Politics

30 Sep 2019, 23:56 PM

30 September 2019 - Montenegro’s successful cooperation with the Council of Europe is particularly important in terms of expert support in the field of Montenegrin media legislation reform, said Montenegrin Minister of Culture, Aleksandar Bogdanović at a meeting with Head of the Information Society Department at the Council of Europe Patrick Penninckx. On this occasion, Minister Bogdanović informed Penninckx about activities in drafting new legal solutions.

Mr. Penninckx stressed that the cooperation with the Government of Montenegro and the Ministry of Culture on the reform of media legislation has been extremely productive so far. Furthermore, he expressed the belief that the new legal solutions will further enhance media activity in Montenegro.

The two officials highlighted the importance of free and independent media as a basis for the stability of a democratic society, adding that the aforementioned area should be continuously improved, both through systemic solutions and consistent implementation of rights and obligations by all actors of society.

Minister Bogdanović and Mr. Penninckx spoke about the upcoming start of the second phase of the 2019-2022 JUFREX Horizontal Facility Programme for the Western Balkans and Turkey, with the aim of normative and institutional protection and promotion of freedom of expression and implementation of high standards of the European legal framework as an important precondition and principle of sustainable democracy.

30 Sep 2019, 21:27 PM

30 September 2019 - President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović finished his visit to New York, where he participated in the General Debate of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, meeting with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Guterres expressed satisfaction with the meeting with President Đukanović, because, as he said, Montenegro is a member with no problems. He characterized relations between Montenegro and the UN as excellent, and cooperation in all areas appropriate. The United Nations especially appreciates the initiatives taken towards a peaceful resolution of problems in the region, in which Montenegro is the voice of common sense.

In the context of reaching the full stability of the region, Guterres stressed the importance of creating an environment in which things will move positively, assessing that one of the causes is still unresolved issues, with some delay in Brussels regarding enlargement. He expressed the expectation that the future composition of the European Commission would show greater enthusiasm for the enlargement to the Western Balkans, reported the President's Office.

President Đukanović thanked Secretary-General Guterres for taking the time to meet on a rich agenda during the session and reaffirmed Montenegro's strong partnership and commitment to UN values ​​and multilateralism. He recalled the dynamic agenda of meeting with UN officials and, in the context of continued political dialogue, invited Guterres to visit Montenegro for the 15th anniversary of UN membership in 2021. At the same time, that visit would be a good message for the region as well, Đukanović said.

The President pointed out the key priorities of Montenegro's further development - continuation of European integration and preservation of dynamic economic development, with the assessment that the UN's impetus to accelerate the integration of the Region would be further significant given the strong conviction that WB problems cannot be resolved outside the European Union and Euro-Atlantic structures.

He reaffirmed Montenegro's strong support for UN initiatives and full implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement, as well as reform processes within the system, with continued cooperation with the UN Resident Coordinator in Montenegro.

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

30 Sep 2019, 21:22 PM

30 September 2019 - President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović met with UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore in New York, where he attends the 74th session of the UN General Assembly.

President Đukanović expressed his gratitude for the continued support of UNICEF Montenegro in the implementation of numerous joint projects that resulted in the implementation of legal reforms in the field of child protection, prevention of domestic violence, juvenile justice, and education, and inclusive education.

He pointed to the quality of partnerships which enabled constructive dealing with very sensitive issues and led to significant changes in society in the field of social policy and child protection, and promotion of children's rights and raising awareness of the need for their protection, changes in social behavior and environment, especially in the areas health, education and equal rights. On this line, he expressed his belief that successful cooperation will continue in the future through the implementation of the Cooperation Program for Montenegro for the period 2017-2021, which aims to build on the results achieved so far in the field of child protection and social inclusion and quality education, reported his Office.

The President emphasized that the protection of the rights of children and young people is high on the agenda of the priorities of Montenegro and stressed the importance of adopting the Strategy for the realization of the rights of the child for the period 2019-2023 as a key document in this area. He stressed his readiness to be, as formerly, promoter of the campaigns conducted by the UNICEF office in Montenegro and announced support for the forthcoming campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of vaccination.

Director Fore said that she was honored and delighted with Montenegro's good experience with UNICEF.

"You carry the urge to do something and help the children in Montenegro," pointed out Fore.

She welcomed President Đukanović's willingness to participate in the immunization campaign, with the desire to encourage other countries in the region to take action in the fight against negative campaigning on this topic through his leadership. She emphasized future projects as an early childhood education and skills development for adolescents that will enable them to have a happier and more productive life, which is accepted with pleasure.

