08 March 2019 - Criminal Code of Montenegro has been harmonized with the European Union’s Law on Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters. Twenty criminal offences, out of 32 that have been entailed, have already been harmonized, reads the Analysis of the harmonization of norms contained in the European Arrest Warrant.
Through the negotiating chapter 24 in the Program of the accession of Montenegro to the EU 2019/2020, the Ministry of Justice planned the amendments to the Criminal Code, with the aim of harmonizing the norms with the elements of criminal offences in the European Arrest Warrant that haven’t already been harmonized in the domain of the punishment determined for these offences.
In order to harmonize these norms, term of imprisonment for 12 criminal offences needs to be increased. As the aforementioned analysis points out, adoption of this law is one of the prerequisites for the accession of Montenegro to the EU, and according with the provisions of the Law, it will be applied from the day of Montenegro's accession to the Union onwards.
Thus, a member of the criminal organization who exposes a criminal organization or contributes to its exposure will be punished by a 3-year imprisonment, instead of one year imprisonment or even acquittal.
In addition, a minimum of three-year long imprisonment will be imposed on the perpetrators of the criminal offence of sexual misconduct. Up until now, a fine of up to two-year imprisonment has been prescribed for such offences.
Requirement for determining the punishment for the criminal offences of unlawful command influence and cover-up hasn’t been met yet. The imprisonment for such offences should be three years or more.
As far as the criminal offence of fraud is concerned, the perpetrator who commits the offence only with the aim of inflicting damage to another person will be sentenced to three-year long imprisonment or longer, instead of a fine or six-month long imprisonment.
Person who took counterfeit money and used it as real money, and put it into circulation while knowing that the money is fake, or a person who knows that such money has been put into circulation and fails to report it, will be punished with a prison sentence of minimum three years.
In accordance with the demands of the European Arrest Warrant, more severe prison sentences should be passed for the criminal offences of damaging computer data and programs, design and transmission of computer viruses, computer frauds and abuse of devices and programs. There will be a prison sentence of minimum three years for each of these offences.
It is also necessary to impose heavier prison sentences for criminal offence such as: environment pollution, waste environment pollution, failing to take measures for the protection of environment, inflicting damage to the structures and devices for the protection of the environment, abuse of GMOs, destruction of plants, killing and torturing animals and their habitat and for destruction and damage of protected natural goods.
Punishment will be imposed more severely on those who try to cross the Montenegrin border without permission, who try to cross the border armed or with the use of violence. In addition, unlawful arrest and unauthorized use of a patent or a design of an individual will be punished more severely – minimum prison sentence will last three years.
Source: Dnevne novine
06 March 2019 - On March 6, the Mayor of Podgorica Ivan Vuković and Acting Mayor of Ankara Ali Gökşin signed a formal twinning oath, based on the long-term trusting relationship between the two signatory towns – the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica and the Capital of Turkey, Ankara.
"A strong foundation of political, economic and cultural cooperation between Montenegro and Turkey, as well as Podgorica and Ankara, was established in the previous period, as evidenced by the presence of a large number of Turkish businessmen in Podgorica, the activities of the Turkish Cultural Centre Yunus Emre and the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency - TİKA, and by the increasing number of Turkish tourists in Podgorica. In that sense, today's signing of the Agreement on twinning of the capitals of the two states is the basis for further strengthening of our relations," Mayor Vuković said at the signing of the agreement.
He reminded that Montenegro and Turkey, just like Podgorica and Ankara, have a lot of connections.
"The oldest part of Podgorica - Stara Varoš originated from the Ottoman Empire, and people from the territory of today's Turkey left an intense identity trail in our history. Montenegro and Podgorica represent environments that are highly multiethnic, multinational and multiconfessional, of which we are very proud. We want to recognise this heritage and affirm it further, "Mayor Vuković pointed out.
Noting that history is very important, he assessed that it is even more important that the economic and political relations of the two countries are continually progressing from the moment when Montenegro renewed its independence.
"Today, Montenegro and the Republic of Turkey are allies within the NATO alliance. We do not forget the contribution of the Republic of Turkey when it comes to supporting our country in the process of Euro-Atlantic integration. The relations between the two countries at the political level are remarkable, as are numerous examples of the activities of the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey, the TIKA Agency and the Yunus Emre Institute. An exceptional basis exists for further development and improvement of relations, and in this sense, today's signing of the Agreement is seen as a major and important step in that direction. The initiative for a boulevard in Podgorica to carry the name of Turkey's Capital is currently being processed, "Vuković said.
