Politics

16 Nov 2018, 03:43 AM

15 November 2018 - Representatives of the European Commission recently met with the Minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism of Montenegro, Pavle Radulović. They expressed their satisfaction with the results achieved in the field of environment and said they were eager to support Montenegro in the forthcoming period in the implementation of adopted regulations and realization of demanding infrastructure projects.

Representatives of the Directorate for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations and Directorate for the Environment, as well as representatives of the European Union delegation to Montenegro, accompanied by representatives of the European Commission paid special attention to waste management and water quality. In that context, they said that provision of financial funds was a challenge along with the improvement of administration capacities in this domain.

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Radulović presented the current situation in regarding the environment in Montenegro, current projects, particularly “Industrial waste management and purification”. Four locations with industrial waste will be rehabilitated within this project. The objective of these projects is the improvement of the environment, the life quality of the citizens and the fulfillment of the requirements envisaged by Chapter 27.

Also, the Montenegrin Economy recently received the principles to follow, which say that everybody will have to enforce the Best Available Techniques (BAT) and work more in order to prevent and reduce pollution, by the effective recovery of energy, reduction of waste and implementing measures for preventing car accidents and their consequences. The law on industrial emissions will determine certain obligations for industrial facilities, in order to avoid or reduce pollution by emissions and waste production as well.

This means that energy producers, metal and mineral production and processing, as well as waste management and other areas such as production of cellulose and paper, slaughterhouses and intensive livestock and pig farming will have to follow strict European rules defined by the law on industrial emissions that the government is to adopt by the end of the year. Read more about Montenegrin Economy Following the European Union's standards here.

The recent progression within Chapter 27, which is covered by environmental issues of the country, started the question of Montenegrin willingness to contribute to the Global Environment. During the meeting with the representatives of the United Nation, it has been concluded that Montenegro is striving to protect its available resources but also wants to contribute to overall global environmental protection initiatives. Read more about the whole process here.

Read more about the relationship between Montenegro and European Commission here.

16 Nov 2018, 03:17 AM

15 November 2018 - The first Consular Forum organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro is being held on November 15 and 16 in Podgorica.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro Srđan Darmanović, who opened the Forum, expressed his satisfaction that Montenegro is the host of the first Forum that brought together representatives of seventeen countries, with the aim of exchanging experiences and views on the current situation in the area of visa policy, the challenges of migratory movements and consular services in the era of globalization, and pointed to the importance of a continuous strengthening cooperation in these areas.

"Thanks to the joint efforts over the past few years, we have made significant progress towards better cohesion in a number of areas, especially in culture, justice, internal affairs, education and science. With this same goal, we have organized the Forum, convinced that the result of this two-day work will contribute to the even better relations of the participating countries," said Darmanović.

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Referring to the achievements of Montenegro in terms of foreign policy priorities, he stressed that our European and Euro-Atlantic partnerships guarantee the security of the country and the security of business and investment environment and that consular activities have an important role to play in that. The Minister concluded that Montenegro successfully fulfills all the obligations arising from the visa liberalization, and thanks to such a policy of the Government, Montenegrin citizens can travel today without visas in 100 countries of the world, while citizens from 104 countries can, without visas, stay in Montenegro.

In the context of the Global Pact on Migration and the upcoming meeting in Marrakech and in connection with one of the topics of the Forum, Minister Darmanović also pointed to the need for cooperation and joint action in relations to the more and more frequent migration movements. In this regard, he stressed that Montenegro seeks to maintain regular communication with the countries of the region and other partners, continuously developing mechanisms and strengthening the capacities in order to provide an adequate response to all challenges, with full respect for international standards.

The first Consular Forum in Montenegro lasts for two days, and the list of representatives includes the ministries of foreign affairs of Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia and Turkey.

15 Nov 2018, 08:12 AM

14 November 2018 - In the framework of this year's Montenegrin presidency of the A5 Initiative, a meeting of Defence Ministers of the US-Adriatic Charter (A5) member countries was held in Budva on Wednesday, November 14. The meeting was opened by the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Duško Marković, Minister of Defence, Predrag Bošković and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for the USA, Laura Cooper.

