Politics

09 Dec 2018, 18:55 PM

December 9, 2018 - A special police team working with the Special State Prosecutor's Office has asked the Kotor Municipality to submit the complete documentation regarding the procedures of local government in connection with the issuance of building permits for investors, the company "A-Y Montenegro" from Kotor.

"Dragan Radonjić, leader of the team as per the instructions by SDT on November 15th, requested from the Municipality of Kotor insight into the complete documentation and files of the cases related to the administrative procedure in relation to the application for issuing construction permits to the company “A-Y Montenegro”. "From this, I assume that this investor filed a criminal complaint against me to SDT because these permits have not been issued to them till today," said the Mayor of Kotor Vladimir Jokić (Democrats).

"AY Montenegro" submitted in September or November 2016 a total of eight requests to the Kotor municipality for the issuance of construction permits on the plots owned by that company in Kostanjica, and requested the approval to construct as many as thirty new residential tourist and auxiliary facilities, a total area of almost 8,700 square meters. They asked for this, referring to the controversial, amended DUP Kostanjica from 2009, which on the then untouched area from the Turkish cap to Kostanjica, is registered dozen of new objects of "tourist purpose". This DUP was brought to the time when Kotor was the ruled by the local DPS-SDP authority for the mandate of Mayor Marija Ćatović.

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Boka Kotorska – photo Boka News 2018.

In 2009, the Regional Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments gave a negative opinion on the proposal of amendments to the DUP Kostanjica, but the opinion, however, was expressed after the deadline of 15 days of how long the institutions have to send their approval on the proposed planning document. Therefore, the Municipality of Kotor, managed by Ćatović at that time, adopted DUP Kostanjica, formally declaring that the Institute did not pronounce its opinion within the deadline, which is considered to be a tacit consent. In the meantime, according to this planning document, several tens of thousands of square meters of housing facilities in Kostanjica have already been built, which has already destroyed the image on the islands of Our Lady of the Rocks and St. George from Perast. UNESCO warned that further construction in this area would certainly jeopardize the survival of Kotor in the list of protected sites of the world's natural and cultural heritage under the UNESCO patronage.

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Kotor – photo Boka News

The current ruling coalition made by the Democrats-DF-URA-SDP, with the parliamentary support of the SNP, was put in an unenviable position because the government allegedly trying to keep Kotor on the UNESCO list, and a year ago introduced a moratorium on a new construction in Kotor Bay, but simultaneously, through the mouth of Minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism Pavle Radulovic (DPS), told the local authorities to "act by law" and issue all the building permits for which the requests were submitted before the entry into force of the moratorium. Among them are the demands for some very controversial projects that, according to the UNESCO expert's viewpoint, could jeopardize the status of Kotor as natural and cultural heritage, especially in the area of Kostanjica, Dobrota, and Glavati.

"The purpose of all this with the SDT is now to put pressure on me to issue these building permits to this investor," Jokic said, reminding that in the meantime, Minister Radulovic recommended Jokic in several public appearances "that these permissions should be rejected", and such opinion was signed even publicly in front of RTCG cameras by the then director of the Directorate for the Protection of Cultural Property Anastazija Miranovic, when the Mayor of Kotor offered it to her.

None of the leaders of the state, except Radulovic who officially said that he "acted according to the law," did not respond to the letter of the mayor Vladimir Jokic, who in December 2017, from Prime Minister Dusko Markovic, the president of the Assembly, Ivan Brajovic, the then president of the state, Filip Vujanovic, and several other competent state institutions, demanded that the state takes a stand on the issue of further construction on the locations identified as critical ones by UNESCO, including Kostanjica. The government also ignored the invitation to the Council for the Management of the Natural and Cultural-Historical District of Kotor, which in January asked the Government to urgently, at its next session, to take a position what the Municipality of Kotor should do regarding the application for issuing construction permits for the new mammoth construction in the area of Kostanjica. The same request to the Government in March was also unsuccessful, sent by SO Kotor. The approval of such construction would definitely bring Kotor out of the list of protected heritage, which would have unreasonable negative consequences for both the town of Kotor and the state of Montenegro.