He invited the Mayor of Ankara to visit Podgorica and to open a boulevard together with the name of Turkey’s Capital.
Acting Mayor of Ankara emphasized that the Agreement between Ankara and Podgorica is another confirmation of the friendship of the two countries.
"Both state administrations and the private sector are working to improve the relations of our two countries. Montenegro is one of the countries that mostly attract Turkish investors. I hope that after the signing of the Agreement, we will improve the relationship between the two cities on every level and that through our engagement we will contribute to the harmonic relationship between our citizens, "concluded Gokšin.
In the signed twinning agreement, it is noted that economic, cultural and other contacts that have continuously contributed to the strengthening of bilateral cooperation and long-standing friendship have been developed between two cities.
Before the signing of the agreement, the delegation of Mayor Vuković headed by Deputy Mayor Časlav Vešović, Entrepreneur Secretary Kemal Grbović and Director of the Agency for Building and Development of Podgorica Srdjan Raičević, discussed future terms of cooperation with the representatives of Municipality of Ankara. The meeting was also attended by the Ambassador of Montenegro to the Republic of Turkey Branko Milić. After the signing of the Agreement, the delegation visited Podgorica Street, which is located in the elite part of Ankara.
06 March 2019 - President of Montenegro, Milo Đukanović, met with the Secretary-General of NATO Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, in Brussels today. Đukanović said that Montenegro “is ready to defend its right to choose its path for the future in a sovereign way”, and Stoltenberg said that NATO could always count on Montenegro, as their reliable partner.
“I invite NATO to keep giving a contribution to what will turn out to be the only reliable formula of the stability of Western Balkans region. We are aware that there are interested third parties. We are ready to stoutly defend our right to choose our future path, to implement European system of values fully, not only in our state but also in the states of the region,” said the President of Montenegro.
Đukanović said that Montenegro “believes in NATO acquis and tries hard to promote them”.
“As a Member State, we assume responsibilities. We respect the dynamic plan of taking on equal burden of responsibility in financing NATO. Thanks to the dynamic GDP growth, we will be able to assume our responsibilities in the future too. The number of our representatives in NATO missions is getting bigger and bigger,” said President of Montenegro Đukanović.
Stoltenberg has said that Montenegro is a critical member of the Alliance. He welcomed its decision on increasing costs for defense. He also noted that Đukanović “is an ardent advocate of NATO open door policy”.
He thanked Montenegro for promoting stability at the Western Balkans, he thanked president Đukanović for the contribution of Montenegro to the Alliance and said he was looking forward to his arrival to London at the end of this year, at the meeting of the allied leaders.
Source: Cafe del Montenegro
March 6, 2019 - According to the unofficial information of TV Vijesti, conversations by representatives of the civic movement Odupri Se - 97,000 and leaders of opposition political parties are in progress, and the next step should be the signing of a binding document on the boycott of all elections until normal conditions for their maintenance are made.
Opposition deputies did not attend the regular parliamentary session yesterday, the first since they received a request for a boycott of the Assembly and all the elections from civil protests until the conditions for their regular maintenance were created.
The Democratic Front (DF) in the meantime has said it will not participate in the Assembly session and will not do anything that could endanger the success of the protest.
They think the same in a club of independent deputies.
It is still unknown the decision of Krivokapic's Social Democratic Party (SDP), which still insists that any change must have the support of European and Euro-Atlantic partners.
All opposition parties agree that there is no going to the elections until the establishment of a democratic environment.
"I regret that there are no opposition representatives in the hall. My appeal and I guess my colleague from the ruling majority is that we would like them to join us as soon as possible," said Ivan Brajovic, President of the Montenegrin Assembly.
It is how the first session of the Assembly began after Saturday's civil protest in Podgorica, where citizens demand the opposition to leave the parliament and boycott all the elections, to the fair conditions for their maintenance.
Why they are not in the assembly benches from the DF, have explained in the statement - although, say, the microphone, the only free media available to them, will not pull any moves that could damage the civil protest on March 16.
"The DF team has decided for the lack of education of our deputies at the meeting of the Montenegrin Assembly, but on 16 March, together with the citizens, we will be on the protest organized by the civic movement as a breakthrough to meet the demands."
The SDP has avoided answering the question of leaving parliament on the request of civilian protest organizers.
They reiterated their support for a justified revolt of citizens but also stressed that any change must have the support of European and Euro-Atlantic partners.
They were related to today's inaction of the session.
"The Social Democratic Party's Deputies Club will not attend the Second Session of the First Regular Session of the Assembly of Montenegro," the SDP said.
