12 Jun 2019, 13:39 PM
June 12, 2019 - The main conclusion of the UNESCO mission that ended at the end of last year was that the construction of bridges, as well as the exploitation and disposal of gravel and sand, severely devastated the Tara river bed within the UNESCO protected area "Man and Biosphere," announced the Research Center fof the Network for Affirmation of NGO Sector- MANS.
The UNESCO rating comes after both the European Commission and the European Parliament in their reports to Montenegro recognized the disastrous impact of the construction of the Bar-Boljar highway on the Tara river and demanded urgent enforcement of devastation measures.
The UNESCO report states that compliance with environmental and biological standards for the construction of a motorway is not adequate and does not meet all the necessary parameters, especially in the part where the monitoring results with the instructions for the improvements are not immediately communicated to the contractor and the supervisory authorities. 
What was witnessed in the footage produced by the MANS Research Center in October UNESCO's findings now confirm last year. The Mission registered more landfills, sand and gravel dumps in the mainland, as well as in the Tara River basin itself. UNESCO warns that "although these problems can be addressed after the end of the highway, it is clear that there will be visible impacts even after the completion of construction.
As the main negative impact of UNESCO's construction, it recognizes the fact that the toll ramp and the inclusion/disconnection from the motorway at Matešev are planned and built in the so-called floodplain area, resulting in the devastation of the floodwater character of the river. As stated, this river property is key to maintaining the ecological value of Tara, along with the biodiversity, the particular fauna of the fish. If it were not built in this area, there would be no need for regulation, and the impact on river ecology would be smaller, according to a UNESCO report.
In its recommendations, the Mission proposes to make an immediate assessment and closely monitor the impact of motorway construction on the downstream Tara River and to report on this to UNESCO regularly. UNESCO's recommendation is to modify the existing Strategic Assessment to include all the potential impacts that the works have in the downstream sector and to develop a rigorous Environmental Management Plan that will mitigate all negative effects.
MANS, in cooperation with environmental organizations, has been calling for the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism to stop ignoring the problem that exists on the Tara, which is a direct consequence of the construction of the priority section of the Bar-Boljare highway.
Although since the first record of devastation and filing of criminal reports has been over half a year, no one has so far responded to what has been recognized by all relevant international addresses as a clear breach of not only domestic regulations but also internationally undertaken obligations to protect the Tara River.
The data and whether and to what extent the Chinese CRBC company is reputed is not known because the state has declared it a business secret, and judging by what was publicly available, Minister Pavle Radulovic did nothing to comply with the recommendations of international institutions and mitigate the consequences devastation.
Unfortunately, by such behavior, Minister Radulovic sends a direct message to the contractors and subcontractors for a public letter that devastation will not be punished, that profit above the protection of the environment, and above all that its role in the complete project consists in protecting them rather than the public interest.
MANS will continue, in cooperation with environmental NGOs, to insist on the transparency of the entire project, but also after defining the level of devastation measures for its sanitation, and the penalties all responsible for the multi-month devastation of the Tara River.
Source: mans.co.me
12 Jun 2019, 00:01 AM

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.

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

11 Jun 2019, 23:44 PM

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 Jun 2019, 23:38 PM

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.

Montenegro to Reach Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 2

"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.

Montenegro to Reach Sustainable Development Goals by 2030

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.

