June 4, 2019 - The public hearing on Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on Courts, announced on 13 May by the Ministry of Justice, was completed yesterday. However, after the reaction of the Chamber of Advocates, which claims that the proposed changes are not in line with the citizens' interest and EU recommendations, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Zoran Pažin, to its President, Zdravko Begovic, promised that the disputed text would be withdrawn from the assembly procedure.
02 June 2019 - President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović met in Budva during the 2BS Forum with Ambassador of the United States of America, Judy Rising Reinke.
The Ambassador pointed out that the United States greatly appreciates the partnership of Montenegro and its Euro-Atlantic direction. She expressed full readiness for expert assistance to the reforms we are implementing, starting from the recently published EC Progress Report.
President Đukanović thanked Ambassador Reinke for participating in the Forum, as well as the messages of the support in her presentation to the Euro-Atlantic perspective of the region and Montenegro, and high marks for the reaction of institutions to challenges such as the recent High Court verdict in the case of terrorism attempts in 2016.
With the assessment that Montenegro continues to be committed to achieving strategic goals, the President expressed his belief in the potential of democratic and economic development and the readiness to be a responsible NATO member.
"More than that, we are ready to promote the values of Euro-Atlanticism in the region very consciously, aware of the importance of preserving these values, especially in this time," Đukanović said.
He also added that Montenegro is determined to eliminate all the deficiencies in the further path of EU integration, primarily in the interest of the quality of life of our citizens, where the support of the United States is of particular importance.
The interlocutors agreed with the high-quality bilateral relations between the two countries, with a mutual commitment for further improvement of economic cooperation, through the animation of credible partners that, besides investments, will bring new knowledge and standards to this area.
Đukanović and Reinke exchanged views on current processes in the region, highlighting the importance of faster resolution of open issues for its European and Euro-Atlantic perspective.
31 May 2019 - Prime Minister Duško Marković said in Pristina after the meeting with Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj that relations between Montenegro and Kosovo are friendly, that the two countries remain consistent in achieving good-neighbourly, European and Euro-Atlantic goals, and when it comes to economic cooperation, they remain consistent especially in developing the infrastructure.
"It is always my pleasure to come to Pristina to meet with Prime Minister Haradinaj and to discuss all the issues concerning the bilateral relations of the two countries. Today, I was particularly pleased to attend the opening of the Development Centre of Montenegrins in Pristina. This is proof that the two countries have a lasting and essential friendship, that they are committed to the basic values that our countries cherish and the values of the European Union, that multiculturalism and multiethnic harmony, respect for the values of our communities are the greatest support to the sustainability of our countries and our lasting friendship," Prime Minister Duško Marković stressed.
The Prime Minister of Montenegro thanked the Government of Kosovo and its Prime Minister for engaging in the recognition and visibility of the Montenegrin community in Kosovo. "Prime Minister Haradinaj convinced me at this meeting that the Montenegrin community will be institutionally recognisable in the future," PM Marković said.
The meeting discussed bilateral relations, economic cooperation and infrastructure projects.
"Infrastructure development is a key assumption and basis for our accelerated development. I congratulate the Prime Minister and his Government on the results they have achieved in developing the road infrastructure. Montenegro is doing it also and I believe that in the years to come, we will reach your result and your efforts, and this is the best contribution to the connectivity agenda we committed to in Trieste when we signed the Action Plan," Prime Minister Duško Marković noted.
The prime ministers of Montenegro and Kosovo agreed that the opening of the motorway from Pristina to the border of Kosovo and Macedonia is not valuable for these two countries only, but for the entire region.
"This will speed up and connect Macedonia and Kosovo with Montenegro, it will strengthen and improve the movement of citizens and tourists, and at the same time give a new opportunity for our companies and our economy," PM Marković emphasised.
The Prime Minister of Montenegro said that the meeting also discussed the improvement of infrastructure in the border area, on the routes of Peć - Rožaje and Plav - Dečane, adding that the population from both sides of the border demanded it.
