07 Oct 2019, 21:06 PM

October 7, 2019 - Montenegro and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) have concluded an Agreement under which European police officers, along with Montenegrin police, will patrol along the state border. As reported, the European Union will provide Montenegro with expert training and expert assistance in border surveillance. 

The Agreement, signed in Luxembourg by Montenegrin Interior Ministers Mevludin Nuhodzic and Finland, currently EU Presidency, Maria Ohisalo, as well as European Commissioner for Internal Affairs and Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos, regulates relations between the two sides and specified rights and obligations in dealing with security challenges, including illegal migration.
Nuhodzic said that the Agreement represents "the strengthening of successful and high-quality cooperation between Montenegro and the European Union in the field of border security."
"With this Agreement, we have opened a new chapter on border management and cross-border crime cooperation. More intensive cooperation between Montenegro and Frontex will enable us to respond more quickly and effectively to potential migration challenges. Safe and secure borders, which should remain open to the free movement of people and goods and, at the same time, protected from the activities of criminals. Such as illegal migration, organized crime, and terrorism. Only a well-protected and robust state border can guarantee the safety and security of both citizens in Montenegro and citizens across Europe," said Nuhodzic.
EU Commissioner Avramopoulos has called the conclusion of the agreement "an important achievement for both Montenegro and the EU," the Government said.
"This agreement is another step towards the full operationalization of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and marks another step forward in EU-partner cooperation with the Western Balkans. Montenegro is the second country in the region to sign such an operation after the operation launched in Albania earlier this year, which has already yielded positive results," Avramopolos said.
Ohisalo said this Agreement is further evidence of deepening and expanding cooperation (EU) with Montenegro and will bring benefits to both parties, especially in controlling migration flows, combating illegal migration and cross-border crime, including migrant smuggling, trafficking, and terrorism.
"More broadly, we are convinced that this Status Agreement will enhance cooperation with the entire Western Balkans region, which the European Union considers to be one of its priorities. The negotiations are conducted in a good cooperation spirit and in a constructive way that characterizes our relations," Ohisalo said.
Source: gov.me
07 Oct 2019, 20:38 PM
October 7, 2019 - Kotor Municipal Assembly President Jovo Sudjic (DPS) called the Democratic councilor in Kotor parliament, physician Dr. Goran Jovanovic "a monster in human form." Sudjic asked the director of Kotor General Hospital Dr. Ivan Ilic to take action against Jovanovic, who is employed by that public health care institution.
In an open letter to Ilic, sent today via Kotor's Skala Radio, Sudjic stated that "once a respected Kotor hospital, today, thanks to some doctors whose behavior can at least be called unprecedented and uneducated, it has reached the level of which Kotor is ashamed. "He accused Jovanovic, who, in addition to medicine, is also involved in artistic creation as a musician, poet and satirist, Timur Tmurni, that he "passionately" deals with Sudjic and other public figures whose politics he dislikes and that in his public appearances "satanizes and insults, continues to slander, not choosing words with the intention of belittling and insulting."
"I expected Dr. Ilic that you would come to the Kotor Municipal Assembly or, at least, as my former colleague of councilors, invite me to a meeting to try to overcome this problem. You did not do this for the reasons known to you. For this reason, I do not think that you care much about insulting doctors and self-styled satirists, who must be a humanist, not a monster in human form. Others see it, unfortunately not you, nor Minister (of Health, Kenan) Hrapovic," reads Sujić's open letter.
The head of the Kotor parliament criticizes the hospital director for allegedly failing to respond adequately to his June letter when Sudjic also complained about Jovanovic's media appearances. Sudjic stressed that Jovanovic's expertise as a physician was "questionable" for him. He believes that Ilic's earlier claim is that none of Jovanovic's colleagues or patients complained about his treatment as a doctor. Sudjic also notes that Jovanovic allegedly "verbally attacked a colleague (Bruna) Loncarevic, your associate, what was announced publicly at the College of Physicians in your presence."
"You knew it, and you had to react because it is an attack that should not be tolerated, precisely because of the reputation of the hospital, if you did not want to protect your colleague and her integrity and reputation. Listen, Dr. Ilic, to your colleagues at the hospital. Ask them what they think about Jovanovic's behavior. Not only for the brutal attacks on me, but also for other prominent citizens like your colleague, who he does not like, but also for the need to protect the reputation of the hospital you are leading from such street behavior," said Sudjic to the director of the Kotor hospital.
Bruna Loncarevic is a member of the SDP, which by a decisive seventeenth vote in the Kotor Municipal Assembly, supports the current local ruling DPS-SD-HGI-LP coalition.
In a letter to Ilic, Sudjic also abuses Jovanovic that he allegedly publicly discloses the diagnoses and therapies of the patients he receives, "making jokes on their behalf by mocking them and belittling their origins and status." He said Jovanovic is "a doctor who keeps political tirades in the hospital." Sudjic noted that he had also briefed Health Minister Kenan Hrapovic (SD) about everything, but that he "did not even respond to the letter, thus best-showing interest in the issue."
Goran Jovanovic has been in the public spotlight recently after the municipal DPS government banned him from appearing as one of the featured speakers at the Kotor Circle festival, which was financially supported by the local government. That is why all participants of the festival - prominent intellectuals and public figures from Montenegro, Serbia, and Croatia, publicly protested and supported Jovanovic, and the organizers of the Kotor Circle from the NGO Hyperion decided that the festival will no longer be held in Kotor.
"After such brutal, open, and shameless censorship, there is no longer room in Kotor until Kotor becomes an oasis of freedom again, until semi-intellectuals and drunken mayors rush down the scales they have climbed. We are going from this city and carrying the festival to other, better places, if any in our homeland. If not, we will create them with the help of you all," said festival co-organizer Ksenija Rakocevic at the time.
Source: Boka News
07 Oct 2019, 16:56 PM

07 October 2019 - President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović received United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the Villa Gorica.

