end of April, the crisis deepened even further.
"The Government was informed that the session of the Assembly of Kotor was held today. We will carefully monitor the further development of the situation and react accordingly to provide citizens with the right to local self-government", as confirmed by the executive power branch.
Seventeen members of the DPS, SD, HGI, LP and the member of whom SDP claims to be excluded from that party, Bruna Lončarević, voted publicly at the Hotel Vardar yesterday, deciding to resign Dragica Perović from the Kotor Municipal Assembly Chairman.
They nominated Željko Avramović (DPS) for President of the Assembly and announced that they would elect a new permanent president of the local parliament within 30 days.
DPS and partners call for Perovic and Jokić to respect their decision, stamp out the assembly hall in the Byzantine palace and return the stamp of the Kotor Municipality Assembly which, as they said, was taken out of the building for which they announced the filing of criminal charges against Perovic and Jokić.
"As a majority of 17, we have the right to make decisions on behalf of citizens who gave us confidence in the local elections in 2016," said Aprcovic.
From the discussion of the representatives of these clubs attending yesterday's session, as well as Bruna Lončarević, it was suggested that the new majority constituency controlled by the DPS would continue to perform local authority in the city and that they do not want to go to extraordinary local elections as requested by Jokić and Perovic.
Vido Drašković (LP) said that Perovic and Jokić did not have the confidence of the deputies and that they had to be abandoned earlier.
"Political struggle takes place with political means, not physical barriers, and I hope that from today in Kotor everything will go legally and better," Ljiljana Velić (HGI) said.
"We are not a group of citizens gathered in the street, but 17 responsible men who are seriously doing their job because they have given their citizens confidence," said Bozidar Zvicer (SD).
Bruna Loncarevic, who the SDP claims to be excluded from the party, said that Dragica Perovic was only one of the delegates in the Municipal Assembly, nothing more significant or more important than the others. The only difference is that it presides over and what it is to defend the Constitution, the Law and the Rules of Procedure and to know them a little better than others, to stand behind the law and to represent the Assembly.
Loncarevic told her not to be offended when someone says that this is what they do because they are a symbol of freedom. Nor is it legal offensive or all that is written about her for these days because she "feels her where she is now with these people whom the people have chosen."
She said that she was "unfortunately part of a multi-colored coalition" that has so far ruled Kotor. "Everything was mixed, we got nothing and everything we have to throw," Loncarevic said.
The delegates of DPS, SD, HGI, LP and Bruna Lončarević, who had been on their way for the 21st session of the SO Kotor, did not enter the Byzantine palace yesterday, which was still sealed with the decision of Perovic and Jokic. Therefore, they decided to hold a session for the congress hall "Vardar" already prepared.
Asked by journalists whether the other members of the Assembly of Kotor were informed that they would hold a session at the "Vardar" Hotel after they could not enter the assembly hall in the Byzantine palace, chairman Željko Avramović he replied that they were not.
"They knew where they should be at 10 o'clock when the session was scheduled. We are not going to inform them at the courier service now, "Avramovic said.
On the agenda of the Vardar hotel session, there was only one theme for DPS, SD, HGI, LP, and Lončarević for solving President Dragica Perović, who unanimously adopted them.
Perovic and Jokić consider this move by the new majority to be unlawful, as the President of the Assembly of  Kotor scheduled two days ago the 10th parliamentary session to discuss the initiative of DPS, SD, HGI, LP, and Lončarević for her dismissal.
Source: Vijesti

27 Jun 2019, 18:16 PM

27 June 2019 - Minister of Defence of Montenegro Predrag Bošković participated in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the level of Defence Ministers in Brussels. 

The meeting discussed the guidelines for further work in order to ensure the smooth implementation of Alliance policies. 

The ministers analyzed the modern security environment in order to develop the ability to provide an adequate and timely response to all potential challenges, in line with NATO's aspirations for constant adaptation to current developments on a global scale. A special focus was on innovations in the field of technological development, especially in the field of military technology, that is, the development of modern equipment and weapons. 

