15 October 2019 - Montenegro has made serious progress on its path to the European Union and will be its next member, said new European Parliament rapporteur for Montenegro Tonino Picula, reports Fena News Agency.
According to Picula, Montenegro will be the first in line as a new EU member state, but there’s still a lot to do until then. The EU has been facing numerous issues and it seems that the enlargement policy is not its top priority. Some EU member states clearly state that now is not the time to speak about the enlargement, which calls the whole story about the expected 2025 enlargement into question.
In an interview for CdM, the newly-elected European Parliament Rapporteur on Montenegro Mr Tonino Picula claimed the enlargement policy hadn’t been the EU’s topmost priority anymore. He said that some EU member states categorically refuse further EU enlargement until the Union consolidates.
“No one will state loud and clear to be against the enlargement, it’s a part of a political game, but there’s a strong resistance within the EU member states, that is, they do not want the enlargement to happen until the rearrangement of power relations takes place, and some new models are adopted,” Mr Picula explained.
"In any case, the next enlargement of the Union, when it happens, will not occur without Montenegro. Whether Montenegro will enter alone or with another country is an open question. Still, if it continues this kind of work as it has done for ten years, then the next expansion will not be possible without Montenegro, "Picula said in an interview with Nova M. He said that the work that Montenegro has done so far must be noted, but it must also continue with reforms and next projects, because if there is no further progress, it can lead to serious frustration for both sides.
He also added that the enlargement policy reached a peak in 2004 when ten new states joined the EU and in 2007 – when Bulgaria’s and Romania’s accession took place.
Mr Picula continued: “Currently, the enlargement policy is not one of the EU’s top priorities as the Union needs to consolidate itself first.”
"Montenegro has procedures in place, mechanisms to move forward with the conclusion of the negotiations, but what has not been done so far will have to be done in circumstances that will not always be easy. At the moment, the political scene in Montenegro is polarized; there are serious disagreements between the authorities and the opposition on how to proceed. However, I will try to overcome this gap with my experience in order to reach a common goal - Montenegro's membership in the EU, "Picula concluded.
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12 October 2019 - Moody's credit rating agency has affirmed the B1 credit rating for Montenegro, while retaining a "positive" outlook.
The credit rating is the result of high GDP per capita, optimistic prospects for EU accession, and a strong investment trend with a focus on foreign direct investment. The latest Moody's report welcomes significant investment projects implemented in the transport, tourism and energy sectors.
Furthermore, the B1 credit rating justifies the strong middle-term growth potential, supported by the implementation of adequate structural reforms, as well as the implementation of the Government's effective measures that contribute to strengthening Montenegro's fiscal position. In addition, specific Government activities have been identified that have reduced the medium-term refinancing risks in Montenegro.
The main drivers of growth are evident in the construction, transport, tourism and energy sectors. The growth was also stimulated by public investment, above all, by the construction of the priority section of the Bar-Boljare motorway, reports Government of Montenegro. On the other hand, a significant contribution to the growth was also made by household consumption, fueled by a record-breaking tourist season and positive developments in the labour market, where in the second quarter of 2019, the unemployment rate was at a historically low level of 14,3%.
The report states that 2019 will be another record-breaking year in the tourism sector, in line with an increase in arrivals for the period January - August of 17.2% and overnight stays of 9.2%, compared to the same period last year.
Finally, the report praises the legal and administrative reforms that are being implemented, especially in the context of accession to the European Union, which is a further impetus for the advancement of the rule of law while continuing to strengthen the capacities of the institutions in the coming years.
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09 October 2019 - At the invitation of the President of the Parliament of Montenegro Ivan Brajović, a delegation of the Parliament of Georgia, headed by president Archil Talakvadze, is making its official visit to Montenegro, CdM reports.
Brajović pointed out in the meeting with the delegation that the visit was an additional impulse for strengthening ties and enhancing political dialogue at high and the highest level.
"Montenegro-Georgia relations are friendly. We share European values and the vision of the future in the European Union. Montenegro supports territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia. As NATO members, we will continue to support Euro-Atlantic ambitions this country cherishes," said President of the Parliament of Montenegro Ivan Brajović.
While expressing special satisfaction about the meeting with President of the Parliament of Montenegro Ivan Brajović, Georgian president of the Parliament Archil Talakvadze pointed out that the visit to Montenegro was his priority.
"I congratulate Montenegro on everything it has achieved so far. From the political and economic point of view, Montenegro can serve as an example to other countries in the region. Citizens of Georgia were very happy about Montenegro’s Euro-Atlantic success," said Archil Talavadze.
Interlocutors agreed that parliaments had a very responsible role in the further democratization of countries.
Georgian president of the Parliament also thanked Montenegro for the support it pledges to his country in the process of democratic transition, Euro-Atlantic and European path.
They also discussed political and economic priorities in the development of Montenegro and Georgia, as well as economic cooperation that can be improved in many areas.
