May 19, 2019 - About 200 villagers in the valley of the Bukovica River and its surroundings, citizens from other Montenegrin regions and civil activists yesterday from the shore of the endangered river ordered the authorities to annul concessions for the construction of two SHPPs (two small hydroelectric power plants). Citizens have said that they will not give up the defence of the river and that they will not let investors build.
May 18, 2019 - Delegates of the civic movement ODUPRISE returned from Brussels, where they stayed for several days. Movement representatives are satisfied with the messages they received there and expect support in their future activities, one of the ODUPRISE leaders, Dzemal Perovic, told TV Vijesti.
17 May 2019 - Prime Minister Marković said that with the NATO membership, Montenegro has become part of the biggest security alliance; it is an equal partner to the most powerful and most developed countries in the world.
"The joint security framework means the investors have more confidence in Montenegro; this is an important advantage. Montenegro’s NATO membership is a signal to investors that this is a destination which enjoys the highest security standards, and that it shares the same values of partner countries, from which we wish to attract as many investors as possible. Our successful European integration shows that Montenegro is changing, that it is closer and more compatible with EU member states. We are harmonizing our entire system with the EU model and are adopting new standards, thus preparing our society for the time when we finally become a member," said Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković.
He also added that these are all signals for investors that Montenegro is a stable country, and that this is a society which is not wavering, but closely following the set strategic direction. The most important thing for investors is predictability. When it comes to Montenegro – everything is predictable – there are no surprises.
"We are on a good course, and we are steadily moving towards the set goals. The progress we have made in the European and Euro-Atlantic integrations confirm this. The great interest from prestigious investors after our joining of NATO further supports and solidifies this fact," he noted.
Furthermore, PM Marković spoke about Montenegrin competitive tax system, Government's programmes to encourage business development and infrastructure projects to make Montenegro more accessible and energy-safe.
"When it comes to physical infrastructure, we are creating strategic preconditions for an even stronger inflow of investments. We are finalising the first stage of the motorway, and we are planning to improve our airports through reliable foreign partners significantly, and we are finishing the submarine energy cable. This means that we are making Montenegro more accessible and energy-safe, and these are important preconditions for attracting quality investments," concluded Marković.
Source: The Luxury Collection
16 May 2019 - Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Policy and Financial System Milutin Simović is in Vienna, where he met with President of the Austrian National Council Wolfgang Sobotka, Minister for the EU, Art, Culture and Media Gernot Blümel and members of the Foreign Policy Committee of the Parliament of Austria Martin Engelberg, Nikolaus Berlakovich, Gudrun Kugler and Hermann Gahr.
At the meeting with President of the Austrian National Council Wolfgang Sobotka, both sides expressed satisfaction with the quality of the overall relations between Montenegro and Austria. DPM Simović thanked Sobotka for the strong and concrete support of Austria to Montenegro's European perspective and pointed out that such support, which comes from an influential EU member such as Austria, is of great importance to Montenegro.
"We believe the support will continue and be even more solid at the moment of Montenegro's accession to the EU," DPM Simović noted.
Furthermore, Simović emphasised the importance of cooperation between the parliaments of the two countries for further improvement of bilateral relations, but also for further progress of Montenegro in adopting European standards and achieving further progress in meeting Montenegrin European agenda. The Deputy Prime Minister said that, as the former Vice President of the Parliament of Montenegro, he is very well aware of the importance of bilateral parliamentary cooperation and regular communication at this level in these processes. He also expressed satisfaction with the fact that, during Sobotka's official visit to Montenegro, in November last year, excellent parliamentary cooperation was established, through meetings at the highest level and meetings of governmental bodies.
DPM Simović informed President Sobotka about the latest indicators on the growth of the Montenegrin economy and stressed the openness of the Government of Montenegro for cooperation with Austrian companies to increase the trade exchange between the two countries in the field of direct investments of Austrian investors in Montenegro.
President Sobotka said that he always looks forward to meetings with Montenegrin officials. "Montenegro is progressing, implementing reform measures, I am familiar with its latest progress, which should be continued," Sobotka said, adding that Austria will continue to be Montenegro's reliable friend and partner that will provide strong support to its European perspective.
At the meeting with Minister for the EU, Art, Culture and Media Gernot Blümel, Simović confirmed that Montenegro was and remains firmly committed to membership in the European Union. All decisions taken by the Government of Montenegro are carefully analysed from the position of qualitative contribution to further approximation to that main state goal.