President Đukanović said the first visit of the US secretary of state is historical and an honor for Montenegro. He recalled the long tradition of relations between the two countries and highlighted the US's appreciation for continued support throughout its historical duration.

"Relations between Montenegro and the United States were particularly enriched at the end of the last century, during the Yugoslav crisis, when a strong trust was built to this day thanks to significant political and financial assistance from Washington, which has crucially contributed to maintaining peace and multiethnic harmony in Montenegro," pointed out Đukanović, adding that the trust between the two countries was also important for the implementation of reforms in Montenegro, restoration of independence, NATO membership and leadership in the negotiation process with the EU. The visit is a gesture of US support for the youngest NATO member, and a message to everyone in the region who should follow this example.

Recalling the achievements of the past 13 years, the President stressed that we had demonstrated policy-making skills, reform capacity, and a clear vision and ability to adopt European and Euro-Atlantic values, with respect for human and minority rights and democracy. Speaking about state policy priorities, he emphasized maintaining a good pace of economic growth, continuing the integration process with a strong commitment to the rule of law and media freedoms, and enhancing internal political stability, and enhancing religious freedom through drafting the Laws to the highest European standards.

He also reaffirmed Montenegro's commitment to continue to be a promoter of Europeanization in the Region, stating that the integration of the WB is a prerequisite for its stability and overcoming a deep lag. In this regard, he welcomed the increased US presence in the region, the appointment of a special envoy, and expressed his expectation that a more determined European enlargement policy would be encouraged, reported President's Office.

He particularly emphasized satisfaction with bilateral relations and valuable cooperation in defense and security, hybrid threats, and the rule of law. He conveyed to Secretary Pompeo an openness to strengthen economic cooperation and more significant presence of US investors, who will bring, above all, new standards and skills.

The US Secretary of State thanked the President and his team for their excellent cooperation and commended Montenegro for its achievements since the restoration of independence. He shared his belief that the US would remain actively engaged in Europe, the Balkans, and especially with Montenegro, especially in the context of a more dynamic enlargement process. The US will be very supportive of Montenegro's EU integration as quickly as possible.

US Secretary of State also stressed that Montenegro could count on support to achieve what is good for the people and the government and what is good for Europe, with the message that the US wants Montenegro to become the youngest member of the EU, as it has become the youngest NATO member and lead the region. Pompeo thanked Montenegro for its dedicated participation in peacekeeping missions, pointing out that although the small country of Montenegro sends secure messages that it is not only a member but an active member of NATO and can set an example for larger countries.

"A small country, but an enormous contribution," rated Pompeo.

In addition, the United States has shown full confidence when it comes to reaching Montenegro's planned budget allocations for defense.

"This is not just about money; it is about demonstrating a political commitment to the common defense. In the context of resolving open issues in the region," concluded Pompeo, saying that Montenegro should be proactive in ideas that will lead to a good outcome for the WB.

The US Secretary of State also expressed interest in the presence of US investors in Montenegro.

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

04 Oct 2019, 22:57 PM

04 October 2019 - Prime Minister Duško Marković and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo noted that the first official visit of a US Secretary of State to Montenegro testifies to the fact that the two countries foster friendship and alliance.

"Following the visit of Vice President Mike Pence, this is further evidence of the excellent relations between our two countries and a sign that the United States values ​​our alliance and constructive role in the region and beyond," Prime Minister Duško Marković underscored at the joint press conference, describing the first visit of a US Secretary of State to Montenegro as historic. Secretary of State Pompeo made the same assessment.

"On behalf of the American people, I am proud to say that the United States will continue to stand with the people of Montenegro as a friend, as a partner and as an ally," the US Secretary of State told the press.

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Montenegro1

The two officials expressed satisfaction with the fact that Montenegro is a member of NATO. The Prime Minister said that the USA played an important role in Montenegro's preparations for the membership and that Montenegro already enjoys security and economic benefits from membership.

In that context, the US Secretary of State announced the most valuable agreement to equip the Montenegrin Armed Forces with US military equipment worth 36 million USD.

The US Secretary of State informed the public about Montenegro's commitment to confronting the 21st-century threats.

"Because of our direct cybersecurity cooperation with Montenegro, we have been able to develop patches against the latest Russian maneuver that now protect billions of devices worldwide," said Secretary of State Pompeo.

He also stressed that the United States will continue to support Montenegro's EU bid, and that it is of strategic importance for the USA and EU to be present in the Western Balkans so as not to leave room for those who do not share our common principles and values. Prime Minister Marković agreed on the need for the US presence in the region, emphasising that the integration process should be based on individual merit, reported the Office of the Prime Minister of Montenegro.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo thanked Montenegro for its support on a number of issues, noting that Montenegro fosters regional stability as a NATO member and that it also shares the US priorities across a range of foreign policy issues.

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

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.
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