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Vladimir Jokić – photo Boka News

"We are asking the state and all competent institutions to get involved in resolving the issue of Kostanjica. This is not a question of today's coalition government in Kotor, nor the authorities that will come tomorrow. This is the issue of preserving the space that we have to keep, this is the issue of preserving Kotor on the UNESCO list. The "permanent silence" of the state is astounding. I think it is time that we in this town finally get an answer to the question of whether the state of Montenegro intends to preserve the status of Kotor on the UNESCO list or not. Both of them are legitimate, but we need to know where we are "- mayor Jokic said at a session of the SO in March this year. He called on the state to "stand by its authority and power" on behalf of the town.


"What I assure you is that even if the state remains silent if the legal procedure does not change drastically, the Municipality of Kotor, while I am at its head and while this team is in the local executive power, will not allow such a devastation of space. We will not allow someone to mock at what has remained in the heritage of this generation to be protected," Jokic concluded. 

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Gospa od Škrpjela (Lady of the Rocks) and Kostanjica March 2018.

The 'fruits' of his decision to not allow the further continuation of the destruction of Kostanjica, and to preserve Kotor for UNESCO, Jokic brought in front of SDT led by Milivoje Katnic, who sent a special police team to Kotor to inspect all the documents regarding the requests by the company “A-Y Montenegro”. In the meantime, this company appealed first to the Chief Administrator of the Municipality, and then to the Administrative Court, which ordered the Municipality to "decide upon the request" for building permits. Since the permits have not been received even to this day, "A-Y Montenegro" has addressed Katnić.

Text by S.L., on December 8th, 2018, read more at Boka news

09 Dec 2018, 03:36 AM

07 December 2018 - "The Government of Montenegro does not envisage any additional measures of fiscal consolidation other than those established in 2017, but next year we will focus on improving tax environment, further economic growth and employment increase," Minister of Finance Darko Radunović said introducing the 2019 Draft Budget Law, which was adopted last night by the Government. 

By presenting the budget for the next year, the Minister reminded that the Government of Montenegro started the fiscal policy in the past two years with the implementation of the Plan for reduction of the budget deficit and the public debt, supplemented by the Government's 2017-2020 Fiscal Strategy, taking care that they do not slow down the economic growth, nor endanger the socially most sensitive segments of society. 

"The following indicators show that the measures were well balanced: a strong economic growth of 4.7 percent in 2017, and 4.8 percent in the first half of 2018, with a projection of 4.1 percent by the end of the year, an increase in Montenegrin GDP per capita to 46 percent of the EU average and an increase in the number of employees by nearly 11,000 in relation to 2016, the regularity of payment of wages, pensions, social benefits (with the growth of certain categories), strengthening of the international investment position of Montenegro reflected through the improvement of the credit rating and the most successful issue of eurobonds aimed at refinancing part of the public debt, as well as obtaining the World Bank Policy-Based Guarantee, which is also important for refinancing the part of the public debt and establishing its declining trend," the Minister of Finance said.

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The Minister of Finance expressed the belief that every Montenegrin family had the opportunity to see and feel something from the numerous activities that the Government undertook in an effort to improve the quality of life - either through subsidies from agriculture, scholarship or free education for thousands of students, through the possibility for citizens to take medicine for free that they may have had to pay earlier or more easily travel with time and fuel savings, some of the reconstructed roads through Montenegro. 

Speaking of the proposed budget for 2019, the Minister of Finance and acting General Director of the State Budget Directorate Bojan Paunović stated that budget revenues increased by around 190.7 million as estimated for 2018 (or 12.2 percent compared to 2017); that the budget deficit was reduced from 5.5 percent of GDP in 2017 to an estimated 3.8 percent of GDP in 2018 and that a surplus of current consumption was achieved.

The Minister emphasised that this year we have the largest capital budget in Montenegro since the renewal of independence – 320.93 million EUR and that most of that money is foreseen for the Northern region. 

"The 2018 Draft Budget Law envisages the total amount of receipts and expenditures of EUR 2,384 billion or 50% of GDP. This is less about the rebalance for 2018. The budget for 2019 is characterized by faster revenue growth than expenditures (i.e. controlled expenditure growth and further changes in their structure), thereby reducing the deficit to 142.3 million euros or 2.97 percent of GDP. The current budget spending in 2019 will be fully financed from the original income, and a current consumption surplus of 197 million euros will be generated. This meets one of the basic requirements for fiscal policy planning. Continuing a rational attitude towards budget spending is important. We have achieved an excellent surplus of current consumption this year; I think that we have the opportunity to achieve an even better result next year," Finance Minister Darko Radunović said. 