As Ministry of Defence of Montenegro reported, the meeting of NATO defence ministers is being held in the key period for the future of the Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles Agreement, which is an important element of arms control, and therefore the overall European security. Participants of the meeting stressed that NATO will pay special attention to strengthening the defence activities and deterring all potential threats. 

It is certain that the nature of security challenges is constantly changing, and that it requires a comprehensive and binding response from all international actors. Once again, the importance of coordinating the actions of NATO and the European Union, which remains an important partner of the Alliance, is emphasised. The ministers reminded that the fulfillment of the tasks envisaged and the future forms of cooperation will continue in the coming months. 

Minister Bošković emphasised the importance of the efforts that the Allies are making to adjust to modern security flows. He stressed the importance of unity within NATO in responding to threats that can come from all strategic directions, and the commitment of the Alliance to protect citizens and its entire territory. Minister Bošković said that Montenegro, as a reliable and credible ally, is responsibly approaching the fulfillment of NATO policies, and that as a reliable ally, Montenegro will continue to implement the guidelines adopted by the Alliance.

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

27 Jun 2019, 18:08 PM

27 June 2019 - Montenegrin Parliament Speaker, Ivan Brajović, said that Montenegro, as a NATO member state and the first new European Union member state, having in mind the level of development it has achieved so far, understands the significance of developing partnership and better cross-country connectivity in all areas for better economic and social development, i.e. more secure future for its citizens.

Ivan Brajović was a speaker at the meeting held in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he met many high-ranking officials. He had a speech on the topic "Better connectivity for a better life – How to incorporate genuine changes in the regional cooperation?", as reported by CdM.

“Montenegro endorses the goals of the Regional Cooperation Council referring to connectivity. Signing the agreement which brings us one step closer to free roaming zone best proves the visible benefits of the regional cooperation,” emphasized Brajović, adding that Montenegro is to take over chairing the Central European Initiative and it will strive to reinforce the mechanisms of regional coordination.

During his stay in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro’s Parliament Speaker had talks with the member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr Šefik Džaferović, as well as the member of the Collegium in the House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly, Mr Denis Zvizdić, who is also the President of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

They shared information on economic indicators, current in-country political and social events, as well as opinions on the European perspective of the Western Balkans.

Stressing the importance of NATO membership, Brajović reiterated the readiness of Montenegro to assist all countries that wish to join the Alliance.