Presidents of Parliaments of Montenegro and Georgia laid a wreath at the monument of the Partisan soldier in Gorica. Tonight at 7 PM in Bar, the Honorary Consulate of Georgia in Montenegro will be officially opened.
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08 October 2019 - President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović is the recipient of the title of Honorary Member of the Mihai Eminescu Academy and the Foundation of the same name, which was presented to him by the President of the Academy, Ion Deaconescu, in front of the Executive Board.
Academy President Deaconescu congratulated President Đukanović on this recognition of political and social activism and the active role of the reformer of Montenegro. Delivering him the honorary member of the Academy and its symbol, the work of the famous sculptor Vincenzo Bianchi, Deaconescu said it was a great honour for them that the President accepted their initiative and recognition as a great politician who contributed to the peace, preservation, and affirmation of multiculturalism and multiethnicity. He praised the achievements of Montenegro and recalled the friendship of Montenegro and Romania, “small countries that can give Europe a lot”.
President Đukanović thanked Deaconescu for this important recognition and said that he was extremely privileged and honoured to be in the company of eminent members of this Academy, among whom there are Nobel and Herder Prize winners. Considering the reputation of this Academy, the honour belongs to the citizens of Montenegro, Đukanović said. He pointed to the special importance of preserving universal and traditional values, especially in times when they were put to the test in turbulent and challenging times, not only in Montenegro, but also on the European and global scene.
He agreed that relations between Montenegro and Romania are traditionally friendly, which is supported by the sincere and continuous support of Romania to Montenegro in the integration processes.
The interlocutors also exchanged views on the possibility of continuing the Njegoš-Eminescu poetry festival, which was first held in Podgorica last year.
The explanation of the decision of the Executive Board of the Academy, among other things, states that the title of Honorary Member is awarded to President Đukanović "in honour of his extraordinary engagement as a politician and humanist, in a susceptible period, marked by pain, conflict, poverty ... His Excellency is the promoter of the relationship of friendship and cooperation between Montenegro and Romania, whose centuries-old friendly relations have been strengthened by this support. We are convinced that the award of this academic title to Mr. President of Montenegro will contribute to the fruitful participation of both countries in creating a new humanism that is necessary for all of us," concludes the statement.
08 October 2019 - The legal and institutional framework, which guarantees the independence of the judicial branch of Government in Montenegro, implies a high degree of responsibility for each judicial office holder individually. Citizens' expectation that prosecutors and judges should firmly protect the legal order of Montenegro is justified, and this is the only way to build trust in the judicial and prosecutorial organisation. Unless the responsibility of the judiciary is significantly strengthened, the citizens' concern for the overall success of the reforms will be justified. Therefore, the judiciary is obliged to respond to such challenges in a timely and efficient manner, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice of Montenegro Zoran Pažin said at a Western Balkans Justice Ministers conference which was recently held in Tirana, Albania.
During the conference, organised by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Albania and the Regional Cooperation Council, the Ministers of Justice, senior officials and experts in the field of the rule of law from the Western Balkans discussed the key challenges in meeting European standards, improving the rule of law and strengthening regional judicial cooperation.
DPM Pažin emphasised that the high degree of independence enjoyed by the judiciary in the Montenegrin government system carries a special responsibility for the impartial and independent performance of each prosecutor and judge individually. Only in this way can confidence in the justice system be built.
He recalled that the implementation of the previous judicial reform strategy, through the adoption of amendments to the Constitution and the improvement of legislation, significantly strengthened the independence of the Montenegrin judiciary. Pažin stressed that continued judicial reform remains Montenegro's priority in the European integration process, which the Government also confirmed by adopting the Strategy for the next three-year period.
"Increasing the efficiency of the judicial system will improve the quality of respect for human rights and the rule of law, while enhancing the accessibility and transparency of judicial institutions in the coming period should result in an adequate degree of citizens' confidence in the judiciary," Deputy Prime Minister Pažin noted.
The second, expert panel dedicated to the design, implementation and monitoring of judicial reform in the Region was addressed by Nikola B. Šaranović, Director General of the Directorate for International Cooperation at the Ministry of Justice. He recalled that in its conclusions on enlargement, stabilisation, and association, the EU Council noted that the institutional framework in Montenegro was complete and that the legal framework was largely established, and that it was crucial for the entire rule of law system to produce tangible and sustainable results.
Šaranović notably presented cooperation on European projects in the process of meeting the provisional benchmarks in Chapters 23 and 24, judicial cooperation with the countries of the Region, as well as the participation of Montenegrin institutions in the work of European judicial networks. He also reminded that Montenegro is the first candidate country to which the new approach in negotiations has been applied and that our country is ready to transfer the first-hand experience to other candidate countries from the Western Balkans.
October 7, 2019 - Montenegro and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) have concluded an Agreement under which European police officers, along with Montenegrin police, will patrol along the state border. As reported, the European Union will provide Montenegro with expert training and expert assistance in border surveillance.