The Minister, concluding the presentation of the proposed budget for 2019, assessed that its main characteristics are: 

• The growth of original income by 71 million EUR about 2018; 
• Optimization of current budget spending 
• Increasing investments in infrastructure projects through the most significant amount of the Capital Budget since gaining independence (320 million EUR); 
• Increasing allocations for education, sports, agriculture, entrepreneurship; 
• Reducing the need for loans, i.e. reducing the missing funds to 556 million EUR (out of which 180 million EUR refers to deposits already available); 
• The regularity of performing all public functions of the state (payments of pensions, social benefits, etc., with increase according to legal harmonization); 
• Payroll regularity, with an increase in salaries of current public sector employees by 10.9 million EUR. 

"Therefore, the 2019 Draft Budget Law is an expression of economic policy measures aimed at strengthening fiscal stability by implementing fiscal consolidation measures; support of competitiveness and development, as well as the regularity of performing all public functions in order to ensure sustainable growth of the economy, which helps further increase of the living standard of citizens" Minister Radunović concluded. 

07 Dec 2018, 00:56 AM

06 December 2018 - Minister of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro Srđan Darmanović participated in a two-day meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels. 

On the first day, the NATO foreign ministers adopted the Joint Statement on violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. 

They also discussed the most important issues related to Euro-Atlantic security, including the relations with Russia, the safety of the Alliance's southern borders and the implementation of the Framework for the South, as well as the strategic stability and the response to security challenges. 

A special session was held with the foreign ministers of Georgia and Ukraine to discuss the security situation in the region, as well as possible forms of support and cooperation of the Alliance in the reform processes and strengthening of defence capacities. 

On the second day of the meeting, a session on the Western Balkans was held in the light of recent developments in the region, as well as a discussion on the Euro-Atlantic perspective in line with the conclusions of the July NATO Summit. 

Minister Darmanović emphasised the importance that Montenegro, as a Mediterranean state and ally, attaches to the stability of the southern partners and opposes the challenges from the south. Regarding the open door policy, he stressed Montenegro's full support for the Euro-Atlantic integration of the Western Balkans and the conclusions of the July NATO Summit on Macedonia's accession to NATO. He also highlighted the importance of today's decision on the readiness of the Alliance to accept the Annual National Program (ANP) of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

In this context, he informed about the support of Montenegro to Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as an openness towards other countries that show readiness. Minister Darmanović reiterated the importance of NATO's visibility and presence in the region and the same understanding of the Allies on the security of the Western Balkans, as well as the importance of maintaining the open door policy on the Alliance's agenda. Minister Darmanovic stressed that Montenegro would continue engaging in Afghanistan. 

On the sidelines of the meeting, Minister Darmanović met with Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State of the United States, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany Heiko Maas, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Croatia Marija Pejčinović Burić, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia Miro Cerar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark Anders Samuelsen, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria Ekaterina Zaharieva, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania Ditmir Bushati and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway Ine Eriksen Søreide.

07 Dec 2018, 00:42 AM

05 December 2018 - Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Policy and Financial System Milutin Simović hosted the delegation of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, headed by Committee Chairman Volkan Bozkir.

DPM Simović said that, as co-chairmen of the Mixed Commission for Economic Cooperation between the Government of Montenegro and the Government of Turkey, he always looks forward to meeting partners and friends from Turkey. He recalled the very successful 4th session of the Mixed Commission, which took place in Ankara in November 2017, the agreements that were signed on that occasion, as well as numerous meetings at a high level that took place in a spirit of friendship and sincere cooperation.

He also pointed out that the harmonisation of the new free trade agreement testifies to the friendship between the two countries. This agreement will represent a new momentum in the economic and trade relations between Montenegro and Turkey, Deputy Prime Minister Simović said, adding that business people have long recognised the key sectors and directions of cooperation and that the two governments need to make efforts to revive the agreements they have signed.

By the same token, DPM Simović called on the parliaments of both countries to ratify the agreements that have been signed.

After thanking DPM Simović on warm reception, Mr. Bozkir emphasised that Turkey attaches great importance to Montenegro, which can set a good example to many countries for the multi-ethnic and multireligious harmony and coexistence.