"Kosovo and Montenegro are very dynamically developing their relations and their partnership. We are very well aware of the achievement of the key goals of the two countries, and they are European and Euro-Atlantic. Montenegro is at the disposal of our friends from Kosovo to share all the experiences and support we had in the Euro-Atlantic process regarding NATO membership and, of course, our experience in negotiating process with the European Union," Prime Minister Duško Marković said.
Prime Minister of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj repeated the words of Prime Minister Marković, saying that Montenegro and Kosovo remain friends, consistent in achieving their strategic interests, which are not only good-neighbourly, but European and Euro-Atlantic.
May 31, 2019 - The President of the Kotor Municipality Assembly with the imperative provisions of the Law on Local Self-Government, and on the basis of the submitted request - complies the initiative by the newly formed majority assembly to convene the session of the Kotor Assembly, scheduled the 20th session with the proposed agenda - the election of the President of the Municipality of Kotor. The meeting will be held on 14 June 2019, at 6 pm at the palace Bizanti.
30 May 2019 - President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović received the head of the European Union delegation in Podgorica, Aivo Orav, who handed to him the European Commission Annual Progress Report on Montenegro in the negotiation process.
President Đukanović expressed his satisfaction with the occasion of the meeting, stating that after the delivery of the Report, he will be able to find out more about its contents in more detail. He stressed that, as before, we would be very responsible in accordance with the assessments and recommendations of the Report, starting from the fact that the Report is the view of the partner on the situation in our house and the view of those in whose community we want to enter.
"We will very seriously study the recommendations, in order to further improve the pace and quality of the negotiation process," Đukanović said.
The President expressed satisfaction with the confirmation that Montenegro is in a state capable of facing and overcoming the challenges, especially, as he said, in relation to two key Balkan challenges: internal security and political stability and economic development.
"With the impression that we are on the right track, aware of the remaining work, we will intensify our efforts to continue the process optimally in cooperation with the European Union Office in Podgorica. We believe that we can do more than before and we will do it," Đukanović said.
Ambassador Orav expressed high marks for the achievements of Montenegro in the field of foreign policy and regional cooperation. He also pointed to the assessments in the Report that some areas require more visible progress, and that a new Report for Montenegro is being written from now on.
The interlocutors agreed that for the future of the Region, one of the most important issues is defining the European Unionropean perspective of Albania and North Macedonia, and that the decision of European Union member states to start the negotiations would be its strong confirmation, and of great importance for the entire region.
29 May 2019 - In this year's report, the European Commission has provided precise and detailed guidelines for the high-quality fulfillment of the obligations of joining the European Union, and it is the right moment for every member of Montenegrin society to see their role in the process of European integration and contribute to the EU accession through their work, Chief Negotiator Aleksandar Drljević said.
The Chief Negotiator and the members of the Negotiating Group presented today the findings of the European Commission's Report on Montenegro to the representatives of Montenegrin media. A working breakfast with journalists on the occasion of the presentation of the EC Report on Montenegro was organised by the Secretariat-General of the Government of Montenegro, in cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
Drljević reminded that this year's Report provides an assessment of the progress made, both in terms of fulfilling the political and economic criteria for EU membership, as well as the ability to take on the obligations of membership in 33 negotiating chapters.
"The EC recorded the achieved results and Montenegro's progress in the accession process, but also gave precise and detailed guidelines in order to continue with the high-quality fulfillment of the obligations from the accession period, with emphasis on the areas in which additional efforts are needed in order for the reform effects to yield the desired results," Chief Negotiator Drljević stressed.
He pointed out that in most negotiating chapters, the results and progress achieved during the reporting period were recognised, adding that the Montenegrin side is ready to open the last chapter 8, to obtain benchmarks for closing chapters 23 and 24, as well as to temporarily close several chapters.
"The evaluations from the Report will serve as guidelines for further reform work whose ultimate goal is to achieve European quality of life in Montenegro. The publication of the EC Report represents a right opportunity for all members of our society, to see their role in the process of European integration and contribute to Montenegro's membership in the EU through their dedicated work," the Chief Negotiator emphasised.
