18 December 2018 - The representatives of the United Kingdom and Montenegro have announced that the two countries have signed bilateral agreements that will allow uninterrupted air traffic after Brexit.
UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the open skies deal would ensure the country remained a leading global aviation hub once it has left the European Union. "These agreements will ensure Britain continues to prosper as we leave the EU and I’m confident the UK will reach a mutually beneficial deal, while we continue to prepare for all eventualities," Grayling said in a statement.
The Government in London pointed out that the goal was to replace the current framework under EU regulations.
The United Kingdom has also reached agreements in this area with Kosovo, Albania, Georgia, Iceland, Israel, Morocco, Switzerland, and the United States, but deals with other countries from the former Yugoslavia have yet to be concluded.
The European Regions Airline Association (ERA) said December 4 that it had written to the European Commission, urging it to “reach a solution as soon as possible that will allow airlines to continue operating as they do today” after Brexit. The ERA warned of “disastrous consequences for the aviation industry” if the UK and EU are unable to finalize a withdrawal agreement ahead of the UK’s planned departure from the bloc.
Separately, the European Commission has confirmed that UK citizens will have to pay to secure pre-travel authorization to visit EU countries after Brexit. Whereas now UK passport-holders can travel freely within the EU, in a post-Brexit world they will have to pay for approval under the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS).
The UK is due to formally leave the European Union on March 30, 2019.
Source: Air Transport World Online
17 December 2018 - Prime Minister Marković stressed that the ambition of Montenegro is to open soon the remaining negotiating chapter, Chapter 8 - Competition, and that the country worked diligently and provided the internal readiness to close several chapters.
Prime Minister Marković and Commissar Hahn agreed that progress has been made in the area of the rule of law. PM Marković paid particular attention to the fight against corruption and organised crime, where, in his words, the country achieved a lot, and that even better results are expected to be made soon, especially in the areas of combating human trafficking and money laundering.
The meeting also discussed progress in the field of media. The emphasis was placed on the protection of journalists and media assets. It was noted that a set of media laws that should improve the media scene are being drafted.
PM Marković informed Commissioner Hahn about the political situation in Montenegro. The two officials also exchanged opinions on developments in the region.
The Prime Minister said that Montenegro has been continuously promoting dialogue and stability and that it will continue to encourage the region's progress and its aspiration towards the European Union. Commissioner Hahn praised the role of Montenegro in the region.
Next year, PM Marković underscored, the Government will give priority to the achievement of dynamic development and complete financial stability in the country. He also pointed out the good economic results the Government has achieved, which is reflected primarily in economic growth, deficit reduction, and an increase in the number of employees.
During the summer, on the occasion of Joint Vienna Institute Lecture 2018, Johannes Hahn that the door of the European Union was undoubtedly open to the countries of the Western Balkans and pointed out that candidates must first of all be aware that without the rule of law there is no progress on the European path. He also stressed that freedom of the media and expression is a fundamental right in the EU, and he expressed particular concern about the political control of the media and the non-governmental sector in Montenegro.
On the occasion of Montenegro's opening of Chapter 27, Hahn said that Montenegro is making a significant step forward on its “European path”. He also welcomed the progress in the rule of law and said that the focus, in the coming period, should be placed on the activities under negotiating chapters 23 and 24. Commissioner Hahn reiterated that the European Commission would continue to support the integration of Montenegro into the EU in terms.
December 17, 2018 - Director of the Diaspora Directorate Predrag Mitrovic, Mayor of Bar Dusan Raicevic and Elvira Bekteši, Head of the Department for Legal Issues, Finance and Emigrant Booklets, visited the University of Toronto where they spoke with the Deputy Director of the Center for Diaspora and Transnational Studies Prof. Dr. Antonela Arhin.
Antonela Arhin was born and raised in Montenegro and has been working in the Center, unique in the world of study, for 12 years.
Ahin lectures on several subjects within the diaspora and transnational studies: children's rights, child migration, cross-border flows, crime and migration, human rights, law and cultural values, citizenship and identity.