Prime Minister Marković pointed out that the successful fifteen-year operations of the US-Adriatic Charter strongly confirms the quality of the defence cooperation of the Western Balkan countries. He highlighted the significant contribution of the A5 Initiative in achieving the strategic goal of Montenegro to become the 29th member of the North Atlantic Alliance, reminding that this is the third Montenegrin presidency of the Charter, but first as a full-fledged NATO member. Marković also said that the primary objective of the US-Adriatic Charter is to provide support to aspirant countries in the process of approaching and joining the Alliance. He concluded that Montenegro will continue to advocate the rapid and efficient fulfilment of the goals, ie strengthening the comprehensive bilateral cooperation of the countries of South-Eastern Europe.

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Minister Bošković emphasized that the US-Adriatic Charter represents an important forum for promoting the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of the countries of Southeast Europe, as well as a powerful instrument for strengthening regional cooperation in the field of defence. He said that during the Montenegrin presidency, the Charter confirmed the commitment of member countries to good neighbourly cooperation and joint confrontation with contemporary security challenges, in order to preserve regional stability.

Cooper emphasized the importance of the role of the US-Adriatic Charter in strengthening mutual understanding and trust in the countries of the region. She said that security challenges and issues create a need for defining common resources and projects, which will also contribute to further development of national defence capacities, and that the United States will continue to support the efforts of the countries of the region in this regard.

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The participants of the meeting reaffirmed their determination to continue contributing to regional security and stability, through strengthening good neighbourly relations, improving political dialogue and developing military cooperation, in order to ensure lasting peace, stability and prosperity of the region.

The meeting was attended by Minister of Defence of BiH, Marina Pendeš, Defence Minister of Croatia, Damir Krstičević, Defence Minister of Macedonia, Radmila Šekerinska, Defence Minister of Kosovo, Rustem Beriša, Defence Minister of Albania, Olte Džačka, Slovenia’s State Secretary for Defence, Miloš Bizjak, and Serbia’s State Secretary for Defence, Aleksandar Živkovic.

14 Nov 2018, 01:49 AM

13 November 2018 - The Government of Montenegro has undertaken numerous measures of systemic control of river flows throughout the country, as well as activities aimed at preventing further devastation of river beds due to natural meandering and illegal exploitation of sand and gravel, and in the cases of illegal activities on watercourses, especially in the lower part of Morača and Bolje Sestre zone, said Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Policy and Financial System and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Milutin Simović.

When asked whether the Tara River is endangered by the construction of the priority section of the Bar-Boljare motorway, the Deputy Prime Minister stressed that regulatory works are being carried on other positions as well, not only in the construction area. All these regulatory works are carried out with a view to regulating the river, saving the property of the citizens, and that this is a regular process and something that will be done in the future. The construction of such major infrastructure projects leaves certain scares on nature, but there are remedial projects implying temporary measures, and after that everything that belongs to natures will be brought back to it, he pointed out.

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When it comes to the construction of a hydroelectric power plant on the Cijevna River, DPM Simović underlined that "it is important that such projects do not cause a negative impact on our water balance, feeding of sub-waters in the part of the Skadar Lake and that in particular there is no negative impact on the capacity of certain sources, namely of the Bolje sestre source, from where the Regional Water Works for the Montenegrin Coast is being supplied," Deputy Prime Minister Simović concluded.

13 Nov 2018, 03:57 AM

12 November 2018 - Representatives of the Government of Montenegro, led by Prime Minister Duško Marković recently met with the delegation of the Old Royal Capital Cetinje, led by Mayor Aleksandar Kašćelan. 

It was stated that the good strategic position of Cetinje valued through the strengthening of the overall infrastructure and creation of new jobs will provide a better life for the citizens of the Old Royal Capital. 