"We see Montenegro as an honest ally in NATO, but also as a friend with whom it has built solid bridges of friendship," Mr Bozkir stressed. This is confirmed by the visit of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, in full composition and with the representatives of all parliamentary parties, said Mr. Bozkir.

DPM Simović and Chairman of the Committee Bozkir agreed that the current level of economic and trade relations between Montenegro and Turkey, which is at a satisfactory level, with very positive trends, does not show real opportunities. Tourism, industry, agriculture, wood processing, and direct investment have been highlighted as fields in which it is necessary to maximise potentials. Bearing this in mind, Bozkir suggested that the next session of the Mixed Commission for Economic Cooperation between the Government of Montenegro and the Government of Turkey will take place in Turkey as quickly as possible and invited Deputy Prime Minister Simović to be the guest of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on that occasion.

04 Dec 2018, 16:48 PM

December 4, 2018 - The continuation of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th regular session of the Municipal Assembly of Kotor, which was supposed to, among other things, decide the confirmation of the 14 decisions that had been taken by the mayor Vladimir Jokic (Democrats) was not held yesterday because the president of the local parliament Dragica Perovic DSS) canceled it due to "the impossibility of attending sessions at the scheduled term by certain members of the ruling coalition."

According to our findings, the collegium of the president of the SO will be held on Wednesday when it would be necessary to finally determine whether the local parliament will be scheduled again by December 29th. Then, the half-year term expires in which, according to the law, if there is no Session, the Government introduces forced administration to the municipality as an introduction to extraordinary local elections.

"On our side, once again in spite of the difficult words heard in the past days, we will talk to our partners and we will try to reasonably overcome the problem and preserve the local government. However, the other side is needed by for achieving the agreement," said the source from the top of Kotor local government.

The ruling coalition (Democrats, DF, URA and SDP) in SO Kotor, with parliamentary support from SNP, has 17 votes of councilors, while the opposition made by DPS and its close parties has 16 councilors.

The last parliamentary session of the Kotor parliament was held on June 29th, when the meeting was interrupted because they did not vote on the purchase of Jugopetrol real estate in Škaljari and the industrial zone because Nova and SDP were against it. Since the end of June, the parliament has been virtually blocked by disagreements among local government actors, predominantly Democrats and URAs on one hand and SDP on the other. The Party of Ranko Krivokapic withdrew support for the purchase of Jugopetrol's real estate, on which its staff has been working since the beginning of this project rated as very important for the further development of Kotor.

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Vladimir Jokić – photo Boka News

Mayor Vladimir Jokic (Democrats) SDP objected that "it would usurp the basic Constitutional and legal right of Municipal Assembly members to decide, without calling them" and that in the meantime he has allegedly issued a number of illegal decisions, to which Jokic replied that he had, according to the law, the right and duty in a situation where the work of the local parliament is blocked. SDP also accuses Jokic that "as a tool of the waste from SNP Snezana Jonica", in the local public enterprise employees are being dismissed from SNP personnel and appointing them to Jonica or her associates with whom she allegedly makes a new party. The SDP felt threatened because a possible replacement of Krivokapić's party Mladen Lučić from the position of director of the Utility company that is, Safet Luković from the position of director of the company Water and Sewage was announced from the circles close to Jonica. SDP had to let the staff of DF and Jonica's SNP wing, which controls all SNPs in the Kotor parliament, several vital places in the municipal company Luka Kotor, which in no way beneficial to that party.

DPS has not yet announced whether they will formally submit an initiative to vote for Jokic's distrust, because they do not have a decisive, 17th vote among the party councilors at the state level, officially a "heavy" opposition to the DPS.

SDP holds the key to the survival of the coalition

From OO SDP Kotor, they confirmed that they would attend the Collegium of the President of the SO on Wednesday "in order to re-request the return of legality in the work of the local self-government and finally to hold a session of the SO that would decide on the decisions they made on its behalf".

"For us, the primary interest is the respect of the law and the will of the voters who have made it clear that the government must work in the interests of the citizens."

Text by S.L. on December 4th, 2018, read more at Boka news

04 Dec 2018, 02:16 AM

03 December 2018 - By putting the knowledge and technological innovation in the service of sustainable development, we want to transform the overall development of Montenegro, as ecological country, according to the requests of the agenda 2030, said the President of Montenegro, Milo Đukanović, at the Summit of Leaders of 24th Conference of the Contracting States of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change that is taking place in Katowice, Poland.