Expressing gratitude for the first visit of the institution directly involved in the Diaspora of Montenegro, she met the interlocutors with the Center's program and expressed her willingness and desire, as a Montenegrin, to help Montenegro through her profession. She also expressed that she is extremely pleased that someone appreciates it and shows interest in studying the diaspora, its impact on the country of origin and the country of reception, its position and the struggle for the preservation of identity, culture, the tradition in the era of globalization.
The interlocutors raised a number of important issues, and the continuation of the communication on the possibility of establishing cooperation between the University of Montenegro and the University of Toronto, the exchange of students and professors, scholarships and, in particular, the study of diaspora as a very important social phenomenon, and the exchange of good practice in the work with diaspora and issues of cooperation between the diaspora and the motherland that Montenegro can and should try to apply in the design of its policy for the cooperation with the diaspora.
Toronto University is among the top 15 in the world and currently is estimated as the best university in Canada.
The library of this university is the third in the number of books available in North America, immediately after Harvard and Yale. The University of Toronto has about 90,000 students and as many as 980 programs.
The meeting was organized by the Montenegrin Cultural Society of Toronto which maintains contacts with Arhin and with which it has successfully cooperated so far.
Text by CdM, on December 16th 2018, read more at CdM
15 December 2018 - The Ministry of Defense of Montenegro and Armed Forces of Montenegro is planning to go into a credit debt of 30 million EUR for the purchase of 67 armored vehicles.
The Government’s documents state that finds for defense will make 2,98% of GDP in 2019, more than predicted by NATO standards and caused by the provision of armored vehicles and payment of installments for helicopters.
“Profit that the Ministry of Defense makes by selling armament, selling and renting former military property (immovable) and provision of services, as well as the funds on the basis of refunding costs by NATO will amount up to 5.000.000 EUR and will be used for the achievement of partnership objectives and equipment of the Army, inclusive of uniforms”.
The budget of the Army will amount 36,8 million EUR. Most of that money (20,86 million EUR) will be spent on earnings.
As far as the missions in which Montenegrin soldiers take part, the budget predicted 2.294.456 EUR for the fees in the missions and for the payments fort he field work, accommodation in camps and barracks as well as for the engagement of soldiers in recovering consequences caused by natural disasters.
In 2019, it is planned that soldiers of the Armed Forces of Montenegro be engaged in five peacekeeping missions: in Afghanistan (20 soldiers), Somalia (7 soldiers), Mali (1 soldier), West Sahara (2 soldiers) and in KFOR mission in Kosovo (2 soldiers).
For the lease of premises in NATO headquarters, Ministry will provide 680.000 EUR, and for the Council, they will provide 20.000 EUR.
During the September 2018, Armed Forces of Montenegro bought two new Bell 412 EPI multi-purpose helicopters. Bell 412 EP/EPI multi-purpose four-wheeled helicopters are designed for the transport of passengers, injured and sick people, search and rescue, cargo transfer, fire extinguishing, and border control. The capacity of the delivered version is 13 seats.
14 December 2018 - Prime Minister Duško Marković extended his thanks to Austrian Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz for the successful presidency of the Council of the European Union over the past six months and expressed his gratitude for Austria's support in ensuring member states' giving their consent to Montenegro's opening of Chapter 27.
"I assure you that Montenegro will be responsible and fully aware of the complexity and importance of the negotiations in fulfiling these and all other obligations. Montenegro's path to the EU is a continuous positive trend, and the newly opened chapter is an incentive for further fundamental reforms and the accession process which brings increasingly visible quality to our society and citizens on a daily basis," PM Marković's letter of gratitude to Chancellor Kurz, sent ahead of the ending of the Austrian presidency of the Council of the EU, reads.
Noting that Austria, as always, has shown that it is up to the task, the Prime Minister stated that Montenegro especially appreciates Chancellor Kurz's positive and encouraging message concerning the region and its European perspective.
"As a country that knows, understands, and supports the region of the Western Balkans, and the specifics of each country individually, Austria has further strengthened the path of all of us towards that goal and the permanent stabilisation of this area," Prime Minister Duško Marković points out in his letter addressed to Austrian Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
At the end of the letter, Prime Minister Marković highlights that European future of the region has no alternative, stressing that the Austrian Chancellor can always count on Montenegro as a partner in attaining these worthwhile goals.