Congratulating on 13 November - Day of the Old Royal Capital Cetinje, the Prime Minister emphasised the undisputed support of the Government for the development of the municipality, but also pointed to the need to strengthen fiscal discipline at the local level. Both sides agreed that additional efforts should be made to consolidate local finances and to collect taxes and reduce the gray economy, especially in the field of tourism. The number of unemployed citizens of Cetinje has been reduced by almost 400 in 2018. 

The meeting also discussed the implementation of capital projects. The 2018 Capital Budget foresaw the amount of 5,541,000 EUR for a total of 32 projects in Cetinje. 

Speaking about the budget for the next year, PM Marković pointed out that it will be focused on development by limiting spending to what is really necessary. 

Kašćelan and his associates expressed satisfaction with the support they receive through the Law on the Old Royal Capital, which enabled them to invest in the equipment of local companies and thus achieve savings. Additional support, as Prime Minister Marković said, can also be expected through the new Law on Financing of Local Self-Government which is being drafted. 

PM Marković concluded that the support and partnership between the Government and the Old Royal Capital remain unquestionable, but that the goal is to turn the possibilities into reality. 

13 Nov 2018, 03:52 AM

12 November 2018 - Montenegro, 140 years after the Berlin Congress and a turning point in its history, is on a safe path to becoming the next full member of the European Union and taking its place among the developed countries. This was underlined at today's ceremony marking the 140th anniversary of the Berlin Congress.

The celebration of the 140th anniversary of the recognition of Montenegro's independence at the Berlin Congress was sponsored by the Office for European Integration and the Rectorate of the University of Montenegro. 

Chief Negotiator Aleksandar Drljević reminded of the most important attainment of the Berlin Congress - an international recognition of the statehood of Montenegro, which was won after a long-standing struggle in this region, pointing out that this event represented a new page of Montenegro's history, which laid the foundations for the creation of a modern European state.

"Today, 140 years later, Montenegro, by joining NATO, stands side by side with the European and world powers. It is also a safe and decisive way towards becoming the next full member of the European Union," Drljević concluded.

Rector of the University of Montenegro Danilo Nikolić pointed out that the University of Montenegro is proudly carrying the name of the country and, with its decades-long tradition of teaching, scientific research and innovative activities, is one of the strategic bases for its development.

"Human capital represents the most important development resource of advanced economies, and its quality is conditioned by the quality of the education system and the development of the knowledge society. Through the development of human and intellectual capital, the University of Montenegro flexibly emphasizes its key role and responsibility: to create renowned academic citizens, socially responsible individuals and productive generations, which will ensure the democratic development and economic prosperity of Montenegrin society and the state," Nikolić noted.

12 Nov 2018, 23:07 PM
November 13, 2018 - The Montenegrin Assembly have adopted amendments to the Expropriation Act stipulating that the state may, by an urgent procedure, take away private property and enter its possession with the payment of compensation, which the Government Commission determines to be fair. The government had previously proposed amendments to the Expropriation Act that had faced strong opposition from the public and complaints from the international community and eventually withdrew from the proceedings.
 
Amendments to the law were proposed by the Democrat Party of Socialists (DPS) Predrag Sekulić, Marta Šćepanović, Željko Aprcović, Nikola Rakočević and Jovanka Laličić. 42 deputies voted to amend the act, while 13 voted against. The government proposed the same amendments in July this year, but then the amendments to the Expropriation Act did not come into the assembly procedure.
 

Amendments on the Expropriation Act Withdrawn Several Times

 
When in 2015, the government in the parliament tried to push for a solution to the property, even though the owner complained about it, it caused great public condemnation, with citizens protesting from the coast in front of the parliament, and even the EU Delegation in Montenegro warned the government to take care of their actions. The European Commission delegation pointed out to the Government that when proposing amendments to the Expropriation Act, they are obliged to respect the Montenegrin Constitution, international obligations, including those deriving from the Stabilization and Association Agreement and the European Convention on Human Rights, and to take into account the relevant case law of the European Human Rights Court.
 

DPS deputies Claims Law on Expropriation Protects Citizens

 
DPS deputy Marta Šćepanović said in parliament that the reasons for amending the law were the deficiencies noted in the previous application of the Expropriation Act, which primarily relates to the unjustified length of the proceedings. She said that the applicable law was a precise one, which could expropriate the immovable property and added that the norm was much sharper than the countries in the region.
 