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

28 Sep 2019, 21:44 PM

28 September 2019 - After attending the opening of the general debate of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović met with Koen Davidse, executive director of the Dutch constituency at the World Bank.

President Đukanović emphasized the importance of overall cooperation with the World Bank, including credit support from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), as part of the World Bank. He also pointed out that the priorities of the World Bank were in line with the priorities of Montenegro's economic policy, strengthening fiscal stability and raising the level of competitiveness and creating new jobs, reported his Office.

The Executive Director at the World Bank expressed his satisfaction with the opportunity to meet with the President and become more familiar with the vision of development in Montenegro. He positively assessed the processes in Montenegro in terms of growth and fiscal stabilization and expressed interest in cooperation in youth employment, private sector and sustainability projects. He also praised the balance Montenegro is making between progress and the sustainability of the economy.

The interlocutors agreed that the integration of the region is the best framework for its development, especially in the context of the need to adopt new knowledge and European standards in overcoming trade barriers in the region.

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

28 Sep 2019, 21:09 PM

28 September 2019 - The United States Embassy in Montenegro confirmed yesterday that U.S. Secretary of State, Michael R. Pompeo, will visit Montenegro. From October 1 to 6, Pompeo will travel to Montenegro, Italy, the Holy See, North Macedonia, and Greece.

U.S. Embassy spokeswoman, Morgan Ortagus, announced that Pompeo would take part in the U.S. and Holy See Symposium on Partnering with Faith-Based Organizations, where he will deliver keynote remarks.  He will have a private audience with His Holiness Pope Francis, and meet with Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin and Secretary for Relations with States Archbishop Gallagher.

In Rome, Italy, the Secretary will meet with President Mattarella, Prime Minister Conte, and Foreign Minister Di Maio. He will also visit Abruzzo to tour his ancestral home.

The Secretary will then travel to Montenegro, where he will meet with President Đukanović, Prime Minister Duško Marković, and Foreign Minister Darmanović. It will be the first official visit of a U.S. Secretary of State to Montenegro since the restoration of its state independence in 2006, reports Aljazeera. Pompeo, one of U.S. President Donald Trump's closest associates, will emphasize the importance of partnership and alliance between the two countries in NATO, a senior State Department official said at a press briefing on Pompeo's European tour, which was held on the sidelines of a United Nations General Assembly session.

Pompeo will also emphasize NATO's openness to new members and the contribution Montenegro has made as a small country to the Alliance in terms of geographical location and entry to the Adriatic Sea.

Asked by Voice of America about the significance and timing of the visit, the official said Montenegro was an important ally and that "the secretary of state is looking forward to the historic opportunity to visit it."

A senior State Department official said the U.S. remains highly engaged and focused on the Western Balkans region, which is strategically important to Europe's vision of being united, free and at peace, which is confirmed with the Secretary of State's decision to appoint a Special Representative for the Balkans, Matthew Palmer.

After his visit to Montenegro, Secretary will travel to North Macedonia, where he will meet with President Pendarovski, Prime Minister Zaev, and other government officials. The Secretary will also tour the Holy Mother of God “Peribleptos” monastery complex while visiting Lake Ohrid.

Finally, the Secretary will travel to Athens, Greece, where he will meet with Prime Minister Mitsotakis, Foreign Minister Dendias, and Defense Minister Panagiotopoulos.

28 Sep 2019, 19:21 PM

28 September 2019 - Montenegro has no doubts when it comes to the country’s accession to the EU, and we hope that the next Brussels administration will give an additional impetus to the Union's more active role in the region, Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Pažin said at a meeting with ambassadors of the EU Member States and the Head of EU Delegation to Podgorica.

During the meeting, the Deputy Prime Minister and ambassadors exchanged views on current political topics and issues relevant to the process of European integration of Montenegro.

Regarding the current process of electoral reform and other legislation reform, the Deputy Prime Minister pointed out that the ruling majority is open to dialogue with the opposition in order to hold all future elections in Montenegro according to the highest international standards. He stressed, however, that the current demands of the opposition for a caretaker government have no political, democratic or constitutional basis, and that any dialogue that would mean the opposition's insistence on such unrealistic and unfounded demands has no future.

Speaking about the Law on Freedom of Religion, DPM Pažin noted that the Government is ready to achieve the maximum degree of consensus in constructive and professional dialogue with religious communities to further advance the legal text by accepting the recommendations of the Venice Commission. He estimated that yesterday's meeting between Prime Minister Duško Marković and Metropolitan Amfilohije was an expression of the democratic capacity of the Prime Minister and the Government and the readiness to engage in a constructive and reasoned dialogue with all religious communities on this subject, despite a very aggressive and factually unfounded campaign against the proposed law. The Deputy Prime Minister assessed the content of yesterday's meeting as a positive and encouraging step.