Journalists were interested in how the institutions will treat the recommendations contained in the Report, as well as the negotiators' comment on freedom of expression assessments and the plan to overcome all the challenges highlighted in the Report on the professionalism and efficiency of the judiciary.
Negotiator for chapters 23 and 24 Marijana Laković is pleased with the progress made in the judicial reform, pointing out that the Draft Strategy for Judicial Reform has planned measures that are in line with EC recommendations.
"When it comes to freedom of expression, the Government has made efforts to improve the situation during the reporting period, among other things, by changing the set of media laws whose adoption is expected by the end of this year. The dedication of the police and judiciary institutions is reflected in the fact that from four attacks on journalists three have been solved by final convictions, while hopefully, the court epilogue of the attack on journalist Oliver Lakić is expected soon. The EC highlighted the weakness of media self-regulation. It is not up to the Government, but up to you, representatives of the media community and the Government will provide full support in resolving this issue, without any interference with the independence of self-regulation," Laković said.
Answering the question about the duration of the negotiation process, the Chief Negotiator said that he was satisfied with the work done, but it is ungrateful to forecast the date of EU accession.
"There is still a lot of work to be done before accession. It is important to us that the perspective of membership exists, and the date of accession will depend not only on us, but also on the situation in the EU and its member states. We are aware that various events, such as Brexit, the migrant crisis and internal consolidation in the EU, reflect on the enlargement policy. We cannot influence events in the Union, but we can continue with our reform activities," Drljević concluded.
29 May 2019 - Montenegro continues to be a leader in the process of joining the European Union, and therefore retains the position of a stable and honest partner of the European Union in the Balkans, Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Pažin told the press following his meeting with the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro Aivo Orav, who handed over to the Deputy Prime Minister the annual report on Montenegro's progress in the process of the EU accession.
"Montenegro does not expect and does not want the EU to turn a blind eye to it or to be admitted to the European Union before it fully meets all the necessary conditions for full membership. We responsibly accept the work that is ahead of us and we also expect that our efforts and results will be recognised and confirmed promptly. Montenegro's membership in the European Union is possible only if we are equally interested in it, both our European partners and us," said the Deputy Prime Minister.
He noted that the leading position of Montenegro in the current policy of enlargement of the European Union is not only an epithet, but also an obligation. "Montenegro, as a country where a clear institutional and legal framework has been established, today also shows that institutions are ready to implement laws, without exception and with a clear goal - to strengthen the country in which every citizen feels safe and lives a dignified life from their work, where institutions function as citizens' service. Of course, there is still more work to be done before we can start the final phase of the accession process that is waiting for us, as we hope for, from the end of this year. "
The Deputy Prime Minister expressed confidence that the Report will be a clear indication to all member states that Montenegro has achieved notable progress in the area of the rule of law and that it is willing to open negotiations by the end of the year in the remaining Chapter 8, but also to get the closure criteria for negotiations in chapters 23 and 24 .
He announced that the Government would pay special attention this year to fulfiling certain recommendations he believes can contribute to further strengthening of credibility and trust in the institutions of the system. "In particular, I would like to emphasise certain activities that will be undertaken towards the strengthening of institutions dealing with the prevention of corruption, as well as further improvement of the environment for the professional work of the media."
He expressed satisfaction that the European Commission also showed that the enlargement policy is alive, stating that Montenegro, with 32 open and three temporarily closed chapters, is proud to retain the position of a leader in the enlargement policy, in which the first next candidate achieved only half such success.
"I would like to congratulate our friends from North Macedonia and Albania on the achieved success - getting the recommendation for opening of the EU accession negotiations, because their success is the success of the entire region, and when we have countries in the region that are on a clear path of adopting Western values, it is easier for Montenegro to persist and succeed on that path," the Deputy Prime Minister concluded.
