04 February 2019 - Minister of the Interior Mevludin Nuhodžić and European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos signed an Agreement between Montenegro and the European Union on the activities carried out by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex).
"The Agreement with Frontex will contribute to the improvement of border security and the joint fight against illegal migration, and, therefore, even better protection of our borders against all forms of crime," Minister Nuhodžić said at a joint conference with Avramopoulos in Brussels.
According to the Minister, when it comes to the countries of the Western Balkans, the strengthening of operational and strategic cooperation in the field of border security is just one of the priorities in the EU Enlargement Strategy. "In this way, Montenegro continues to coordinate policies in the area of migration and border management with the Brussels policy," Nuhodžić emphasised.
The Minister expressed his gratitude to the European Commission and Commissioner Avramopoulos on the previous support to Montenegro in the field of the rule of law, and in particular in the implementation of the Schengen Action Plan. "Expert and other assistance to Montenegro is certainly one of the better investments. The procurement of material and technical means and equipment enhanced the border control and improved the work of our Border Police, which resulted in the more efficient fight against cross-border crime and concrete results," Minister Nuhodžić said, pointing to the importance of the fact that Montenegro is NATO member.
Recalling that Montenegro, as a candidate country for EU membership, has to open only one more negotiating chapter, fully shares security challenges with its partners and implements a common European security policy. He said that our country does so for the welfare and security of not only its citizens but also citizens of the entire European Union.
Commissioner Avramopoulos expressed his gratitude to the Government of Montenegro for efforts to timely implement all procedures for signing the status agreement between Montenegro and the European Union on the activities of Frontex. "The challenges we faced are common, and the only real way to oppose them is to work together," Avroamopoulos said.
He stressed that the agreement is significant for Montenegro and positively assessed the activities Montenegro is conducting in the field of migration and border security management. He also added that the status agreements of the countries with Frontex are part of the process of bringing the Western Balkans closer to the European Union.
"Montenegro is part of the European family," Avramopoulos said. He added that the Region should work together on combating all forms of crime.
"Montenegro, although a small country, is a factor of stability in the region. The European Commission will continue to provide full support to the further efforts of the Government of Montenegro to achieve membership in the European Union, especially in the fight against organised crime, illegal migration and terrorism," Avramopoulos emphasised.
Commissioner Avramopoulos thanked Minister Nuhodžić for the cooperation so far, stressing that Montenegro is considered a friendly country in the region and the real European country.
04 January 2019 - American companies are interested in investing in the Capital of Montenegro, and the investment projects include an exhibition centre, announced the mayor Ivan Vuković and Minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism Pavle Radulović. Such a stance was also shared by the co-founder of the company Ice Gliders Sevastjan Ploshansky and vice president of IBG & Plate Group Farzad Kaj.
"The city administration has the ambition to realize significant capital projects, and in that segment, it is very important to us that there is an interest of potential partners who are ready to jointly achieve the set goals in an efficient and high-quality manner," Vuković pointed out.
Representatives of American companies, known for numerous realized construction projects in the USA, especially when it comes to building sustainable projects and implementing environmental policies, expressed special interest in the construction of an exhibition centre in Podgorica.
By presenting potential solutions, they offered the opportunity to the Capital City to build an expo centre, aqua park and many other facilities through the public-private partnership.
Thanks to the initiative to realize such important projects in the City of Capital, Vuković emphasized the openness of the city administration to establish a partnership in the envisaged legal procedure that would enable the realization of capital projects and the construction of contents that are currently lacking in Podgorica.
Radulović also expressed the readiness of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism to create, regarding its competence, planned preconditions for the realization of business ideas that will increase the quality of life and enrich the tourist offer of the Capital City.
03 January 2019 - “Montenegro continued to ensure a good level of cooperation with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasburg, but improvements are still needed regarding the application of the Court standards in daily practices,” said the EU Ambassador in Montenegro Aivo Orav at the regional conference "The obligation to execute decisions of the European Court of Human Rights", organised by the European Union and the Council of Europe in Podgorica.
"The government continues to conclude friendly settlements in cases related to the length of the proceedings and non-enforcement of domestic decisions. The overall awareness of institutions and the judiciary of the rights protected by the European Convention on Human Rights are increasing. However, improvements are still needed regarding the application of the Court standards in daily practices. Ineffective investigations do not only undermine the effective and the independent rule of law system, but they also endanger people’s lives,” emphasised Ambassador Orav.
Montenegrin officials are proud of the results of Montenegro in this area. Minister of Justice Mr. Zoran Pažin said that Montenegro, the leader among European countries when it comes to the implementation of verdicts of the European Courts for Human Rights.