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

27 Jun 2019, 11:57 AM
June 27, 2019 - The Municipality of Tivat addressed Prime Minister Duško Marković with the request to take measures to deter certain parts of the coast of Tivat as a public good, withholding them from leasing through the Sea Property and remaining on the management of the city, of which they are a crucial part.
It is the town's waterfront Pine, the town port of Kalimanj and the largest Tivat public beach of Ponta Seljanova. About ten days ago, the Sea Property leased the town's harbor and the Pine promenade over a public bid to a private company for 58,380 euros a year, which led Tivat's local company to lose the right to manage the town's row.  Tivat became a rare example of a city on the Adriatic that lost its waterfront and the city dock. Ponta Seljanova has also recently been leased to companies settled on Russian capital, and there is also a relative danger that something similar would happen to Tivat's city port of Kalimanj, which is about to be launched via public bid for the choice of a tenant of the port of local importance in the state ownership.
"Certain localities in the territory of our municipality are of great importance to Tivat and are located in the area of the Sea Property. We are addressing the request and the desire to protect them in such a way that they are not subject to any leasehold practices followed by public tendering procedures," says a letter Tivat Mayor, Sinisa Kusovac sent to the Prime Minister Duško Marković a few days ago.
In the correspondence prepared by Tivat's Secretary for Sustainable Development and Planning Tamara Furtula and the municipal manager, Marko Petričević, Pine, Ponta Seljanova and Kalimanj are located on the shores of particular public interest for Tivat.
The municipality has indicated in the letter to Markovic that the shore of Pine, which Sea Property signed the lease contract for five years with a new leaseholder, entrepreneur Pavle Mićunović, is "the heart of the city" and "the most important location in our town." They have reminded that the local administration has been demanding that for years to come to the coast of the center of Tivat on the move from the building of the Port of Captain from Pine to Belane. 
"Riva Pine, the most vulnerable location in our town, according to the plan - the promenade of the Lungo Mare has recently been reconstructed by the project solution obtained through the competition, and any interventions opposed to the project are not desirable. In light of the fact, it is the center of the city with well-kept city baths and a seafront promenade. In previous years, our Utility Company concluded a contract on the use of the sea property to manage the pier at the location of Pine and managed in the best possible way this part of the coast that was available to all, primarily to Tivat citizens, respecting the terms of the contract. The "Jadran" was berthed here as a recognizable decoration of Pine," reads the letter to Markovic who was informed by the Tivat Municipalities that the private person "offered an unrealistically high price for the lease of Pine," which caused the Commune to lose bids in the Sea Property.
"Now the connection of the "Jadran" ship to this location is under the sign of the question, as well as the interests of the citizens of Tivat. In the tourist offer of the city, all the art and cultural events took place at the location of Pine, which is now also questionable." The Tivat Mayor reminded the prime minister of one of the principles of the recently adopted Spatial Plan of Special Purpose for the Coastal Area, saying that it is the necessary respect for traditions and acquired rights.
"There is also a public good in the coastal area, along the shore of the public interest, which has the significance and character of communal property - a space that is entirely in the service of the local community and has a general nature. Such areas can be excluded from the sea property area, and this applies to city parks along the coast, city walkways, which at the same time have the function of accessing the beach and the sea," quotes the memo of this principle from the Spatial Plan of Special Purpose for the Coastal Area.
Tivat's ousters now demanded from Prime Minister Markovic "to recognize the public interest of the citizens of Tivat" and to help them "protect it."
"Please take the necessary steps to keep these essential localities (Pine, Kalimanj and Ponta Seljanova) in the service of the local noise and keep the public character," concludes Kusovac's speech to the Prime Minister.
To the problem of gradual privatization and excessive commercialization of the almost complete Tivat coast, otherwise, for years in that city warned the opposition, and the local DPS-SD-HGI authority so far has dismissed such objections and pleaded with the city's lack of expertise in planning and using its seashore. The right to self through the centralist laws was invoked exclusively by the state. Tivat's DPS and HGI, which have their representatives among the deputies in the Criminal Defense Department of Montenegro and ministers in the Government, have so far failed to advertise and try to prevent fundamental executive forces from giving critical local resources such as Pine, Ponte Seljanova and Kalimanj to the Sea Property tenders. 
Interestingly, though they sent a letter to the prime minister on 19 June asking for the Government to suspend the leasing of three key locations on the Tivat coast, DPS Tivat did not want to accept the request of coalition partners from the SD a day earlier, to discuss the problem of privatization of the city waterfront at a local parliament session.
27 Jun 2019, 00:13 AM

25 June 2019 - Accession to the European Union is one of the strongest drivers of economic development, which is why all Western Balkan countries have an interest in pursuing this path, with a greater presence of the European Union and a responsible attitude towards the region, and mutual trust and understanding, said Chief Negotiator for Montenegro Aleksandar Drljević at a conference in Stockholm.

He took part in a ministerial conference on the Western Balkans in Stockholm, which gathered representatives of the European Commission and ministers of foreign affairs and European integration of the Western Balkan countries.

"Accession to the European Union has proven to be one of the strongest drivers of economic development, stability and peace, and we therefore all share the interest in continuing this process," noted Chief Negotiator Aleksandar Drljević in European Integration Office report.

Chief Negotiator for Montenegro Aleksandar Drljević also added that investing in the stability and prosperity of the region is, in fact, an investment in the security and the future of the European Union and Europe as a whole. On the other hand, the citizens of the countries of the Western Balkans have higher expectations than the European Union.