DPM Pažin said that in the case of the request of the Republic of Croatia for the extradition of Saša Sinđelić, his decision as Minister of Justice would be based on the law and very principled, respecting the position of the competent court on the fulfillment of the conditions for extradition.

Furthermore, the officials exchanged opinions on other issues of importance for Montenegro's accession to the European Union.

Ambassador Aivo Orav, the Head of the EU Delegation to Podgorica, thanked Deputy Prime Minister Pažin for open and honest dialogue and pointed out that the European Union wants to see Montenegro as its member as soon as possible, which is why European partners expect Montenegro to apply the highest standards of respect for European policies and values.

27 Sep 2019, 22:29 PM
September 27, 2019 - The Government of Montenegro adopted the Bill on Amendments to the Law on the Protection of the Natural and Cultural-Historical Area of ​​Kotor at its session held on Thursday, September 26.
 
After the meeting, Minister of Culture Aleksandar Bogdanovic addressed the media, who said that the proposal was preceded by a period during which many other activities were implemented.
 
"The determination of the proposed changes to the existing legal solution was, first of all, motivated to preserve Kotor status on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Action Plan, which also became the Government's strategy in the past, preceded the drafting of this document. It was during the three years that we made some other very significant decisions and implemented complex activities to receive significant encouragement and positive evaluations from UNESCO. The result is the positive comment we have got this year from the Committee Session held in Baku," emphasized Minister Bogdanović.
 
One of the implemented measures was the introduction of a moratorium on construction in the protected area of Kotor. Also, for the first time, a mechanism for the preparation of a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) was introduced into national legislation, he emphasized.
 
Minister Bogdanovic also spoke about the critical changes envisaged by the enacted act.
This document amended the articles on the drafting of the Heritage Impact Assessment in terms of more precise guidelines for the procedure itself. The new solution also envisages introducing a difference in method for the protection zone and the protected environment/buffer zone. The impact assessments for the buffer zone should be defined based on a separate act to be adopted by the Directorate for the Protection of Cultural Property. The document should identify locations in the buffer zone that have an impact on the universal value of the Kotor area and for which it is necessary to operate the HIA - he said.
 
Minister Aleksandar Bogdanovic concluded that the proposed amendments further define the procedures for making individual assessments for heritage, but also leave room for these procedures to be drafted only within the zones defined by a particular act of the Directorate for the Protection of Cultural Property.
 
27 Sep 2019, 17:01 PM

27 September 2019 - Upon his arrival in New York, where he is attending the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović met with representatives of the Diaspora organized by the Consulate General of Montenegro in New York.

The President of Montenegro expressed his gratitude to those present and the entire Diaspora for their loyalty to Montenegro and contribution to the aspirations of our modern state, noting that the Diaspora also represents a significant Montenegrin potential for the near better future.

They discussed the processes in our country and the region, in the context of integration aspirations, the achievement of European values ​​and standards and increasing the quality of life of citizens, reported the Office of the President of Montenegro.

President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović also had the opportunity to meet with representatives of the Montenegrin Diaspora Association on Thursday, following his address to the United Nations General Assembly.

Continuing his visit, President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović will also attend the official opening of the General Debate of the 74th Session of the General Assembly and will be a guest at a luncheon hosted by Antonio Guterres for top UN officials, as well as receptions by US President Donald Trump and Donald Tusk President of European Council.

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

22 Sep 2019, 16:44 PM

September 22, 2019 - The manifestation Kotor Circle ended yesterday in the city. The second edition of this Festival of free thought will be remembered for political censorship directed by the local DPS government. Namely, on the day of the festival beginning, the financier - Kotor Municipality, informed the organizers that they would be denied support if, although it was foreseen by the previously defined agenda, Goran Jovanovic, alias Timur Tmurni appeared at the Festival.

On Thursday, the organizers of the Kotor Circle informed satirist Goran Jovanovic that he was unwelcome as a participant of the event at which he had to speak with the renowned Serbian writer and publicist Teofil Pancic about the Culture of Dialogue.
 
"With great regret and sincere embarrassment, we would like to inform you that the official position of the Municipality of Kotor has been announced to us today that you cannot be one of the speakers at the Kotor Circle Festival. Since most of the participants are already in Kotor, and that these are significant names of the regional cultural scene, and we have been announced that your participation would call into question the holding of the Festival, please understand us as the organizers of the Festival and the importance of holding it and the inability to influence the new situation."
 