"Montenegro can be a good example for other member states of the Council of Europe. We should continue with that approach, but we must be aware that the most important thing is the development of national institutions for the protection of human rights and freedom," Minister Pažin said.
Valentina Pavličić, Representative of Montenegro before the European Court for Human Rights, reminded that the implementation of verdicts of the Court in Strasburg is under the supervision of the Committee of Ministers of Council of Europe. Beside diplomatic pressure, this body does not have other effective measures to oblige member states to implement verdicts.
“Because of that, democratic maturity of a country is reflected in its willingness to fulfil the obligations defined by the Convention, regardless of aggravating circumstances. As a representative in charge of implementation of European Court verdicts, I can say that the success in that matter depends to a great extent on the willingness of state institutions to proceed with their obligations in this area. The experience of Montenegro is very positive, and we have reasons to be proud,” said Pavličić.
According to the number of applications before the European Court of Human Rights about the number of inhabitants, Montenegro was among the first five countries last year. According to the Council of Europe’s data, the citizens of Montenegro mostly complained about the violation of the right to trial within a reasonable time, as is the case with applications from most European countries.
February 3, 2019 - A protest of unsatisfied citizens was held on Saturday in Podgorica, which gathered around one thousand participants. The cause of the gathering is the legal, social and political scandal known as the "Koverta" (Envelope) affair, as well as the numerous criminal offenses where the public receives written evidence, audio, and video, from sources close to the top of government. Citizens have organized a protest because the state in this and similar situations does not react as required by the Constitution and the laws of the state of Montenegro.
02 February 2019 - Prime Minister Duško Marković hosted former Presidents and Prime Ministers of the countries of our region gathered in the newly formed Podgorica Club and expressed the full support of the Government, to the work of this entity and its further activities to promote the region's prospects, its European integration, and to affirm the policy of good neighborly relations and cooperation.
"The Podgorica Club project is a good project, needed by our region and as an idea and as a vision that can further bring us together and encourage us," Prime Minister stressed. He assessed that it's logical to name the initiative by the capital of our country, which has passed through the process of achieving strategic priorities in the past two decades while preserving good relations with everyone.
"In that matter, Montenegro had serious challenges, but it did not lose a single friend and gained a lot of new ones," Duško Marković noted. The Prime Minister thanked the members of the Podgorica Club for the assistance they provided as the highest state officials to Montenegro during the process of restoring independence, and our European and Euro-Atlantic integrations.
"I see your experience and this format as a potential for gathering people in our region who will seriously think about our common future," Prime Minister Marković said.
Members of the Podgorica Club presented the Prime Minister a program of future work on creating a new narrative and a new vision of our region, stressing that as members of the Club outside of the daily politics, and from this position, they see the possibility of action in the areas of promoting economic, scientific and other cooperation.
Former President of Montenegro Filip Vujanović, former President of the Republic of Macedonia Branko Crvenkovski, the Republic of Slovenia Danilo Tirk, the former Prime Ministers of the Republic of Serbia Mirko Cvetković and the Republic of Croatia Jadranka Kosor and former Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina Zlatko Lagumdžija spoke with the Prime Minister Duško Marković.
The Prime Minister was informed that the Podgorica Club is also composed of former Presidents of the Republic of Slovenia Milan Kučan, the Republic of Croatia Stjepan Mesić and the Republic of Kosovo Fatmir Sejdiu, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia Hari Kostov and former President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Nataša Mićić.
01 February 2019 - Minister of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro Srđan Darmanović took part in an informal meeting of foreign ministers in Bucharest, at the invitation of High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania Teodor Melescanu.
Minister Darmanović congratulated Romania on the first presidency over the Council of the European Union and welcomed the defined priorities of its six-month programme. He also expressed his satisfaction with the fact that the policy of enlargement was high on the agenda of the presidency, hopeful that the integration process, based on the principle of regatta, significantly stimulated the reform of our societies and further economic development of the region, while strengthening the security, peace, and competitiveness of Europe.
The Montenegrin Foreign Minister said he expects that the remaining negotiation chapter 8 (Competitiveness) will be opened during this year, as well as that Montenegro will meet the provisional benchmarks in chapters 23 and 24. He also reiterated the full commitment of the Montenegrin institutions to achieving internal readiness to close a set of chapters.
The meeting in Bucharest exchanged views on cooperation with China, focusing on issues of relevance to the EU and candidate countries.
The informal meeting, attended by foreign ministers of European Union candidate countries and Turkey, as well as representatives of the European Commission, was an opportunity to consider other current issues and challenges within the Union.