This conference represents one of the most important assemblies of the representatives of the states, science institutions, and organizations of civil society, three years after the adoption of history agreement in Paris.

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Đukanović pointed out the dedication Montenegro shows in searching for optimal responses to climate change, as one of the most complex challenges today, while especially pointing out Paris Agreement.

Montenegro has defined a very ambitious objective of reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. By 2030, Đukanović expects considerable investments with the aim of achieving 33% share of renewable energy resources.

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During the Summit, as usual, Đukanović had several informal encounters during which he made his interlocutors familiar with the current situation in Montenegro, which is dynamically moving forward, towards the EU. He also presented the results of economic growth that Montenegro achieved aiming to reach the European life standard.

He discussed about the current situation in the WB region, emphasizing the need for cooperation with the aim of overcoming the challenges that overwhelm the region.

Prime Minister of the Netherlands pointed out an important role of Montenegro in the region, presenting it as a bright spot, stable country with a great European perspective.

Source: Cafe del Montenegro

03 Dec 2018, 22:48 PM
December 3, 2018 - The delegation of the European Maritime Safety Agency EMSA is on a multi-day visit to the Montenegrin maritime administration to prepare Montenegro for the IMSAS mandatory audit for member states of the International Maritime Organization IMO.
 
State Secretary at the Ministry of Traffic and Maritime Affairs Muamer Hajdarpasic reminded members of the delegation that Montenegro, on October 10, 2006, officially became a member of the International Maritime Organization (167) and accepted the conventions and protocols of the IMO, as well as the rights and obligations.
 
"It is necessary to take into account the activities Montenegro is undertaking on the road to European integration by strengthening the legal and administrative framework with the aim of raising the level of security and security, protecting the sea from pollution and protecting human life on the sea," Hajdarpašić emphasized.
 
The Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs together with the Maritime Safety Directorate continues to monitor IMO recommendations and the legal framework of the EU and tries to respond to all challenges, especially given the limited administrative capacity and the limited financial resources, said the representative of the Ministry of Transport.
 
"In the previous period, activities that resulted in the return of Montenegrin seafarers to White Paper EU; the elimination of Montenegro with the so-called "blacklist" of Paris MOU and the transfer of powers to provide services for the inspection of ships and the issue of required testimonies for ships sailing under the Montenegrin flag. Along with these activities, we are also working intensively at the reception of Montenegro in the Paris MoU," said Hajdarpašić.
  
EMSA Team Leader Hemming Hindborg praised the cooperation of the Montenegrin maritime administration with this evolutionary institution and expressed its conviction that the experience and tradition that Montenegro has in sailing will be a significant contribution in the period to come.
 
"Although it is a young state concerning membership in international maritime organizations, Montenegro has shown an enviable level of seriousness and readiness to accept and apply the suggestions and recommendations it receives, but also to show the progress made by the international maritime community," Hindborg said.
 
The EMSA audit team is preparing Montenegro for IMSAS, which is scheduled for November next year, with the aim of further improving the efficiency of the Montenegrin maritime administration.s
 
"I believe that this audit will be an excellent indicator of how to prepare ourselves adequately for all future commitments, as well as for addressing any shortcomings. It is good that the suggestions and recommendations come from competent institutions that can impartially observe the maritime administration, and therefore we believe that we will have a sincere partner that will help us to jointly contribute to the safety of navigation and protection of the sea from pollution on the road to Montenegro from sailing objects," concluded Hajdarpašić
 
The meeting with EMSA was attended by the Director General of the Naval Administration Vladan Radonjić with his associates, the Captain of the Harbor Command Kotor and Bar, Bruno Brkanović and Predrag Ratković with their associates, the Director of Naval Safet Kočan as well as the safety inspectors.
 
02 Dec 2018, 22:04 PM

02 December 2018 - On November 30, Montenegrin Minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism, Pavle Radulović, announced that Montenegro would open Chapter 27 at an intergovernmental conference to be held in Brussels on December 10 this year.