In a Facebook post, Timur Tmurni stated that he was honored to have been banned, as he said, by the illegal leadership of the Kotor municipality.
 
"The fact that I have acquired the status of the dissident by this expected act is very pleasing to me. I will do everything to point out to the anti-regime media in Montenegro and the reputable media in the region the miserable act of censorship and suppression of free speech," Timur Tmurni said on Facebook.
 
The Mayor of Kotor Željko Aprcović did not want to comment on this event, and his party colleague secretary Marina Dulovic said the municipality, sponsor of the Festival and someone who provides part of the logistics, has the right to influence the event program.
 
Due to the move by the editorial board of Kotor, which decided to hold the Festival anyway, visitors, numerous names from the socio-political life of Kotor and the festival participants themselves, such as Teofil Pancic and renowned Croatian writer and columnist Ante Tomic, gathered on Friday in the hall of the Kotor Cultural Center and expressed their displeasure.
 
"In more than a quarter-century of my professional career and public involvement in social problems, where I have often encountered various forms of implicit and explicit censorship, I have not encountered, seen or experienced anything like this before," commented the famous Serbian journalist and writer Teofil Pancic in Kotor on Friday. Because of his explicit ban on his participation in the Kotor Circle Festival, he could not share the booth with musician, satirist, and poet, doctor Goran Jovanovic.
 
kotor circle teofil pancicKotor circle: Teofil Pancic, Copyright: Timur Tmurni FB
 
Pancic came to the gathering wearing a "Je suis Timur Tmurni" t-shirt (I'm Timur Tmurni), alluding to t-shirts with similar messages worn several years ago by intellectuals around the world in support of the Paris satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
 
He said that the censorship of the current Kotor authorities to Jovanovic, "is usually done more subtly, in such a way that the traces of the atrocities are not seen."
 
"This is so bare and brutal that my first thought when I heard about it was that it was just incredibly stupid. So, besides being amoral, socially irresponsible, cheeky, opinionated, arrogant, undemocratic, etc., above all, it is incredibly shameful, because in such a way, nowadays, in today's social, technological and cultural circumstances, such things do not work. If censorship occurs, then it simply goes some other course, more subtly and with hiding. There are no traces of abuses, such as preventive censorship in Serbia, which is very difficult to prove because there are no traces, "Pancic said, adding that the procedure of the Kotor DPS-government towards Timur Tmurni is" a cinematic situation."
 
In his further interaction with the audience, he spoke about the lack of a culture of dialogue in the former Yugoslavia, the problems of post-democracy, segregation in society on political grounds, and elementary issues of freedom.
 
"It is important how much you feel as free as an individual. You have to fight for freedom, and you should not be too mystified," Pancic said.
 
kotor circle animaKotor Circle: NGO Anima's Performance, Copyright: Timur Tmurni FB
 
Activists of the NGO "Anima" followed the beginning of the second festival evening, sitting in the front row, with patches over their mouth, which read "censorship." All the audience expressed their support for Timur Tmurni and his newly acquired status as a dissident in Kotor.
 
The organizers of the Kotor Circle, Prof. Tatjana Djurisic-Becanovic and Ksenija Rakocevic, MA addressed yesterday the public but their official statement on this issue:
 
"When the Secretary of Culture of the Municipality of Kotor, Ms. Marina Dulovic, orally prohibited Goran Jovanovic from participating in the Kotor Circle event and thus censured the previously adopted program, we as Organizers were left with only two options: to remain silent or to speak in terms of censorship and violence.
 
We have opted for the latter, because of silence, motivated by even the noblest of reasons, most suits the perpetrators of violence - the censors. Speaking, when it is strictly forbidden, when all of you - and the position and the opposition - are the most expecting torment, is the sweetest. With such a decision, we provoked the anger of both competent censors and individual advocates of free speech, who demanded from us silence, submission and recognition that we were worse than our censors. However, by maintaining this manifestation despite of censorship, we caused a real eruption of discontent and civil disobedience, which was smoldering in the "democratic conditions of democratically elected" Kotor authorities, and just waiting for provocation.
 