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

11 Jun 2019, 22:07 PM
June 11, 2019 - The Council of the Montenegrin Administrative Court annulled this morning the decision to replace the president of the Kotor Municipality, Vladimir Jokic, which he welcomes as a reflection of their readiness to resist political pressures and make the decision before 14 June, thus solving the almost two-month political crisis in that city.
"After political corruption, using legal violence, SDP and opposition DPS, SD, HGI, and LP, tried to take over the power of the citizens, we filed a lawsuit. I am satisfied that the Administrative Court has confirmed all that we have stated in the lawsuit," Jokić said.or
Mayor and Assembly President Dragica Perović had claimed in the previous 45 days that the procedure for his dismissal was utterly unlawful. For his release there was no reason foreseen in Article 62 of the Act on local self-government, and that all activities of the president of the Municipal Assembly, Dragica Perović, were in accordance with the Constitution, Law, Municipal Statute and the Rules of Procedure of the local parliament.
"President of Assembly of Kotor canceled the session scheduled for 14 June, following the Administrative Court judgment, following the Law on Administrative Dispute and the Law on Local Self-Government, having in mind the Rules of Procedure of the local parliament. The SDP, DPS, HGI, SD, and LP members have convened the initiative of that session with only one item of the daily schedule of the election of the president of the Municipality of Kotor. As at this point, after the verdict of the Administrative Court, it is clear that Kotor has a municipal president, it is not possible to choose a new one, so this session is in itself improper," Jokić explained.
By decision of the Administrative Court, the blockade of the work of the Municipality of Kotor and the local public services ended after 45 days. 
"Payments for employees in the Municipality are already paid today. In the forthcoming period, we will try to put together all this chaos, created in the past 45 days by a group of SDP, DPS, HGI, SD, and LP members, to return to normal flows, so that the city could normally function during the summer tourist season," said the president of the Kotor Municipality, Vladimir Jokić.
Jokic expects SDP, DPS, HGI, SD and LP to retake to citizens of Kotor, the city of Kotor and local government employees due to the situation in which they took the town with the treatment for which today, by a ruling of the Administrative Court, once again confirmed that it was in everything against the law.
"The leaders of these parties have once again shown that their party and personal interest is above all, especially above the interests of Kotor and its citizens," said Kotor Mayor Vladimir Jokić.
10 Jun 2019, 12:43 PM
June 10, 2019 - Although the Administrative Court concluded the main hearing on the dismissal of the dismissed President of the Kotor municipality Vladimir Jokic, it did not determine the date of the decision, which, according to Jokic, was a direct violation of the law and a suspicion of the independence of the judiciary.
After the parliamentary decision of 24 April on the termination of the mandate of the President of the municipality of Kotor, consisting of two articles without mentioning any explanation, signed by the secretary of DPS Kotor Željko Avramović, Jokić decided to file a lawsuit with the Administrative Court requesting urgency in acting, expecting the annulment of the decision to dismiss him.
"It is clear that the decision to terminate the mandate was passed in a procedure that did not comply with the law and which as such must be canceled. Following Article 341 of the Law on Civil Procedure, after the oral hearing has been concluded,  the prosecutors had to determine the date on which the decision will be made, which they rejected. Thereby the prosecution is directly violating the law and challenging the independence of the judiciary, especially in this situation when the public interest is threatened and when the functioning for the entire municipality depends on the decision of the Administrative Court," Jokic said after the main hearing.
He stressed that on insisting that the decision should be made before 14 June (the date when the assembly meeting in Kotor was scheduled with one item on the agenda - Election of the President of the Municipality), the Trial Chamber did not have any concrete answer.
"They already concluded in their remarks that they would make decisions within the legal deadline, although they were obliged to announce the date on which the decision will be made after the completion of the main hearing," Jokic said.
As for the political situation in the Kotor municipality, Jokic points out that "it is so clear that it has not been forced to comment too much."
"The DPS tried to take over power in the Kotor municipality by political corruption and a new coalition with the SDP and their councilors, bypassing the electoral will of citizens. They are trying to exert pressure on the court and all the institutions in Montenegro, to do something like that. Their initiative to dismiss the President of the Municipal Council of Kotor, Dragica Perovic, is just one step in their plan. What I must emphasize is that Zeljko Aprcovic (DPS) and Ranko Krivokapic (SDP) with their coalition partners are solely responsible for the non-payment of wages in the Kotor municipality and the city of Kotor. By my unlawful dismissal on 24 April, they left the town abusive, they did not elect the duty officer, and thus prevented the payment of the Municipality of Kotor. Before that meeting, the competent authorities submitted a request for consent to ministries with me to be able to pay salaries and make all current payments. As I was informed, these consents came. However, the fact is that this illegitimate and corrupt parliamentary majority has decided in its illegal session as it has brought. The only culprits, I repeat, are the clubs of DPS, SDP, SD, HGI, and LP, as well as the Krivokapic-Aprcovic duo who coordinated and devised this entire action," Jokic said.
Jokić, among other things, stated in the lawsuit that there was not one reason provided for by the Law on Local Self-Government and the Statute of the Kotor Municipality, which would have been dismissed, and that the claims of councilors who voted for his dismissal were arbitrary and inaccurate.
In the meantime, members of the DPS, SD, HGI, as well as the councilor Bruna Loncarevic, who was excluded from membership by the SDP, initiated the initiative for the replacement of the President of the Municipal Assembly Kotor Dragica Perovic and the election of Zeljko Aprcovic (DPS) for the new mayor.
In the proposal for the election of Aprcovic for the new mayor, it is stated that the DPS, based on the election result and the won 12 mandates in the SO, believes that it should take responsibility at this crisis moment for the municipality of Kotor.
09 Jun 2019, 21:58 PM