"Incorrectly, this may be in the case of hotels, villas, tourist complexes," said Šćepanović. "The news that strengthens the citizen's legal certainty is that the Commission now has three members instead of five, and at least three members of that commission must be judicial experts," Šćepanović explained, and noted that the citizen is protected by the law, and cannot be refunded less than the market value of immovable property.
 
According to Šćepanović, in order to have possession of immovable property, the expropriation process must be legally finalized, there must be evidence of a fair remuneration paid, or proof that the owner of the immovable property was duly summoned but refused to receive a fair remuneration.
 
To this solution, as stated, a party is allowed to appeal, but for the sake of the efficiency of the procedure it does not delay the execution of the decision. "The essence of this is that the solution of the expropriation, which also confiscates the property and determines the level of fair compensation, is legal," said Šćepanović, adding that the owners were provided with court protection before ordinary courts.
 
The expropriation user may apply for the immovable property that is subject to expropriation before the expropriation decision is enforceable, but not before the execution of the decision if this is necessary due to the urgency of realizing the expropriation procedure or preventing material damage.
 

Is the Expropriation Act Acting Against the Constitution?

 
Independent deputy Aleksandar Damjanović, for the daily newspaper "Vijesti" in July this year, emphasized: "Article 58 of the Constitution guarantees the right to property unless it requires public interest with fair compensation in accordance with the law and the elements of judicial protection available according to the current laws. Attempting to take property, and not wait for the outcome of a court-based appeal procedure and to suspend the provisions of the law on out-of-court proceedings, is an attack on basic property rights and property. This introduces Montenegro to a new area where no one, even lawmakers, will own the property. Whether this is for the needs of large projects it is less important that by adopting these solutions everyone will be insecure in enjoying property and property rights will not mean anything."
 
12 Nov 2018, 02:39 AM

11 November 2018 - Prime Minister Duško Marković said that on November 11 – marked one hundred years since the guns fell silent to end World War I. Montenegro is again divided between perceiving it as the date to honor all the victims or the date after which the name of Montenegro disappeared from world maps.

“Only one country that courageously and consistently fought on the side of the Entente Powers and suffered tremendous losses in WWI, was left without a state name and was not even mentioned in Europe for a long time. That is why in the Montenegrin memory – 11 November 1918 is a date we mark with divided feelings. The day of great historical victory of modern Europe, to which Montenegro with its 400,000 inhabitants gave 20,000 lives – is the date to honor all the victims. But, unfortunately, the date after which the name of Montenegro disappeared from the world map, the date which reminds us of the tragic injustice done to us by the Allied Powers of the Great War,” said Prime Minister Marković.

Prime Minister Marković also noted that historical facts point out that Montenegro itself did not manage to act properly during those decisive years ahead of and during WWI.

“Montenegro’s army was ruined in the two Balkan wars, sacrificed in Mojkovac for the rescue of the Serbian army in retreat, and then handed over to the Serbian command. All this facilitated the military implementation of the political idea of the Allies on the disappearance of the Montenegrin state and its dynasty,” continued Prime Minister.

Finally, Prime Minister Marković noted that Montenegro needed almost nine decades to repair the damage of state and national disaster it experienced in the end of the World War I.

 

Source: Cafe del Montenegro

12 Nov 2018, 02:35 AM

11 November 2018 - Negotiator for Chapters 23 and 24, Marijana Laković, said she has expected the European Commission would recognize the stable progress the Montenegrin institutions have achieved on the road to the European Union. Laković emphasized the rule of law has been an area requiring continuous results, there are some challenges but Montenegrin institutions have been decisive in an attempt to use all the available resources to achieve the best results possible.

“The European Commission regularly submits the interim reports on their perception when it comes to the progress in the area of the rule of law, i.e. chapters 23 and 24. We expect that the European Commission would recognize stable progress in numerous significant aspects of the rule of law, evaluating concrete results achieved by our institutions,” emphasized Laković.