The fact that Montenegro opened 32 out of 33 negotiating chapters confirms that the country is on the right path, said the Deputy Prime Minister and added that it can be expected that the remaining negotiation chapter 8 - Competition will be opened this year, since Montenegro has already met all the requirements to open this chapter.
Minister Blümel encouraged Montenegro to continue its path towards the EU. He confirmed that the Government headed by Chancellor Kurz attaches special attention to further integration of the Western Balkans.
"In a time when one country leaves the EU, it is very important that we send a message that the enlargement process is alive, that the idea of a united Europe is even stronger, and these messages will be confirmed by the further progress of Montenegro and the recognition of what Montenegro has achieved so far," Blümel said.
At the meeting with Austrian MPs and members of the Foreign Policy Committee, Martin Engelberg, Nikolaus Berlakovich, Gudrun Kugler and Hermann Gahr, DPM Simović emphasised that Austria's role in the Western Balkans is very important. Montenegro expects to understand what the Western Balkans needs in terms of its European perspective and help in resolving conflicts that continue to burden the region, Simović said.
"In our region, certain economic stability can be noted, and in that part, Montenegro is a leader according to all parameters, but economic stability, progress and development are not possible without the political stability of the region," Simović stressed.
The Deputy Prime Minister said that he deeply believes that European partners of Montenegro will pay extra attention to the Western Balkans, noting that the alternative does not exist.
Simović informed Austrian officials that Montenegro's primary goal on its European path is to adopt and apply European standards, that is, the quality of implementation of European legislation is more important than the date of admission.
"We understand the current circumstances within the Union and we use this period to further focus on ourselves in the fulfillment of our obligations in meeting the European agenda. It is important to join, but at this point, it is even more important to adopt EU standards, European legislation, strengthen institutions, with the belief that this will be recognised by our numerous European friends and properly evaluated," Simović said.
Austrian parliamentarians also confirmed the position of the Government of Austria that it always had a positive attitude towards EU candidate countries. They stressed that they also remember the period when Austria was a candidate country and that they understand the Western Balkans and Montenegro in that regard.
Martin Engelberg said that Montenegro has a reliable partner and friend in Austria. Nikolaus Berlakovich noted that Austria has always tried to provide support to Montenegro. Undoubtedly, Montenegro will be a member of the EU and that is Austria's interest, Berlakovich added.
MP Gudrun Kugler said that she was amazed by Montenegro's natural resources, country's culture and potentials in tourism, while MP Gahr showed interest in further plans on the development of tourism, attracting foreign investments and the impact of tourism on the growth of Montenegro's economy.
MP Engelberg proposed cooperation at the level of governments and parliaments of the two countries in the area of training young staff and civil servants.
During his visit to Vienna, DPM Simović met with our students in Austria at the Embassy of Montenegro.
"Montenegro needs new, modern knowledge, new technologies and skills, know-how, startups and entrepreneurial advancements in all areas," Simović concluded.
16 May 2019 - The European Union must be more present in the public of the Western Balkan countries and must send clear messages to Montenegrin citizens about how much the EU invests in the development and their better lives, on a daily basis if necessary, Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković said in the German Federal Parliament - the Bundestag, where he talked with the MPs of the Committee on European Union Affairs.
"One discrepancy attracts attention, which at first glance can hardly be explained. The EU and Western countries are the largest investors and donors in the Western Balkans. We often hear voices from the region that the EU must be more present in the Western Balkans. And here's what it looks like in the last ten years: more than eight billion of investments, the trade has doubled and exceeds 49.5 billion. The EU is the main trading partner of the region and makes up 73% of its trade, and the region has increased its exports to the EU by 142%. Messages about the rule of law are not the only important messages that must be sent - but our citizen wants primarily to live better and feel those benefits. The EU must be more present in public in this regard and send clear messages to our citizens about how much they invest in our development and their better lives," Prime Minister Marković said in his address to the Committee.
The Prime Minister thanked Germany supporting Montenegrin reforms and said that Montenegro is looking forward to the growing interest and presence of investors from Germany, and that Montenegro wants Germany as a partner, but also as a model and objective observer of opportunities.
"We do not want a partnership with Germany just because of support and investment, but because of democratic values, including those that concern corporate and business standards to strengthen the domestic business culture that is still suffering the consequences of the old system," the Prime Minister said.
Speaking about the European integration process of Montenegro, PM Marković said that Montenegro is not calculating.
"Our orientation and course are clear. We are a country that, in all cases, joins the EU's common, foreign and security policy, which has proven to be a responsible member and a reliable ally in NATO," the Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister Marković said that the most important achievement of the Government of Montenegro in the past two years is economic growth that exceeded all expectations.
