25 October 2019 - Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs and the newly appointed Western Balkans Representative for the United States State Department, Matthew Palmer, recently stated that Montenegro is a leader in the region when it comes to EU accession, reports CdM. However, he also pointed out that Montenegro must remain very focused on the forthcoming period and try to accelerate activities to implement all the required reforms related to strengthening the rule of law and freedom of the media, and the fight against organized crime and corruption.
At the Senate hearing of the Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, Mr Palmer pointed out that the Western Balkans region needed the more active presence of the EU.
Speaking about Montenegro, Palmer said that the country is a regional leader, thanks to its peaceful, multi-ethnic society and rapidly growing economy.
“NATO accession in 2017 was a very important step forward for Montenegro”, Palmer concluded.
He also considered political circumstances in the region.
“While the USA supports desire of the nations and governments of the Western Balkans for safer, more prosperous and more democratic future, I can’t tell the same for all foreign actors acting in the region”, said Palmer and added that Russia’s intention “is to encourage divisions and prevent Euro-Atlantic integration of the region”.
Therefore, he says, the USA must increase their own engagement in the WB region. “Just sending messages isn’t enough. We must be more present and invest in the region,” said Palmer.
Serbia’s failure to recognize Kosovo is Moscow’s greatest trump card, thinks Mr Palmer. He sees Turkey as an important player in the Balkans, as Turkey regards the region as “its own yard”.
22 October 2019 - President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović and his wife Lidija were guests at the enthronement ceremony Kyoen-no-gi which was hosted by Emperor Naruhito with Empress Masako for the highest officials at the Palace Reception.
The President of Montenegro, Milo Đukanović also attended the ceremony of the enthronement of His Imperial Majesty Naruhito at the Seiden State Hall later, reported the Office of the President of Montenegro.
President Đukanović will be a guest at the Palace Reception after the Kyoen-no-gi ceremony, which is organized by Emperor Naruhito with Empress Masako for the highest officials.
The President will also attend a dinner with more than 170 delegations, led by Crowned Persons, numerous Heads of State and Government, United Nations and European Union representatives.
On the second day of his visit, President Đukanović will have a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Read more news about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
19 October 2019 - President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović received Archil Talakvadze, the speaker of the Parliament of Georgia, who is visiting Montenegro.
President Đukanović welcomed the visit by the Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, who continued the practice of continuous political communication between the two countries, which contributes to the strengthening of relations and the achievement of common goals. In addition to congratulations on his recent election at the position of the Parliament Speaker and the election of a new government, the President said that his visit to Tbilisi at the invitation of the President of Georgia, as well as the opening of consulates in Tbilisi and Bar, headed by honorary consuls, would be an incentive.
He emphasized that Montenegro appreciates Georgia's contribution to NATO's mission, and reaffirmed Montenegro's support for an open door policy.
President Đukanović also reminded that in addition to parliamentary cooperation, the two countries have good communication in the field of defense, and especially emphasized the importance of strengthening economic ties and promoting tourism cooperation.
Speaker of the Georgian Parliament thanked the President for his exceptional hospitality and stressed that he was impressed with Montenegro's achievements and strong leadership, which are an inspiration and encouragement for his country, government, and people. He reaffirmed his country's full commitment to partnering with the Alliance.
He stressed that President Đukanović's visit to Georgia would be a confirmation of political support for the country and an opportunity to discuss with the businessmen in the delegation the ways of strengthening economic co-operation and sharing of resources, reports Office of the President of Montenegro.
President of the Parliament of Montenegro Ivan Brajović also hosted a delegation of the Parliament of Georgia, headed by president Archil Talakvadze. On this occasion, Brajović pointed out in the meeting with the delegation that the visit was an additional impulse for strengthening ties and enhancing political dialogue at high and the highest level.
Read more news about Politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
15 October 2019 - Montenegro has made serious progress on its path to the European Union and will be its next member, said new European Parliament rapporteur for Montenegro Tonino Picula, reports Fena News Agency.
According to Picula, Montenegro will be the first in line as a new EU member state, but there’s still a lot to do until then. The EU has been facing numerous issues and it seems that the enlargement policy is not its top priority. Some EU member states clearly state that now is not the time to speak about the enlargement, which calls the whole story about the expected 2025 enlargement into question.
In an interview for CdM, the newly-elected European Parliament Rapporteur on Montenegro Mr Tonino Picula claimed the enlargement policy hadn’t been the EU’s topmost priority anymore. He said that some EU member states categorically refuse further EU enlargement until the Union consolidates.
“No one will state loud and clear to be against the enlargement, it’s a part of a political game, but there’s a strong resistance within the EU member states, that is, they do not want the enlargement to happen until the rearrangement of power relations takes place, and some new models are adopted,” Mr Picula explained.
"In any case, the next enlargement of the Union, when it happens, will not occur without Montenegro. Whether Montenegro will enter alone or with another country is an open question. Still, if it continues this kind of work as it has done for ten years, then the next expansion will not be possible without Montenegro, "Picula said in an interview with Nova M. He said that the work that Montenegro has done so far must be noted, but it must also continue with reforms and next projects, because if there is no further progress, it can lead to serious frustration for both sides.
He also added that the enlargement policy reached a peak in 2004 when ten new states joined the EU and in 2007 – when Bulgaria’s and Romania’s accession took place.
Mr Picula continued: “Currently, the enlargement policy is not one of the EU’s top priorities as the Union needs to consolidate itself first.”
"Montenegro has procedures in place, mechanisms to move forward with the conclusion of the negotiations, but what has not been done so far will have to be done in circumstances that will not always be easy. At the moment, the political scene in Montenegro is polarized; there are serious disagreements between the authorities and the opposition on how to proceed. However, I will try to overcome this gap with my experience in order to reach a common goal - Montenegro's membership in the EU, "Picula concluded.
Read more about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
12 October 2019 - Moody's credit rating agency has affirmed the B1 credit rating for Montenegro, while retaining a "positive" outlook.
The credit rating is the result of high GDP per capita, optimistic prospects for EU accession, and a strong investment trend with a focus on foreign direct investment. The latest Moody's report welcomes significant investment projects implemented in the transport, tourism and energy sectors.
Furthermore, the B1 credit rating justifies the strong middle-term growth potential, supported by the implementation of adequate structural reforms, as well as the implementation of the Government's effective measures that contribute to strengthening Montenegro's fiscal position. In addition, specific Government activities have been identified that have reduced the medium-term refinancing risks in Montenegro.
The main drivers of growth are evident in the construction, transport, tourism and energy sectors. The growth was also stimulated by public investment, above all, by the construction of the priority section of the Bar-Boljare motorway, reports Government of Montenegro. On the other hand, a significant contribution to the growth was also made by household consumption, fueled by a record-breaking tourist season and positive developments in the labour market, where in the second quarter of 2019, the unemployment rate was at a historically low level of 14,3%.
The report states that 2019 will be another record-breaking year in the tourism sector, in line with an increase in arrivals for the period January - August of 17.2% and overnight stays of 9.2%, compared to the same period last year.
Finally, the report praises the legal and administrative reforms that are being implemented, especially in the context of accession to the European Union, which is a further impetus for the advancement of the rule of law while continuing to strengthen the capacities of the institutions in the coming years.
Read more news about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.