During her last visit to Montenegro, the Prime Minister of Romania, Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă, said that she had very constructive discussions with Prime Minister Marković and emphasised that in the future, the two countries will pay more attention to sectoral cooperation and cooperation in the field of energy, education, culture, and tourism, as well as cooperation in the field of investments.
"We decided to organise an economic forum together to present one of the first steps in promoting cooperation between the two countries," Romanian Prime Minister Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă concluded.
01 February 2019 - The environmental organisation NGO Ozon called on the local governments of Nikšić and Danilovgrad Municipalities and the Podgorica Capital to join the government in the process of legal protection of the Zeta River area.
"We believe that, in accordance with great importance of the Zeta River with its tributaries and hydrological phenomena, the specifics of its upper and lower flow and territorial jurisdiction of local administrations, we need a strategic recognition of the importance of this river for the further development of local communities, but also of the potential for the national branding of Montenegro as an ecological state, i.e. the entire social prosperity," the statement said.
NGO Ozon proposes that three municipalities adopt a joint Resolution for the protection of the Zeta River, in order to allow the public to be involved in this initiative, and that the Government of Montenegro, through the competent institutions, the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, The Nature Protection Agency and the Environment Agency open a public debate in order to examine all the relevant facts through the argumentative discussion. Keeping in mind the fact that the significance of the Zeta River in the aspect of an ecosystem is already recognized in national and local strategic documents, the representatives of this movement believe that the protection of this river at the international level is also important in the context of European integration and the success of the negotiations in Chapter 27. This step, they conclude, is another tool for the joint resolution of the local government administrations which should take part in this initiative.
The representatives of the Environmental Movement NGO Ozon announced that it will begin with the action of collecting citizen support for the protection of the Zeta River, and announced the implementation of this initiative on a series of thematic events, "in order to create an incentive environment for public argumentative discussion and active citizen participation in the decision making process, "the statement said. They also invited all interested parties to support this civic initiative.
The NGO Ozon was founded with a mission to contribute to improving the quality of life and the environment, as well as protecting the public interest through active participation in the decision-making process, public advocacy, and education of various target groups from all segments of the society.
30 January 2019 - Montenegro can serve as an example to many other members of the Council of Europe when it comes to the execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, said Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Pažin at the opening of the regional conference "Duty to Execute Decisions of the European Court of Human Rights" in Podgorica.
"As Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice, I am very proud of Montenegro being the front-runner of European countries in the timely, conscientious and orderly execution of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights," said DPM Pažin.
The Deputy Prime Minister stressed that Montenegro should continue with such a good and responsible attitude towards the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, adding, "But we should be aware that the most important is development and strengthening of national institutions for the protection of human rights and freedoms, because national institutions should carry the fundamental burden, and the protection of human rights should be primarily achieved at the national level."
He pointed out that no judgment of the European Court of Human Rights establishing a violation of any of the Convention rights is at the expense of Montenegro. "On the contrary, they give us guidelines in which direction the Montenegrin legal order should be developed, in which way we should promote and strengthen human rights and freedoms for the benefit of our citizens."
Speaking of the importance of the European Convention on Human Rights, the Deputy Prime Minister estimated that it was the most sophisticated international legal instrument for the protection of human rights and freedoms.
"The citizen becomes the subject of international law, in a procedural sense equal to the most powerful of the states and the richest of governments. No other international legal instrument has made such a strong promotion of human rights and freedoms as the European Convention," concluded Pažin.
29 January 2019 - The area of Ulcinj Salina should be declared a protected area by the end of February, said the executive director of the Montenegrin Centre for the Protection and Study of Birds, Jovana Janjušević, in an interview for TVCG, adding that the real and serious job has only started.
The European Integration Office has recently published the Common Position of the European Union for Chapter 27 - Environment and Climate Change, which represents the initial and most important document for planning the obligations that need to be fulfilled within this area in the upcoming period. This document states that without the adequate protection of the Ulcinj Salina area, Montenegro cannot count on the temporary closure of Chapter 27.
The Common Position of the European Union for Chapter 27 explains that “the EU invites Montenegro to demonstrate its capacity to manage the Natura 2000 network by ensuring effective management of existing national protected areas, by affording the Ulcinj Salina the appropriate protection status and effectively implementing the necessary conservation measures leading to the improvement of its conservation status and by designating marine protected areas and ensuring their effective management.”
Ulcinj Salina is located in the outermost southern part of Montenegro and covers approximately 14.5 km2 of salt basins. The Salina is separated from the sea by the Brijeg od mora village and Velika plaža beach, and from the Bojana River by channels and dykes against floods. It is an integral part of the Lake Skadar and Bojana River watershed system.