"All EU members gave the green light to the negotiating position of the Government of Montenegro for Chapter 27, which has created the conditions for the Chapter to be opened on December 10," Radulović said at a press conference. He pointed out that this step represents a great success of the whole country, and highlighted his gratitude to his associates and diplomats.

"This is a very significant step for Montenegro, and I publicly congratulate and thank my associates. Also, I thank our diplomatic network as well as the diplomats of the countries of the European Union in Montenegro and the Government's negotiating structure. I particularly thank the EU Delegation in Podgorica. This is a big step forward in the negotiation process, and it is my pleasure to open Chapter 27 in the 27th year since Montenegro was declared an ecological state," said Radulović.

“We are working hard to comply with the EU acquis and attain European standards in the areas such as waste disposal, water management or better air quality because our goal is to ensure a healthy environment for the citizens and new generations,” Montenegro’s Chief EU Negotiator Aleksandar Drljevic stated on September 1st.

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To achieve gradual and complete transposition of the entire EU acquis for Chapter 27-Environment and Climate Change into the legal system of Montenegro, the country adopted The National Strategy with Action Plan for transposition, implementation, and enforcement of the EU acquis on Environment and Climate Change (the Strategy with AP) 2016-2020.

Montenegro submitted its Draft on January 22nd, after which the Montenegrin Negotiating team representatives subsequently had a video conference with the European Commission’s representatives from the Directorate-general for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Directorate-general for the Environment and Directorate-general for Climate Change. During the Montenegrin Parliament’s public forum Montenegro and EU, Chapter 27: Environment and climate change, Radulovic said that the Draft was “generally praised” by the European Commission.

01 Dec 2018, 02:14 AM

30 November 2018 - Prime Minister Duško Marković noted on the occasion of the second anniversary of the 41st Government of Montenegro that the Government started its mandate in an extremely challenging environment, in 2016 - the most challenging year for Montenegro in its recent history, but thanks to the dedicated work of the entire Government an excellent result has been achieved. Nowadays Montenegro is a large construction site, it is more stable than ever and it has started accelerated economic development and improvement of the living standards, he added.

"The entire 2016 was the most challenging year for Montenegro, primarily in political and security terms. We had also challenging years in previous decades, but in that year we had the most brutal, most direct attack on the State, its institutions, its political system. It was the year in which the political will of the citizens of Montenegro was threatened to be changed in an undemocratic way in order to halt its European and Euro-Atlantic perspective. I would say that the ultimate goal was the loss and the disappearance of Montenegro as a state. At that very moment, the Government took over the mandate. You recall that the dissatisfied opposition that organised the boycott was on the streets, encouraging social and other dissatisfaction. The Government faced a serious challenge to ensure not only political but also security stability of the country, to enable its functioning. That was the political environment in which we started the mandate," Prime Minister Duško Marković said.

PM Marković, however, assessed Montenegro's accession to NATO as the greatest success of his government, saying he considers it to be the greatest achievement since the referendum that restored the independence of the country.

"There is no greater success for Montenegro in the last decade or in the last 12 years - first independence, then NATO accession. I would say that we have two key benefits from this process. Today, Montenegro is more stable than ever, although our stability is characteristic of the country in a very turbulent Balkan environment. Montenegro has always had the capacity to preserve this internal stability. However, today, our stability is much greater and of higher quality, and it is not only internal but regional, European, and, I would say transatlantic. At the same time, thanks to this stability, Montenegro has gained an unprecedented position on the international scene. Although being small, Montenegro can be a pretentious, global player. It sits around the same table with the most powerful countries of the world, not only in economic and military, but also in political terms. As a result, we have become a planetary known and there is great interest in investing in Montenegro's tourism, energy and agriculture. And for this reason we have experienced this kind of economic growth. The key benefits of NATO are stability, our international position and using of our potential for accelerated economic growth and higher living standards of citizens of Montenegro," the Prime Minister underlined.

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The Prime Minister emphasised the fact that the country's membership in NATO has spurred investments from all over the world.

As to European integration of Montenegro, the Prime Minister noted that  the progress towards membership of the European Union goes in line with the dynamics that is realistic.