08 June 2019 - Montenegro is a safe investment destination and investors from more than 100 countries have confirmed this fact. Our country is one of the most attractive investment destinations in the Mediterranean, especially in the field of tourism, real estate, energy and agriculture, said Montenegro’s ex-president, Filip Vujanović, at China-Central and Eastern European Countries Expo in Ningbo.

The China-Central and Eastern European Countries Expo opened Saturday in Ningbo, east China's Zhejiang Province. As reported by XinhuaNet, the expo that put focus on "deepening opening-up and cooperation for mutual benefit," attracted over 6,700 buyers from more than 500 firms and other leading international enterprises in 22 different countries and regions.

Speaking at the Ningbo Forum, Montenegro’s ex-president, Filip Vujanović highlighted that Montenegro is one of the most attractive investment destinations in the Mediterranean. “I have great respect toward this Fair of Investment and Trade, and I see it as a strong contribution to the improvement of cooperation between China and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. It is a special honor to present Montenegro as a safe and attractive investment destination with economic parameters that confirm this title ”,Mr Vujanović’s said during his speech.

As reported by Vujanović's office, he also noted that Montenegro and China have excellent relations that have been improved in recent years through the 16 + 1 Mechanism and the Road Initiative.  “Montenegro recently started the construction of a highway linking the Adriatic coast with Serbia and Central and Western Europe. This largest infrastructure project in the history of Montenegro is being realized with CRBC. The Government of Montenegro continuously works on creating the preconditions for the continuation of the construction of other sections of the highway. We encourage Chinese companies to show interest in this project through public-private partnerships, “said Vujanović, inviting the present investors to a potential partnership with Montenegro.

Pointing out to the importance of trade, he also emphasized the potentials of the Port of Bar, being a significant maritime and transport center with valuable references. Moreover, former Montenegro’s president touched on many investments in the field of tourism.

“Fully realizing the importance of investment and trade for overall development, I invite you to visit Montenegro. I am convinced that we will continue our joint efforts towards high quality cooperation, “concluded Vujanović.

The expo, scheduled to close on June 12, includes over 20 events such as the image exhibition of Eastern European countries and the European commodity exhibition.

According to China's Ministry of Commerce, the total trade volume between China and Central and Eastern European countries reached 28.55 billion U.S. dollars in the first four months this year, up 7.9 percent year on year.

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

09 Jun 2019, 21:19 PM

08 June 2019 - The first segment of the project Creative Visegrad - a multimedia image of V4+ cities and states was recently held in Budva, reports the local government of this city.

The Municipality of Budva, in cooperation with partners from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland, is implementing the project entitled Creative Visegrad - a multimedia image of V4+ cities and states, which is approved within the framework of Visegrad + fund. As explained by the local government of the Czech city Valašské Meziříčí, this purpose of this project is to enhance the awareness about common identity among the V4 member states and Montenegro.

Thirty-two young people from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and Montenegro were introduced to each other through intercultural exchange, and during the summer they will work hard on short films that will be screened at the Festival of Lights (Signal Festival) in Czech Republic in September. The workshop, which represents the first phase of the project, was held in Budva, June 3 - June 6, 2019.

Budva Hosted First Phase of Project Creative Visegrad a Multimedia Image of V4 States 2

The workshop was intended for young people who are interested in discovering a common cultural identity with Montenegro and Budva, together with their peers from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hunagry, and who are willing to create a short film about this subject.