During the Vienna Economic Forum which was held during mid-November, Federal Chancellor Kurz, told at the press conference that Austria, during its presidency of the Council of the European Union, will focus on three areas: the region's path towards the European Union, the necessary regional cooperation and the resolution of bilateral disputes in the region. Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Johannes Hahn emphasised that all Western Balkan countries have a European perspective, although it is not realistic that they all join the Union at the same time.
14 December 2018 - The Minister of Public Administration Suzana Pribilović has received a letter from Sanjay Pradhan, Chief Executive Officer of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), stating that Montenegro regained its active status in the Open Government Partnership Initiative.
"Given the adoption of the Action Plan 2018-2020, it is our great pleasure to confirm that Montenegro has regained its active status in the OGP, coming into force on 20 November 2018," the letter states.
After the Government's decision to become the coordinator of this process, the Ministry of Public Administration took over the activities in drafting the new Action Plan within the framework of the Open Government Partnership Initiative in June 2018.
The new Operational Team, consisting of high-level representatives of the Government, as well as five representatives of the NGOs, played a leading role in the drafting of the Action Plan, and the UNDP Office in Montenegro provided expert support in that process.
By participating in the OGP initiative, Montenegro focuses on 5 key obligations: improving public services, citizen participation, access to information - the openness of public administration bodies, more efficient management of public resources and increasing public integrity. Within these areas, the Action Plan will carry out a total of 23 activities.
Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a voluntary international initiative launched in 2011, which promotes multilateral cooperation, supports the development of openness, transparency and accountability of the administration through open cooperation of representatives of the state administration primarily with civil society, but also with other social stakeholders with a view of promoting and increasing transparency, combating corruption and actively involving and strengthening the participation of citizens and the civil sector in the creation of public policies.
Montenegro joined the OGP on 13 February 2012 and signed the declaration on the open government.
Read more information about Open Government Partnership.
12 December 2018 - President of Montenegro, Milo Đukanović, met with the president of Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benítez, who handed him the highest national decoration - Ordain of the national honor on the necklace. Mayor ofAsunción, Mario Ferreiro, handed Đukanović the keys to the Capital city and the charter of the honorary guest of their capital, suggesting him fraternity with Podgorica.
The two presidents talked about the Montenegrin emigrants, who started arriving to Paraguay at the beginning of 19th century. There are around two thousand of their descendants, many of whom are successful in business, politics, and diplomacy. Even some members of the delegation of the president of Paraguay have Montenegrin origins.
Đukanović pointed out that Montenegro and Paraguay had similar experiences regarding their freedom and past, as well as regarding their strategic vision of the future.
Đukanović invited his Paraguayan counterpart to visit our country, and he gladly accepted the invitation.
“The two Presidents attended the signing of the Memorandum on the cooperation of diplomatic academies and the Agreement on the abolition of visas for the holders of diplomatic and official passports,” reads the report.
The first lady of Paraguay organized an interesting program for the first lady of Montenegro. Together, they visited famous “Women City” – authentic Paraguayan project.
Abdo Benítez and his wife organized lunch for Milo and Lidija Đukanović in their residence.
Source: Cafe del Montenegro
11 December 2018 - Interior Minister Mevludin Nuhodžić said at the United Nations conference on migration held in Morocco that the Government of Montenegro is working in all fields, in order to better regulate migration processes. The country, as the responsible state, also took all measures for the possible acceptance of migrants and refugees in the event of their inflows and that it is in line with all international standards in this field. Montenegro is committed to further strengthening regional cooperation in order to preserve the security of countries of Western Balkans and borders together too.
“The Government of Montenegro is very active in different areas, aiming to regulate migration processes better, especially when it comes to controlling of entry to the territory of Montenegro. As a responsible country, we have taken all the necessary measures to be able to accommodate migrants and refugees in case of their eventual inflow, in line with all international standards in this area.” – Minister Nuhodžić said in Marrakech at the Intergovernmental Conference on the Adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Convenient and Regular Migration.