When asked whether Montenegro reached the results the European Commission requested, she said Montenegro has been completely committed to the new approach in negotiations, much more demanding compared with the previous enlargements.

“The fact clearly denoting our progress in the area of rule of law is that so far Montenegro has started talks in 31 chapters, negotiations in 3 negotiation chapters have been temporarily closed, while we expect to open the 2 remaining chapters soon. Also, we expect the European Commission to recognize the latest activities of the National Police and state prosecutor’s office in fighting organized crime, high-level corruption, money laundering, temporarily seized assets and confiscated drugs,” concluded Laković.

Laković also added that by implementing thorough reform activities in the judiciary and setting up of a modern legislative framework, Montenegro has proved its full democratic capacity to enforce the most contemporary European standards in this area.

 

Source: Cafe del Montenegro/Pobjeda

08 Nov 2018, 07:08 AM

07 November 2018 - Montenegro's accession to the European Union and the implementation of comprehensive reforms on this path are in the interest of the Montenegrin citizens and the economy, Chief Negotiator for Montenegrin Accession to the European Union Aleksandar Drljević and Ambassador of Sweden to Montenegro Jan Lundin concluded at the meeting held on November 7.

The two officials stated that in the current accession process, Montenegro has already reached the standards of European Union member states in some areas and that there are reasons for satisfaction with the achieved results.

The Chief Negotiator Drljević pointed out that the Government is committed to implementing comprehensive reforms, not because of membership in the European Union, but primarily because of improving the living standards of its citizens. In addition, he added that membership in NATO and the European Union contributes to security and stability and strengthens the voice of Montenegro in the world.

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Bearing in mind the new approach to the negotiations, Chief Negotiator Drljević stated that the Government is fully committed to meeting the obligations under Chapters 23 and 24 that form the core of the negotiation process. He added that he is hopeful that the remaining two negotiating chapters will soon be opened, adding that there are several chapters in which all obligations are fulfilled and are ready for temporary closure.

Ambassador Lundin congratulated him on the achieved results by pointing out that Montenegro is the most advanced Western Balkan country in the European Union accession process, and that it enjoys the full support of Sweden for membership of the Union.

He said that the process of negotiations is now much more demanding than it was in the previous enlargements of the Union and that great efforts and demanding reforms are needed, especially in the areas of the rule of law and environmental protection.

08 Nov 2018, 06:54 AM

07 November 2018 - Successful implementation of joint activities of Ministry of Internal Affairs of Montenegro and the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) is a good basis for continuing cooperation in the direction of further strengthening regional and international cooperation in the field of border security, it was concluded at today's meeting of Montenegrin Minister Mevludin Nuhodžić with Director of DCAF Ljubljana and DCAF Border Security Programme for Southeast Europe Anton Travner.

Minister Nuhodžić expressed his gratitude for the continued assistance provided by DCAF to Montenegro, especially in the area of cross-border police cooperation, exchanging experiences and the implementation of training, and highlighted his satisfaction with previous joint actions under the DCAF Border Security Programme.

The meeting was an opportunity to share impressions on the recently implemented joint police operation "Tuzi 2018", which was conducted with the support of representatives of European agencies Europol, Frontex and IOM, which confirmed that Montenegro is working proactively in the prevention of illegal migration and cross-border crime. Both sides agreed that the operation was extremely successful, both in terms of detecting migratory routes and exchanging information between the police and the implementation of the readmission procedure with the Republic of Albania.

While expressing full support for Montenegro in the area of border security, Director DCAF Ljubljana Anton Travner praised Montenegro's progress so far and expressed the expectation that good dynamics will continue, with a special focus on further improving technical capacities at the border, strengthening human resources and strengthening the mutual cooperation of police officers in the field of combating cross-border crime and illegal migration.

The meeting also discussed activities planned for the next period within the DCAF Border Security Programme, and the readiness of Montenegro to continue its participation in operations and projects in order to achieve modern standards in this area.

Read more information about Montenegro’s border security here, while the EU assistance to Montenegro’s border security is presented here

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