"We would like to be in the European Union tomorrow. But that is not realistic. We must earn this membership through the reforms that we have to implement in the country and which must be sustainable, the pace of which will not depend on elections or any political party. Our progress in these six years is impressive. Today, we have 31 chapters open, it is certain that in December we will open one of the most difficult chapters in the negotiation process, Chapter 27 - Environment, for which we have to allocate approx. one billion euros by 2035 in order to secure our living space to be sustainable and to beneficial to both development and quality of life of each individual. We have temporarily closed 3 chapters. At this point, we have already provided the internal readiness to close six chapters. We have even asked these days the European Commission to start drafting reports on the fulfillment of the provisional benchmarks in chapters 23 and 24, because we think that we have met these criteria and that we need to get the final benchmarks for these chapters so that in the years to come we can start more rapid closing of the chapters," said the Prime Minister.

When it comes to the situation in the region, the Prime Minister reiterated that there is no united and stable Europe without the Western Balkans. "But the Western Balkans needs to do much more than it has done to date," Prime Minister Marković concluded.

30 Nov 2018, 01:59 AM

29 November 2018 - At the meeting of the Energy Community's Ministerial Council, which took place in Skopje on November 29, under the auspices of the Energy Community, a delegation of Montenegro was led by Minister of Economy Dragica Sekulić.

Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev chaired the meeting of the Council. Macedonia gathered ministers of energy, environmental protection, and climate change, bearing in mind the importance of functioning of energy systems by renewable energy sources, as well as energy efficiency, to reduce emissions with the greenhouse effect.

The meeting presented the Annual Report on the Implementation of the 2018 Agreement, drafted by the Energy Community Secretariat. This year's report, as well as the last year's one, reads that Montenegro has achieved the best grade when it comes to meeting the obligations under the Agreement. It was noted that Montenegro is the only Contracting Party which has not had an open case to date in line with Articles 91 and 92 of the Treaty defining the initiation of proceedings against a member who does not respect the obligations provided for in the agreement.

About energy infrastructure, the PECI (Project of Energy Community Interest) list includes the project Trans Balkan Corridor - 400kV - Montenegro OHL Lastva - Pljevlja, while the PMI (Project of mutual interest) list consists of the Ionian-Adriatic Pipeline (IAP).

Finally, the Council of Ministers made decisions on the transfer of the Regulation EU 2017/1369 concerning the energy efficiency labeling of products, as well as the Regulation 1227/2011 on the integrity of the energy market and transparency in the national legislation of the Contracting Parties.

29 Nov 2018, 01:47 AM

28 November 2018 - Minister of Science of Montenegro Sanja Damjanović participates at the Ministerial Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency on Nuclear Science and Technology: "Response to Current and Future Development Challenges" in Vienna on 28 and 29 November 2018. 

As part of the plenary session, the Minister of Science addressed the delegates of the Conference from the member states of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and presented the system of science and research in Montenegro with a focus on current ongoing and development projects implemented by the Ministry of Science, and in particular the regional project Initiative to establish the South East European International Institute for Sustainable Technologies (SEEIIST), whose 4th Steering Committee meeting was held on 27 November 2018 at the International Atomic Energy Agency headquarters in Vienna. 

"Montenegro has significantly benefited from the fruitful cooperation with the IAEA. We approach this cooperation from the standpoint of ensuring safety and security and facilitating sustainable economic and environmental development for the benefit of our citizens. Close collaboration with the IAEA has an added value for Montenegro since it helps us to fulfill requirements stemming from the ongoing EU accession process. I will concentrate on the following only on matters of particular interest to Montenegro," said Damjanović.

The Minister particularly emphasised the cooperation of Montenegro with the International Atomic Energy Agency, both in the area of technical cooperation and implementation of projects in which valuable equipment is purchased.

"I would like to express my deep gratitude to the IAEA for having provided already its support for Capacity Building, and to the European Commission for providing first direct financial support to start the Design Study Phase of the project. I also owe great thanks to the international research institutions CERN and FAIR-GSI for their readiness to host the Working Groups associated with the Design Study Phase until the site of the project is selected. With this project, I have addressed you today also in my capacity as the Chairperson of the SEEIIST Intergovernmental Steering Committee," concluded Damjanović.

The International Atomic Energy Agency Ministerial Conference is a forum with over 1,000 registered participants. Addresses were delivered by the heads of delegations from 64 countries, including the United States of America, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, the Republic of Austria, the Republic of France, Switzerland, Germany, and others. The conference was followed by panels, and the adoption of the Ministerial Declaration is also foreseen. 

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