"They expect the Union to be even more present in our region, as an internationally recognised actor and donor, with even greater attention to this part of the continent, as well as to encourage further reforms, taking into account progress and results achieved," Chief Negotiator Drljević underscored.

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

26 Jun 2019, 23:57 PM

25 June 2019 - The continuation of the enlargement process and consolidation of the credibility of the Western Balkan European perspective is in the interest of stability, security and prosperity of the region, as well as Europe as a whole, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro Srđan Darmanović and his counterpart from Portugal, Augusto Santos Silva agreed at the meeting that was recently held.

"Montenegro and Portugal are fostering friendly and allied relations and today's talks represent a confirmation of efforts to intensify political dialogue at the highest level and to further strengthen our interstate cooperation," the head of the Montenegrin diplomacy pointed out, thanking Portugal for firmly supporting Montenegro in achieving its foreign policy priorities.

In that regard, he especially emphasised the importance of Portugal's expert and technical assistance in the EU accession process, primarily through the implementation of projects within the TAIEX instruments, reported Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro.

"Our commitment to the integration into the family of the most developed European democracies is essential for the effective fulfillment of obligations from the negotiating agenda and internal reform activities, which yield results in the form of defining a functional legal framework and significant economic progress," added Darmanović. 

Minister Santos Silva stressed that the process of European integration and membership in the EU contribute to political stability and socio-economic progress, emphasizing that Portugal supports the continuation of enlargement, with the continuous adoption of standards and legal regulations by candidate countries. He added that the process of enlargement and internal reforms of the European Union could be implemented in parallel, and in that context, pointed out the importance of intensifying Montenegro's negotiating process and progress in the process of accession to the Union. 

The two ministers agreed that in the coming period special attention should be paid to considering the mechanism of economic cooperation development. They also pointed out that there is room for further expansion of cooperation between the two foreign ministries through the organisation of bilateral political consultations, as well as the overall Montenegrin-Portuguese relations, especially in the fields of science, education and culture.

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

26 Jun 2019, 20:09 PM

26 June 2019 - Montenegrin independence is eternal and so is Montenegro. That’s what Prime Minister Duško Marković said to Milan Knežević during the Prime Minister’s hour, reports CDM. Marković said it in response to Knežević’s statement that Montenegrin independence was regained by bribery. The first man of Montenegrin Government was loud and clear – Democratic Front is allowed to mourn the lost referendum, but they should forget once and for all about bringing Montenegro back into somebody else’s auspices.

Milan Kneževič asked PM to comment on the direct impact of foreign elements on the outcome of the referendum held in 2006, which have been confirmed by the released transcript of the conversation between Milan Roćen and Oleg Deripaska in 2005.

Knežević claims that this conversation is proof that independence was obtained by bribery.

“The Government provided secret guarantee and Kosovo provided free electricity”, said Knežević and added that monument to Oleg Deripaska should be set up in every Montenegrin town.

Marković said that Knežević’s politics was trapped in the ideas of the last century and reminded him of the historical facts and all the way Montenegro had gone through until regaining its independence. He says there are no elements that would change the overall picture of the referendum in 2006, when citizens made a wise choice.

“We’ve gone so far and we can’t let anybody threaten our country now. That’s why we aren’t buying the invalid provocations”, said PM. He told Knežević that his undermining of Montenegrin independence wouldn’t be tolerated anymore.

Marković also commented on the Law on Freedom of Religion and said he hoped the law would have been at desks of the MPs by the end of July.

“People who haven’t even read the law have been discussing it for weeks. The highest Serbian officials, including the president – nobody has read it. This law has been drafted in accordance with the highest standards of the Council of Europe. It’s a contemporary law and establishes right to the religious organization but within this country and its laws, not within some other country”, said PM.

He added that the Venice Commission confirmed the quality of the law and suggested the amendments where necessary.

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

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