May 30, 2019 - A public debate on the draft Law on Amendments to the Law on Courts is in progress. The draft includes, among other things, the amendment of the local jurisdiction of the Basic Court in Kotor, so that the Basic Court in Cetinje is competent for the territory of the Municipality of Budva. According to attorneys of the South Region, gathered in the Attorney Chamber of Montenegro, such a proposal is unacceptable, because the court of Kotor may then come to the category of economically inexperienced courts, which could ultimately lead to its abolition because of the request for rationalization. It would have caused the most significant damage to citizens of Boka.
May 29, 2019 - The public company Sea Property is not a partner of the Municipality of Herceg Novi nor to the citizens of our city. It does not respect the efforts to achieve the cooperation, reads the announcement of the Public Invitation for the Lease of the city port of Škver, announced by the President of the Herceg Novi Municipality, Stevan Katić.
28 May 2019 - Minister of Foreign Affairs Srđan Darmanović participated in the meeting of diplomats of the Višegrad Group (V4) and the Western Balkan countries, which took place in Bratislava, within the framework of the Slovakian presidency of V4. The meeting discussed the modalities of accelerating reforms and the integration process in the Western Balkans and exchanged views on a common European future in the context of the contemporary challenges facing the international community.
Minister Darmanović stressed that the assistance of the V4 countries to Montenegro's reform process is very important and that their firm support for the integration aspirations of the countries of the region contributes to faster accession to European and Euro-Atlantic structures.
"We have witnessed serious challenges for the European Union in the previous period, but in spite of that, the prospect of enlargement, which is often the most successful EU policy, is very certain, and it is important to be further strengthened," the head of Montenegrin diplomacy noted. He expressed the belief that the issue of enlargement will be high on the agenda of the new European Commission and Parliament while respecting the approach to the individual assessment of candidate countries' progress.
"Faster integration of the Western Balkans into the European Union is essential for further stabilisation and economic progress in the region," Minister Darmanović said, adding that the continuity of integration processes remains the most effective catalyst for reforms in the Western Balkan countries. Emphasising that enlargement is a two-pronged process, the Foreign Minister reiterated that Montenegro is firmly and resolutely committed to meeting its obligations on the path to full EU membership.
The meeting underlined that closer cooperation in the context of European integration and the implementation of joint projects would contribute to sustainable economic development and further stability of the region. Particular emphasis was placed on the importance of the Union's greater presence in the Western Balkans, with the continuation of reforms in terms of the rule of law and the enhancement of the institutional framework.
27 May 2019 - Minister of the Interior of Montenegro Mevludin Nuhodžić and Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of North Macedonia and Minister of Internal Affairs Oliver Spasovski signed a Protocol on Cooperation between the Ministry of the Interior of Montenegro and the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of North Macedonia in the field of European integration.
"The signing of the Protocol on Cooperation in the field of European integration will contribute to strengthening the cooperation between the two ministries, and we will make our capacities, regarding the implementation of obligations under chapters 23 and 24, available to our colleagues from North Macedonia. I believe that our expertise and experience during the negotiation process will be important for our colleagues from neighbouring country, and that, through this type of cooperation, we will further improve the exchange of information among the law enforcement institutions," Minister Nuhodžić said and added that the strong commitment of the two countries to the European and Euro-Atlantic perspective resulted in initiatives of common interest in the field of the internal affairs.
During the meeting, the two ministers discussed specific activities which should be undertaken in the fight against organized crime, illegal migration, trafficking in human beings and terrorism.
"Security challenges cross the borders of one country and can only be answered by joint forces and cooperation between states, and Montenegro and North Macedonia serve as an example," Nuhodžić stressed.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Affairs Oliver Spasovski expressed satisfaction with the cooperation between North Macedonia's and Montenegro's police, which is an important part of the overall bilateral relations, strategic partnership and trust between the two countries.
"The joint session of the two governments confirms the close and friendly ties between Montenegro and North Macedonia, and intensive police cooperation is crucial for the stability and security of the Region," Minister Nuhodžić concluded.