The main challenge of the project is a lack of knowledge in younger generation both the V4 states and the Balkan states. This region has a generous diversity of culture identity, history and tradition. The project has a goal to make a new connection among youth and with creative way of presentation, to express differences to the large audience. The main challenge is to address accessibility and cooperation among nations. One of the main ideas is sharing the cultural diversity of all participants and creating proof that their homelands are open-minded and accessible. Since this region has a diverse cultural identity, history and tradition, the project aims to creatively create a new relationship among young people and present it to the general public.

This project also focuses on sharing knowledge in specific multimedia area – creating short movies, because each project partner has a different attitude and uses different techniques to create film content. This program’s aim is sharing of know-how in context in using short videos to express the participants’ cultural identity.

Within the project Creative Visegrad, another workshop and festival will be held in the town of Valašské Meziříčí, in the Czech Republic.

The Visegrad Group, Visegrad Four, or V4 is a cultural and political alliance of four Central European states – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia that are members of the European Union (EU) and NATO – for the purposes of advancing military, cultural, economic and energy cooperation with one another along with furthering their integration in the EU.

Festival of Lights, where the short films created within the project will be shown, is one of the most visited events in Prague that attracts thousands of tourists and locals with its fantastic light shows. Signal Festival represents a traditional event with amazing live dynamic performances of light and sound.

08 Jun 2019, 10:04 AM
Vladimir Jokic, until recently the chairman of the Municipality of Kotor, requested that the Administrative Court makes a decision on the lawsuit on his dismissal before 14 June when a session of the Kotor Municipal Assembly was scheduled, on which the new majority foresees that the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) Željko Aprcović will choose the new Mayor. In addition to Jokić, the Democratic Party of Montenegro (Neven Gošović) and the President of the SO Kotor Dragica Perovic, who was in the position of the defendant yesterday, was also asked by the Administrative Court at the main hearing, although her party, Democratic Serbs Party, is a coalition partner with Jokic's Democrats.
They demanded that it should be prevented that Aprcovic is elected for the new Mayor, and then the court decides in favor of Jokić. Therefore, Kotor would have two presidents.
The Judicial Council of the Administrative Court did not plead Jokic, Gošović and Perovic's request, but the judges stated that they had a legal deadline for deciding on Jokic's lawsuit following the law.
Dragica Perovic, as the defendant, admitted all allegations of Jokic's lawsuit and appealed to the court to make the decision as soon as possible, because, she personally suffers pressure, gains chauvinistic threats and insults in commentaries on internet media portals.
Jokic stated that there was a threat to the public interest in Kotor, that there was no allegation that he was dismissed and that the Administrative Inspectorate found that there was no controversial employment in the Municipality of Kotor.
In addition to other allegations in the lawsuit, Gošović added that the dismissal of Vladimir Jokic was unlawful because the deputies of the municipal councilors were voted in public, although the Rules of Procedure of the Kotor Municipal Assembly stipulated that they had to do so by secret ballot.
We remind that Jokic's dismissal is the decision of the opposition DPS, SD and HGI members, with the voices of two members of the former coalition partner of the ruling majority in Kotor-SDP at the Assembly Session of 24 April, which Perović previously released. Such assembly did not decide on appointing the acting president. It has blocked the work of local government and public companies, whose founder is the Municipality of Kotor.
07 Jun 2019, 20:54 PM

06 June 2019 - President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović received the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Italy Elisabetta Trenta, who is on an official visit to Montenegro. Trenta recently met with Prime Minister of Montenegro, Duško Marković.

President Đukanović thanked the minister for visiting Montenegro, which represents a new and especially important impulse for further improvement of the interstate relations between Montenegro and Italy. The additional value of the visit is and, as the President said, that this visit happened at the same time when Montenegro celebrate an important jubilee of 140 years of establishing diplomatic relations marked last night in Cetinje in the building of the former Italian mission. Đukanović expressed great satisfaction with the quality of interstate cooperation and emphasized that Montenegro is very proud of the tradition of relations between Montenegro and Italy.

He emphasized the importance of Italy's support to the European and Euro-Atlantic perspectives of the region, which is particularly important in order to overcome the multi-year lag of the WB for a developed Europe.

"Aware of missed opportunities in recent history as well as internal crises in the EU, we continue to believe that the only prospect for this region is integration, and for Europe to continue unification and strengthen its global competitiveness," as noted in an official report by President of Montenegro Cabinet.