"You will not always find this data in the reports when it comes to Montenegro. To illustrate this claim, I will inform you about the results of economic policy in the last two years. We achieved growth rates at an average rate of 4.9 percent, almost in all sectors from tourism, energy, agriculture, industry, trade, which in the past was not the case. We reduced the unemployment rate by more than 6 percent and increased the number of employees by over 17,000. In the first quarter of this year, the parameters are already better than at the same time last year. For two years, we have been recording the stability of public finances and we are financing current spending from the original revenues. At this moment, Montenegro is a large construction site with very significant projects in the capital infrastructure and with a large inflow of foreign direct investments of over EUR one billion and five hundred million. We have halved the budget deficit and there is no fear for the sustainability of our public finances. Our goal is to ensure the continuity of such high growth rates, to achieve a budget surplus in 2020, to provide a declining trend in public debt, increase employment and standard of living," Prime Minister Duško Marković said at the Bundestag Committee on European Union Affairs.
The Prime Minister informed the Committee about the reforms implemented by Montenegro, with particular reference to the judiciary and the fight against organized crime.
"It is evident that organized crime loses the battle with the State, the institutions are getting stronger and more efficient. I want to thank your country for its support in strengthening the rule of law that will soon result in the sending of your experts to the Ministry of Justice and the Montenegrin police, which we had in the Ministry of Justice in previous years," PM Marković noted.
The judiciary has strengthened its capacities and raised the level of efficiency and promptness, PM Marković said and added that the last week's verdicts in the process of attempting terrorism or destabilization of Montenegro in order to deter it from its path to NATO proved that the judiciary is immune to external pressures and that it professionally performed its job in the most complex trial in the recent history of Montenegrin judiciary.
Speaking about the media scene, Prime Minister Marković said that the Government, within its jurisdiction, is doing everything possible to improve the environment, including the improvement of the legal framework, using expertise and counseling of the OSCE and the Council of Europe.
The Prime Minister concluded the address by saying that Montenegro is not a country that is threatened by its current challenges.
"Very strong facts prove this: we are a NATO member, the leader in the EU integration process, the exporter of stability and the fastest growing economy in the region. You will agree, however, that in the last twelve years, these results could not be achieved if the real situation was different or at the level of perception in certain important areas," Prime Minister Duško Marković stressed.
May 14, 2019 - The civic movement ODUPRISE delegation travels on Wednesday, May 15th to Brussels, where they will stay until May 18th, but it is still not confirmed who of the European officials they will meet. In Brussels, they should present an Agreement on the future that they have signed with opposition MPs and, as they stated, ask for EU support resolving the political crisis in Montenegro.
May 13, 2019 - Dritan Abazovic, the Civilian Movement URA leader, met in Berlin with Martin Weiss, a member of the Board of Directors of the Southeast European Society of the Federal Republic of Germany, one of the leading organizations for the analysis of Balkan policies, today announced URA.
12 May 2019 - Minister of Foreign Affairs Srđan Darmanović delivered a speech at a ceremony marking Europe Day in Podgorica.
"Montenegro, which we have built together on the principles of civil society, its history and culture, the ideals of justice, equality and freedom, has long since belonged to Europe," Minister Darmanović said, adding that membership in the club of the most developed democracies today is the primary foreign policy priority of Montenegro.
"In the process in which we work patiently to achieve the standards of the European legal system and high principles of the rule of law - the process of European integration, our entire society takes part. By providing strong and convincing majority support to Montenegro's accession to the European Union, citizens show that this process is their choice and the way they want to go," said the head of Montenegrin diplomacy.
Head of the EU Delegation to Montenegro Aivo Orav also spoke at the celebration in Podgorica. He said that Europe Day is celebrated each year in memory of the declaration of French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman, which announced the project of reconciliation and unification in Europe, and a new form of political cooperation.
Within today's celebration, the Foreign Minister also played a chess game with President of the European Chess Union Zarub Azmaiparashvili.
10 May 2019 - Prime Minister Duško Marković hosted Chairperson-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic Miroslav Lajčák.
The meeting assessed that the cooperation between Montenegro and the OSCE is excellent and beneficial.
The Prime Minister thanked Lajčák for the assistance that the OSCE provides to Montenegro, saying that this cooperation helped Montenegro to strengthen the rule of law and build democratic institutions. OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Lajčák pointed out that Montenegro is a reliable partner of the OSCE that fulfills its obligations and assessed that Montenegro's progress is visible both in the political and economic and developmental contexts.