United Montenegro has no dilemma both for this and for future parliamentary sessions.
"We have been very excited about what the citizens are expecting from us first and decided to come out to meet, so definitively, to meet the demands of the citizens given on a protest rally, we will not participate, or we will honor their will," said Goran Danilovic, President of the United Montenegro.
"I believe that my duty and colleagues from other opposition parties are also on the street at the moment," said Independent deputy Neđeljko Rudović to the MINA agency.
"Until I do some discussions with the organizers in the name of solidarity and goodwill I will be absent from today's session of the plenary session," said Independent MP Aleksandar Damjanovic for the MINA agency.
Demos also say they will not participate in the work of parliament until further notice and will make the final decision to the Presidency in the coming days.
The Democrats and the URA boycott the Assembly since the convening, while the Socialist People's Party (SNP) reported that the Democratic Democrats were fully eligible for this party.
Concerning the boycott of yesterday's session of the Assembly, they also reacted to the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS).
They say the demands of the protest organizers brought confusion to the opposition and confused its leaders.
"After a series of failed political projects (such as the URA and the like) and taking into account the opposition's inability, it seems that the order of breaking the existing parties is being inaugurated. The" organizers of civil protests "are inaugurated in opposition to the opposition scene, and worn leaders compromise and send to political retirement," said Nikola Divanovic, a DPS delegate.
March 6, 2019 - British Minister for Europe Sir Alan Duncan wrote on his Twitter that two agreements on extradition and the fight against smuggling of cigarettes were signed with Montenegrin Minister of Justice and Deputy Prime Minister of Montenegrin Government, Zoran Pazin.
“At the 2018 #WBSummitLondon, we committed to combating organized crime in the #WesternBalkans. Today, Deputy PM Pazin & I signed two UK-Montenegro agreements, one on extradition and one on tackling cigarette smuggling," wrote Sir Alan Duncan.
In yesterday's statement, the Government of Montenegro informed Pazin and Duncan signed a bilateral agreement extending the European Convention on Extradition and facilitating its implementation, while the consensus on combating smuggling of cigarettes was not mentioned.
In its statement, the Montenegrin Government states:
"Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Zoran Pazin met in London with British Minister of State for Europe and the Americas Alan Duncan.
Montenegro and the United Kingdom are resolved to steadfastly oppose organized crime and severe criminal offenses through closer cooperation; it was noted at the meeting.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister Duncan signed a bilateral agreement, complementing the European Convention on Extradition and facilitating its application.
The main novelty of this agreement is that Montenegro and the United Kingdom express their readiness to extradite their citizens to one another if one country seeks them for serious crimes for which a prison sentence of five or more years has been foreseen.
"This agreement unambiguously indicates that there is a high degree of mutual respect and trust between Montenegro and the United Kingdom, with the conviction that the legal systems of both states will guarantee the right to a fair trial of every person who is extradited, respecting the presumption of innocence," DPM Pazin emphasized.
The agreement states that the parties are "aware of the guarantee of the right to a fair trial of the accused within their legal systems, including the right to trial before an impartial tribunal established by law."
DPM Pazin signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Minister Duncan and Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mel Stride to further deepen cooperation in the area of security, the rule of law and the joint fight against organized crime, especially against various types of financial crime," concludes the statement on the Government website Montenegro.
The same announcement was published on the site of the Ministry of Justice.
05 March 2019 - On March 5, President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović departed for Brussels at the invitation of the President of the European Jewish Association, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, where he will speak at the meeting of the board of this association on the Montenegrin model of inter-ethnic and inter-religious relations.
At the official ceremony in his honour, Rabbi Margolin, in the presence of the representatives of the European Parliament, the European Council and the European Commission, as well as European Jewish communities, will present President Đukanović the "European King David Award", the highest recognition given by the Jewish European Association to prominent figures.
The event, which will take place on March 7, is dedicated to the Montenegrin people’s great accomplishment of building a tolerant, inclusive and pluralistic society based on the principles of mutual respect and coexistence. As explained by the European Jewish Association, the event will be attended by dignitaries from across Europe, MEPs and senior representatives of European Jewry. “We are gathering to present the European King David Award to the President, in recognition of his huge contribution in safeguarding Jewish life in Montenegro, and building a tolerant society that should be emulated across the European Continent,” says the statement by the EJA.
President Đukanović will use his stay in Brussels to meet with European Council President Donald Tusk, to discuss issues related to the EU negotiation process, as well as current processes in Montenegro and the region.
He will also meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, whose agenda will also include some of these topics.