Janjušević told the Mina News Agency that this is by far the highest level of support for the EU civil sector in the matter of the protection of Ulcinj Salina. "Until now, no country that negotiated with EU has ever had the protection of a particular site set as a condition for closing negotiations, which speaks primarily about the importance of Ulcinj Salina in terms of nature protection, but also about the specifics that it carries as a complex problem for the whole of Europe," Janjušević said. "We have just met a formal legal protection requirement, but effective management and responsible steering remain as difficult challenges in the coming period," Janjušević concluded.
She pointed out that Salina is an artificial ecosystem based on and suited for the industrial activity of salt production, and that its production has been carried out in accordance with the rules of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
The first act on the protection of the Ulcinj Salina was adopted in 1984 when the decision of the Workers Council banned all hunting. Several years later, the Ulcinj Salina became the first Important Bird Area (IBA) in Montenegro and afterwards became an Emerald site under the Bern Convention.
In the final study on protection of the Ulcinj Salina, according to Janjušević, two options were proposed: if the Salina will continue the salt production – the site will be protected as a national park, and if there will be no salt production, the area will be protected as a nature reserve.
29 January 2019 - At the latest session, the Government of Montenegro passed the Information on the conclusion of the Agreement on the transfer of credit and grant funds for the needs of implementing the project "Wastewater Collection and Treatment in Podgorica," financed from a loan arrangement signed on 22 September 2017 by the German Development Bank (KfW) and the Government of Montenegro, in the amount of 35 million EUR.
On that occasion, the Government gave its approval to the Capital City of Podgorica for loan funds provided by the arrangement with KfW Bank, and accepted the Agreement on the transfer of credit and grant funds for the needs of the project "Collection and treatment of wastewater in Podgorica." It is envisaged that the Capital City will transfer funds of a loan arrangement of 35 million EUR, of which the amount of 26 million EUR will be transferred without obligation to return, while the remaining amount of 8.05 million EUR the Capital City will be obliged to return to the State.
The total value of the project is around 50.35 million EUR and will be financed from three sources: a grant of 10.15 million EUR provided by the Investment Framework for the Western Balkans, a loan from KfW Bank for 35 million EUR and the Capital City's sources amounting to about 5.2 million EUR.
The Government also passed the Report on the Implementation of the Action Plan for the Implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 - Women, Peace and Security in Montenegro (2017-2018). The Action Plan elaborates three critical areas for the implementation of Resolution 1325, which deal with increasing women's participation in decision-making and peace processes, the protection of women and girls in conflict zones, and the integration of gender perspectives and gender education in peacekeeping operations, and the areas of mechanisms for its implementation and its accompanying resolution. The plan identified 9 goals and 41 activities, out of which 32 activities were realised, 4 activities were partially realised, 1 activity is in progress, while 4 activities are not realised.
The Government approved the Information on the provision of funds for covering the expenses for conducting elections for electing councilors in the Municipal Assembly of Tuzi, which will take place in March 2019. In accordance with the Law on Territorial Organisation of Montenegro and the Law on Financing Political Entities and Election Campaigns, the Government decided to provide 58.250,00 EUR for covering the expenses of the elections, as well as 2.992,00 EUR for financing the costs of the election campaign for submitters of the electoral lists in the Municipality of Tuzi.
28 January 2019 - According to the information provided by the Parliament of Montenegro, the Committee members also met the president of the Republic of Albania, Ilir Meta, Albania’s parliament speaker Gramoz Ruci, minister for diaspora Pandeli Majko as well as the members of the Committee for foreign affairs and subcommittees for diaspora and human rights.
During the meetings, both sides concluded that “Montenegro and Albania have fostered their friendly relations, mutual trust, and good neighborly relations.”
Apart from Nikolić, the Montenegrin delegation included other members of the Committee as well – Luiđ Škrelja, Halil Duković, Miloš Nikolić, and Ervin Ibrahimović.
Montenegro Ambassador to Albania, Dušan Mrdović, and Montenegrin consul in the Embassy, Danilo Brajović also attended the meetings.
During the earlier meeting that took place in Podgorica, Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković and President of Albania Ilir Meta agreed that Montenegro and Albania should join forces to make the best of standard potentials in many areas such as water management, tourism, and agriculture.
"The economic prospects of the two countries are serious, and the two governments should do everything to use them," said Prime Minister Marković, adding that bilateral political relations are at a very high level.
The meeting also discussed the importance of peace and stability in the region, and in that context, the importance of the membership of both countries in NATO, emphasising the significance of European integration as well. Prime Minister Marković said that Montenegro supports Albania's EU bid, adding that country is willing to transfer knowledge and experience from its negotiation process.
Source: Cafe del Montenegro