Stressing that Montenegro is a NATO and EU partner, the President paid special gratitude to Italy for supporting that country's membership of Montenegro to NATO. At the same time, he also pointed to the importance of the alliance within the Alliance, because Italy together with Greece preserves the airspace of Montenegro, as well as defense cooperation, which is reflected in support for training officers in the prestigious Italian schools.

In the context of exceptionally good bilateral relations, the President assessed that there is a significant area for improving economic cooperation on the basis of positive experience through submarine cable projects and underwater exploration of oil and gas.

"With the pleasure of opening a Confindustria branch in Montenegro, an even greater presence of Italian investors is extremely desirable, not only because of investing in Montenegro, but primarily because of the transfer of European standards, new technologies and management knowledge," Đukanović said

The Minister of Defense of the Republic of Italy conveyed to President Đukanović the greetings from President Mattarella and expressed her gratitude for showing respect to her country by attending the celebration of the Day of Italy in Cetinje.

"Friendship has existed for a long time, but it is always good to have a new friendship gesture," Trenta said.

Recalling Italy's support to Montenegro for joining NATO, the minister stressed that with the great impression that country remains with Montenegro on its way to the EU. Integration is also very important because of the need for a common response to contemporary challenges, Trenta said, stressing that Italy's position towards the Balkans is very clear, both in terms of supporting the integration of Western Balkan countries, as well as meeting the criteria for membership.

The interlocutors agreed that while meeting the requirements for EU membership, it is extremely important to take advantage of the momentum and further strengthen the partnership of NATO and EU countries, which rests on the strongest basis, the Euro-Atlantic system of values. Extending cooperation in the field of defense and intensifying economic ties will undoubtedly contribute to better cooperation within NATO, but also to help to transfer knowledge in which Italy wants to participate.

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

06 Jun 2019, 01:04 AM

04 June 2019 - President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović received the Assistant Secretary General of UN and Regional Director of UNDP for Europe and the Community of Independent States Mirjana Spoljarić Egger.

President Đukanović welcomed and congratulated her on the recent appointment as the regional director with the wishes for success during the mandate. He expressed satisfaction with her visit to the region and Montenegro as an incentive for future cooperation with UNDP and the upgrading of the partnership relationship. He assessed that Montenegro has many reasons for mutual satisfaction, and that in the past period the expert and overall support of UNDP, which was always in the function of democratic development of Montenegro and realization of foreign policy priorities, was very well used.

On the trail of commitment to co-operation with the UN, the President expressed support for the reform processes of Secretary-General Guterres and Montenegro's intention to continue contributing to the implementation of all the tasks of reform, starting with the preservation of peace until the goals of the 2030 agenda are achieved.

"Activities that are in focus UN and UNDP are to a large extent consistent with the development strategy of Montenegro and the process of joining the European Union," Đukanović said, adding that Montenegro remains open to considering and further organizing the organizational structure in line with the new organization of the actions from UN System in the country as the best way to respond to the complexity of the implementation of the National Sustainable Development Strategy and the Agenda 2030.

In conversation with the Regional Director of UNDP, the President reminded that the main priorities of state policy remain further democratization of society and intensive economic development, and in this context, the importance of presence and improvement of cooperation with UNDP and the UN system as a whole is clearly recognized.

Regional Director of UNDP Mirjana Spoljarić Egger expressed satisfaction with her arrival in Montenegro and meeting with President Đukanović, highlighting excellent cooperation with Montenegrin state and local authorities at all levels.

"The UN reform is an opportunity for even better quality work, a better focus on the substance of the UNDP mandate and strengthening ties with the government," Spoljarić said.

She added that UNDP remains committed to further support through regional policy investments that are relevant to the region, in particular in the direction of institution building, support to institutional reforms and further greening of the economy that will ensure sustainable growth.

"With dedication, you can represent an example of nationalization of the Agenda 2030 in the region," said Spoljarić.

The Regional Director of UNDP reminded that the Agenda offers the opportunity to speed up the EU accession plan, while achieving sustainable development that will benefit the country. In this context, UNDP remains fully open to continue advocating and supporting Montenegro as a candidate for EU membership, a member of the United Nations and a significant factor of regional stability in the future.

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