Both sides expressed readiness for further cooperation in the reform of electoral legislation, with the assessment that the dialogue should be continued in the appropriate parliamentary committee, with the OSCE's readiness to provide technical support to the continuation of the dialogue.
Furthermore, the two officials discussed the situation in the region and its European perspective, while Lajčák noted that Montenegro is an example of good regional cooperation and policy towards other countries in the region.
The Prime Minister expressed full support of Montenegro to the priorities of the Slovakian presidency of the Organization for Security and Co-operation, especially to multilateralism and conflict prevention.
Head of the OSCE Mission to Montenegro, Ambassador Maryse Daviet and Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to Montenegro Roman Hloben also attended the meeting.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro Srđan Darmanović recently met in Budva with OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia, Miroslav Lajčák.
09 May 2019 - Montenegro's High Court on Thursday sentenced 13 people, including two Russian secret service operatives, up to 15 years in prison after they were convicted of plotting to overthrow the country’s government and prevent it from joining NATO.
Following the verdict, the Montenegrin government published an official statement, in which they explained that “the judiciary has shown adherence to the constitutional position of autonomy and resistance to every kind of pressure and external influence”.
“Montenegro, as a NATO member, shows that it is steadfast on the path of integration and protection of European values and standards,” the government commented in a pair of posts on Twitter.
Two alleged Russian military intelligence officers who were accused of organizing the overthrow of Montenegro's government coup were convicted and sentenced in absentia. Chief Judge Suzana Mugoša said the two Russians, identified as Eduard Shishmakov and Vladimir Popov, were convicted of “attempted terrorism” and “creating a criminal organization.”
Eduard Shishmakov was sentenced in absentia to nine years in prison for creating a criminal organization and eight years in prison for attempted terrorism, for a total of 15 years in prison as a partially concurrent sentence. Vladimir Popov was sentenced in absentia to seven years in prison on each of the charges. Set up to be served as partially concurrent sentences; the length of Popov’s total sentence is to be 12 years.
Chief Judge Suzana Mugoša said that the Russians provided at least 200,000 EUR for the purchase of weapons. She said that Shishmakov and Popov tried to recruit “as many people as possible to come to the protest” and try to “change the electoral will” and “prevent Montenegro from joining NATO.”
Two leaders of Montenegro's opposition Democratic Front, Andrija Mandić and Milan Knežević, were sentenced to five years each. Mandić and Knežević have vowed to fight any attempt to imprison them because, as they said during a recent press conference, “they do not accept the arrest warrant”. They also added that “difficulties and consequences will be borne by those who come after them;" all the while warning of chaos if they are jailed after the verdict was announced.
"In this politically motivated and rigged trial, the insolence, superficiality, and obedience of the Montenegrin judiciary system was exposed,” it said in a statement by the DF leaders.
Montenegro's High Court found that the group had plotted to occupy the country's parliament during the 2016 parliamentary elections, assassinate then-Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, and install a pro-Russian leadership.
"Each member of the criminal organization had a predetermined task and role, and in the operation of a criminal organization there was a willingness to apply violence and intimidation. All members were accountable and very well aware of their deeds, wanting them to be executed and knowing that their offense was unlawful," Mugoša explained.
09 May 2019 - President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović met with President of Albania Ilir Meta in Tirana on the eve of the meeting between leaders of the Brdo - Brioni process.
President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović expressed satisfaction with the continuity of the high-level meetings, which enabled the further development of bilateral relations between two friendly neighboring countries.
"Montenegro and the Republic of Albania do not have open bilateral issues, and such dynamic bilateral cooperation can be used for further improvement of relations, as well as for joint support and encouragement to the reform processes in the Region, and its stability," said President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović.
Albanian President Ilir Meta, with the pleasure of strengthening friendly relations, especially highlighted the attitude of Montenegrin authorities towards the Albanian minority in Montenegro, as well as the joint commitment to resolving regional issues, which are a prerequisite for overall stability and further integration in the EU. Albania, together with the international community, counts on the constructive role of Montenegro and President Đukanović personally in resolving open issues and the process of further integration of the region.
The High officials emphasized the importance of the greater commitment and presence of the EU in the Western Balkans, which is crucial for the European perspective of all Western Balkans countries. In this context, they stressed the importance of the recent meeting in Berlin, assessing the positive agreement on the future meeting in Paris, which could result in progress in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, to the common good of the entire region.