The Kotor Circle was designed as a provocative manifestation that triggers taboo-topics, which provokes and leads to verbal delinquency for both participants and visitors. We have caused your courage and challenged you to join our Circle. The Circle of Free Speech and Free Thought, which will continue to exist despite the prohibitions and anger of the righteous, because in Montenegro there will always be open circles of freedom, surrounded by the space of violence and total control. We are obliged, among other things, by the words and support of Ivan Colovic, who recognized us as heirs to the Belgrade Circle, of which he is the founder and creator of the idea. Citizens have to be brave and step into our Circle, in which no one will be intimidated, silenced, insulted, annoyed, jerked.
 
The municipality of Kotor, the sponsor, and censor of this event made us wonder again how much freedom costs? History teaches us that it is sometimes paid by life. Fortunately, we only paid with money because we were forced to, despite the signed Agreement, finance the Kotor Circle from our funds. It is now clear to us that freedom is still invaluable. We want to thank the competent authorities for the censorship in the attempt, which proved that we are free and will always speak freely.
 
We thank the holders of the free speech: Prof. Dr. Aleksandar Jerkov, Muharem Bazdulj, Mark Tomaš, Balsa Brkovic, Stevan Kordic, Dušan Maljkovic, Teofil Pancic, Dr. Ivan Colovic, Ant Tomic, Marinko Vorgic and Goran Jovanovic (Timur Tmurno), because they proved that we are all "Kotor, all of us" the organizer said in a statement.
 
It was the second edition of the Kotor Circle Festival, launched last year by the Culture Secretariat of the Municipality of Kotor, when it was run by parties that are opposition at the state level.
 
Source: Timur Tmurni FB profile, Vijesti
20 Sep 2019, 20:49 PM

20 September 2019 - President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović received Ambassador of the Republic of Greece to Montenegro Sotirios Athanasiou.

The President thanked Ambassador Sotirios Athanasiou for excellent cooperation during his diplomatic term and expressed satisfaction with the improvement of relations between the two countries in all fields. He extended special gratitude to Greece for its continued support to Montenegro and the WB region in the integration process, appreciating that Greece correctly understands the crucial importance of integration for the stability and perspective of the Region, as well as the whole of Europe. Expecting Montenegro and the WB to have encouraging messages from Athens in the coming period, Đukanović said full integration remains an essential issue.

"Stability and dynamic economic development are directly dependent on the speed of integration," said Đukanović.

In talks with Ambassador Athanasiou, President Đukanović congratulated him on his election to the Government and expressed hope that the new Greek executive authority would with great affection look to develop relations between the two countries. In this context, he welcomed the recent visit of President Pavlupoulos to Montenegro, which provided a strong impetus for further enhancement of co-operation, including on this occasion the signed Agreement in the field of culture, which will help further better connect the two peoples. Taking steps to intensify university and transport and maritime co-operation, with excellent defense co-operation with NATO, the President assessed that the most important co-operation resource in the coming period remains the field of economy and tourism and encouraged an even stronger presence of Greek investors in Montenegro, his office reported.

Ambassador Athanasiou thanked the President and the Montenegrin people for their friendly reception during his term and said that Montenegro had made tremendous progress, both economically and in the area of ​​the rule of law, and that it was a leader in the integration process.

"You have made tremendous progress and it would be fair for Montenegro to become an EU member," the ambassador said, stressing that the EU is the only path for WB countries without which Europe will not be fully integrated.

With satisfaction with the results of President Pavlopoulos's visit, the Greek ambassador reiterated his invitation to President Đukanović to visit Athens, which he was pleased to accept.

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

19 Sep 2019, 20:16 PM

19 September 2019 - Montenegro and Greece have excellent political bilateral relations, and the two countries’ solid economic cooperation needs to be further strengthened, Montenegrin Prime Minister Duško Marković and Greek Ambassador Sotirios Athanasiou concluded at a recent meeting.

"Greece has always clearly and directly supported our national preferences and I want to thank you for that. Your embassy was the first point of contact in the NATO integration process, and today, as a full member of the Alliance, together with Italy, you are protecting our airspace, "Prime Minister Marković told Ambassador Athanasiou, who he received on a farewell visit.

The Prime Minister said that numerous very credible Greek companies are present in Montenegro, but that there is room for more meaningful cooperation and new investments in various fields. At the meeting, it was stated that better aviation connectivity would give additional impetus to stronger economic cooperation. In this context, the decision of the Government of Montenegro to valorize the airports was positively assessed, thus ensuring the improvement of the infrastructure as well as better aviation accessibility.

According to the official statement by the Government of Montenegro, the interlocutors agreed that the process of integration of Montenegro and the entire Western Balkans region into the European Union is of great importance for further progress, peace and stability. Ambassador Athanasiou stressed that integration is equally important for the Balkans and for the EU and said it was important to speed up the negotiation process.

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

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