02 March 2019 - President of Montenegro and the President of Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro, Milo Đukanović, stated that Montenegro must carry out painful socio-political structural reforms, particularly in the “sensitive” fields, to create conditions for a reduction of costs of public services.
“We are considering how to keep the same pace of economic growth in the medium term. Although we have achieved good results in the previous 13 years in terms of attraction of foreign direct investments, we now have to carry out painful socio-political structural reforms,” said Đukanović.
He said that the primary goal was to make public services better and more efficient and tailored to the needs of citizens, tourists, investors and entrepreneurs.
“Now, on the agenda, there is a question of our ability to create solutions that will lead to faster economic growth," concluded the President.
At a meeting of the Council for Monitoring of Implementation of the DPS’ Electoral Programme, he said that the goal of the development policies was to preserve competitiveness, encourage investments and entrepreneurship and improve the living standard.
Đukanović believes that the costs of public administration and social welfare should be lower, while the budget allocations for healthcare and education should be analysed in great detail.
According to the leader of DPS, it is only fair that the most important political exams are taken on this exact subject. "I am deeply convinced that DPS, due to its quality and due to the lack of real competition, absolutely has the best potential to answer these questions," Đukanović said.
February 3, 2019 - Last night in Podgorica, the most massive protest took place since the independence of Montenegro, which according to the organizers, gathered 19,700 citizens from all over the country. At the fourth rally within the campaign “97,000 Odupri Se” (Resist!) held peacefully and without any incident, in addition to repeated demands for resignations with the deadline of 15 March, the protesters also addressed the opposition this time, demanding that they leave Parliament and boycott all elections in Montenegro until the fulfillment of civilian demands.
"We are the State", Copyright: 97,000 Odupri Se
03 March 2019 - Prime Minister Duško Marković met earlier today with President of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) Guido Raimondi.
Montenegro is very committed to the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights and executes the decisions of the ECHR in Strasbourg without exception and in the short term, it was noted at the meeting.
"We believe that the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights that have been made in relation to Montenegro are in its interest, not against it," PM Marković said, adding that the judicial system is strengthened and that it gives additional support to the implementation of the Convention.
Prime Minister Marković emphasised that Montenegro is striving towards the full implementation of European values and in this context pointed to the importance of NATO membership and EU negotiations. He added that a special focus was placed on meeting the provisional benchmarks for chapters 23 and 24 and in relation to the need to strengthen the rule of law, highlighted the importance of the freedom of the media, the fight against human trafficking, organised crime and corruption, and the strengthening of law enforcement authorities.
European Court of Human Rights President Guido Raimondi praised the promptness in the execution of the European Court's decisions, noting that efforts to fully implement the rule of law are of the utmost importance.
Both sides stressed the importance of signing Protocol 16 by Montenegro, which extends the jurisdiction of the European Court to provide advisory opinions at the request of the national court of the highest instance, arising from the need to reduce the inflow of cases from the member states of the Council of Europe within the comprehensive reform of the system that rests on the Convention on Human Rights.
President of the Supreme Court Vesna Medenica and judge at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg Ivana Jelić also attended the meeting.
03 March 2019 - Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Zoran Pažin met earlier today with President of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) Guido Raimondi.
We are proud that Europe sees Montenegro as an example of responsible and consistent execution of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, DPM Pažin said at the meeting.
DPM Pažin said that Montenegro is aware of the great privilege and responsibility that, as a member of the Council of Europe, it provides its citizens with the highest level of protection of human rights and freedoms guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Deputy Prime Minister expressed satisfaction with the European Court's assessment that there is no systematic violation of human rights in Montenegro. He stressed that Montenegro will continue to execute all judgments of the European Court in a timely, conscientious and proper manner, which it perceives as a chance for further development of the domestic legal order, promotion and strengthening of human rights and freedoms of Montenegrin citizens.
DPM Pažin pointed out that Montenegrin institutions pay full attention to the application of the standards of the European Convention at the national level, adding that the European Commission's latest progress report shows that Montenegro enjoys a good level of cooperation with the ECHR.
European Court President Raimondi welcomed Montenegro's commitment to respecting high standards of protection of human rights and freedoms and commended the Government for the principled and consistent execution of all judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. President Raimondi also stressed that a quality dialogue that the ECHR has with Montenegrin courts is essential for strengthening the national legal system.
February 2, 2019 - Before the fourth civil protest, 97,000 Odupri Se (Resist), scheduled for today at 6 pm in the Independence Square, representatives of the organising committee met yesterday with the Head of the EU Delegation to Montenegro, Aivo Orav.