At the event, opened by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, heads of states and governments, as well as high-level representatives from more than 150 countries, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, supported the Global Compact for Safe, Convenient and Legal migration, which establishes a framework for managing migration flows, through cooperation with European and international partners in border control in an integrated and coordinated manner. Secretary General Guterres announced that participation in the conference shows the importance that the international community attaches to finding solutions for better migration management, based on the principles of state sovereignty, shared responsibility, non-discrimination and human rights.
Addressing the gathering, the Montenegrin Minister reminded that Montenegro welcomes the synchronized international activity, ie the definition of the Global Compact for Safe, Convenient and Regular Migration, which is a clear political signal to the unique activities and shared responsibility of the countries of origin, transit and destination to deal with this phenomenon. He said that the position of Montenegro is that the definition of the Global Compact represents another confirmation of the importance of effective multilateralism in addressing the growing challenges facing the world.
“Montenegro is strongly committed to regional cooperation and enhancing the stability of the region. We believe that responsible approach in addressing migration related challenges requires joint activities of all countries to be able to cope with the very complex task of securing the country's borders while, at the same time, providing better future to those facing suffering. Within that context, it is of extreme importance that all Western Balkan countries align their national legislation in the area of migration and asylum, as well as to harmonize their normative frameworks with EU Directives and standards, and in particular to develop human resources and technical capacities within their systems for control of the movement of foreigners. The migrant crisis that has affected Europe pointed to numerous deficiencies of national systems, underlining the need for regional cooperation, sharing of experiences, information, data, as well as sharing of missing resources, thus developing a joint response to this challenge.” – Minister Nuhodžić emphasised.
On the margins Minister Nuhodžić spoke with Foreign Ministers of Croatia Davor Božinović and the Republic of Turkey, Suleyman Soylu, on bilateral relations and strengthening cooperation in the area of security and migration management.
In the Montenegrin delegation, which was led by Minister Nuhodžić, were also the State Secretary for Political Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zoran Janković and the Head of the Permanent Mission of Montenegro to the United Nations, Ambassador Milica Pejanović Djurišić.
11 December 2018 - Montenegro has made significant efforts to improve both the legislative and institutional framework for human rights and freedoms, said Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Pažin, adding that in the coming period there will be challenges in implementing the adopted regulations.
In his speech at the opening of the conference, which marked the International Human Rights Day in Podgorica, Deputy Prime Minister Pažin emphasised the importance of accepting diversity and suppressing all forms of discrimination in Montenegrin society.
"This extremely negative phenomenon of discrimination needs to be suppressed because it destroys the very foundations of civil society. By the nature of things, those who are most vulnerable in society, vulnerable groups in society, are always affected. That is why we need to fight persistently and thoroughly against discrimination," he said.
The Deputy Prime Minister said that another type of challenge stems from growing violence in society, from verbal violence to physical violence. "With this negative phenomenon, we also have to fight as a society that is civically committed. From violence against women, domestic violence in general, violence against children, including sexual violence, to an extremely dangerous and harmful violence against members of the journalistic profession and media assets."
He pointed out that, as a civil society, Montenegro should build a special sensibility towards those who are most exposed to violence, rejection, and discrimination, such as persons with disabilities, members of the LGBTI population and members of minorities, regardless of the personal characteristics that determine their minority's commitment.
"I am convinced that we are all vigorously committed to these noble goals, as I am convinced that every 10 December we will be able to ascertain the progress made in this area because that is what is the measure of our civic identity," the Deputy Prime Minister concluded.
The conference on the topic "Protection of human rights and freedoms in Montenegro", within the celebration of the Human Rights Day, aims at assessing the level of respect and protection of human rights and freedoms in Montenegro, with an overview of areas identified as challenging and requiring more intense efforts by all actors in the society to reach the highest standards.
11 December 2018 - On December 11, 2018, Montenegrin House (“Casa de Montenegro“) was officially opened in the city Presidencia Roque Sáenz Peña in the Chaco province, Argentina by the President of Montenegro, Milo Đukanović.
Đukanović was honoured to represent Montenegro in Argentina and witness the implementation of the project “Montenegrin House“ with the support of the representatives of Sáenz Peña, the whole province of Chaco, and with the assistance of Montenegrin emigrants. “This is the first project of its kind in this part of the world, which symbolizes Montenegro's eternity and the Montenegrins rooted in the foundations of the Argentinean society, as well as the sustainability of the Montenegrin-Argentine friendship. It is also a symbol of the progress of our country, as well as the success of its sons who for centuries went to distant lands,” the President explained in his speech.
As a country with an immigrant tradition, Montenegro also shows special sensitivity to its emigrants and their descendants. “As a symbol of Montenegrin emigration and a safe place for all those who after the First World War did not settle with the disappearance of Montenegro, Chaco became an essential part of Montenegrin identity,” added Đukanović.
“I think that you are convinced by this today's event that Chaco has a special place in Montenegro, as well as Montenegro in Chaco. Let the "Montenegrin House" be the place of the union of all the citizens of the Saenz Pena, and another solid link with the homeland, but also for the cooperation of our friendly nations and countries,” the President concluded.
The foundation stone for the “Montenegrin House“ was put in on a plot of over 4000 square meters in the presence of a large number of descendants of Montenegrin emigrants in the Chaco province, Sáenz Peña on 26th of March, 2017. This event was made into a ceremony, attended by the president of the Montenegrin community King Nikola I, Pablo Nikčević, the community’s vice president Walter Pavićević, member of the Argentina’s Council for Cooperation with Expatriates Ms Jelena Simović, Vice-Consul of Montenegro in the Santa Fe province Klaudijo Petrićević and the president of the Montenegrin community in Buenos Aires Emilio Ognjenović.
Before the “Montenegrin House“ opening, President Đukanović visited the Montenegrin colony “La Montenegrina”, built one century ago, as well as a joint monument to its seven founders and a local Montenegrin cemetery. He also visited the "Durmitor" home, built by Montenegrin emigrants in 1926, renovated five years ago, where he signed in the guest book.
10 December 2018 - Montenegro officially opened negotiations in Chapter 27 - Environment and Climate Change at the Intergovernmental Conference in Brussels earlier today.
At the conference, it was stressed that the opening of this chapter is another success for Montenegro and recognition for the intensive work on harmonising domestic legislation with EU regulations and building the necessary administrative capacity.
In his address to the representatives of the member states and the European Commission, Head of the Montenegrin delegation, Foreign Minister Srđan Darmanović, said that Montenegro has opened 32 chapters to date, of which three are closed. Darmanović added that the effort the country is putting in the alignment with the Acquis communautaire testifies to its continued and strong commitment to the European integration process. He believes that by opening the last negotiating chapter in the months ahead, Montenegro will once again confirm its leadership position, but also give a new impetus to the integration process, not only in the country but also in the countries of the region. The goal is to confirm the credibility of the European perspective of the Western Balkans.
Darmanović noted that the opening of Chapter 27 is very important, as the Constitution of 2007 defined Montenegro as an ecological state, dedicated to environmental protection and development based on sustainability principles. He highlighted that the process of European integration is the only framework that guarantees stability in the region and thus in Europe. “That is why we are sure that the presence of the EU in the region and the continuity of the enlargement policy are of fundamental importance for stability, further economic development and the competitiveness of the European continent at a global level," Darmanović concluded.
Minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism Pavle Radulović stressed that the State is committed to protecting the environment. He said that the Government of Montenegro established the Environmental Protection Fund (Eco Fund) in late November in order to create the legal framework for future investments in the field of environment and climate change.
European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn also spoke at the opening of negotiations in Chapter 27, saying that Montenegro is making a significant step forward on its “European path”. He also welcomed the progress in the rule of law and said that the focus, in the coming period, should be placed on the activities under negotiating chapters 23 and 24. Commissioner Hahn reiterated that the European Commission will continue to support the integration of Montenegro into the EU in terms.