Politics

21 Jun 2019, 18:31 PM
June 21, 2019 - Kotor President Vladimir Jokic urged the Prosecutor and the Montenegrin Government to take measures within their jurisdiction and prevent legal and political violence as it continues to be possible in the case of crimes committed in Kotor.
 
Jokić sent the call to the relevant state apprentices for the decision from the meeting of the DPS, SD, LP, HGI and former SDP deputy Bruna Lončarević, held on 19 June, on the continuation of the 19th session of the Kotor Municipal Assembly on Monday, 24 June, starting at 10 am. On behalf of the proposer, announced their authorized representative Željko Avramović.
 
President of the DPS Club in Kotor, on behalf of the Municipal Assembly, signed a call for the continuation of the session on Monday and sent it to Jokic, the president of the Kotor Assembly, Dragica Perović and assembly. The municipality representatives immediately filed a criminal charge against him at the Basic State Prosecution in Kotor, suspecting Avramovic that he had committed the criminal act of "false representation."
 
They are continuing the session that Perovic claims is impossible after the Administrative Court's decision to annul the decision to remove Jokić from the mayor's seat, which DPS, SD, HGI, LP and two SDP members issued on 24 24 April, DPS, and allies supported by former SDP party Bruno Lončarević intend to resign the mayor of Kotor again. From the current local government led by the Democrats, this move and the formation of a new assembly majority in which DPS and the allies, deciding the 17th vote in the 33-member parliament with former SDP deputy, Bruna Lončarević, are termed political corruption and violation of the will of voters from the last local elections in October 2016.
 
At the press conference with the president of the Assembly of Kotor Dragica Perovic and the Deputy Mayor Milivoj Samardzic, Jokic invited the government to "hold an emergency session and dispose of the Assembly of  Kotor following the Act and its own Decision on the Kotor Municipality. Because of the consequences of political corruption for some time now, it does not perform its functions".
 
"Any other act or omission will be in the bosom and represent the legitimacy of political corruption and the illegal mutilation of the constitutional legal order as a method of taking over and forming power rather than a free will. Once again, I call on the government to dissolve the assembly and restore mandates to citizens as the sole holders of sovereignty to decide for themselves on the political future of the city," said Jokić.
 
DPS, SD, HGI, LP and Bruna Lončarević announced that after they re-vote on Jokic's replacement, the chief of local DPS, Željko Aprcovic, will be elected, and they will announce the resignation of parliamentary chairman Dragica Perovic.
 
21 Jun 2019, 01:20 AM

20 June 2019 - At its latest session, the Government of Montenegro passed the Smart Specialisation Strategy for 2019-2024, which is the first time that a non-EU country approves a strategy of this kind.

"This strategy is not a strategy of the Ministry of Science, but of the State of Montenegro, which recognises the priority areas that have the greatest potential for economic development, for which research and innovation are key factors that can significantly increase competitiveness. In fact, it is a recipe for the European Union to trace the modern development of an economy based on domestic potentials, but with openness to the international market, and to advance technologically the traditional sectors, especially through digitisation," Minister of Science Sanja Damjanović said in press conference for Ministry of Science of Montenegro.

In this way, investments focus on domains and areas for which the strategy has shown that Montenegro can be competitive on a wider scale. In that regard, Montenegro has identified the following priority areas: sustainable agriculture and food value chain, sustainable and health tourism, energy and sustainable environment, with the technological support of information and communication technologies.

The Smart Specialisation Strategy is one of the conditions for using EU funds, as well as a strict prerequisite for the use of structural funds once they are available to Montenegro. 

It took two years to draft the strategy according to the methodology developed by the EU, which closely followed and evaluated each stage of the process. The Ministry of Science coordinated this process with the support of the Ministry of Economy, but in fact, more than 300 people from the academic, economic, public and civil sectors worked on this strategy, more than half of which were from the business sector. 

"An important benefit from this strategy is to access European thematic platforms for smart specialisation, which will be available to us from today. Thematic platforms are created by the countries of the European Union that have similar strategic priorities within their S3 strategies. In this way, they implement joint projects and enter the international market. Our country is striving to join such platforms," Minister Damjanović explained. 

The Science Minister said that the next step is to define the national structure that will be in charge of both the management and the implementation of the S3 strategy. 

The Smart Specialisation Strategy is adopted for the period 2019-2024. The Strategy will form the basis for priority investment in research, innovation and development. During this period, investments worth about 174 million EUR are planned. Out of the total planned investments, 116.5 million EUR will be provided from the budget, while investments from the private sector are projected at 21.7 million EUR. A total of 33.5 million EUR will be provided through the EU funds and 2,5 million EUR from other international organisations and programmes.

Read more news about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.

21 Jun 2019, 00:58 AM

20 June 2019 - For the first time ever, the Government of Montenegro has agreed that the Malaysian owners of the company Kolašin Resort & Spa which is to build a condo-hotel in Kolašin, can obtain Montenegrin citizenship based on this investment.

At the 126th session of the Government of Montenegro, chaired by Prime Minister Duško Marković, the Government established the List of Development Projects in the Field of Tourism. This Development Projects List includes the construction of the condo hotel Kolašin Resort & Spa, Kolašin, delivered by the Stock Company Kolašin Resort & Spa from Podgorica.

“The first project submitted under the Governmental Decision on the criteria, method and procedure for the election of a person who can acquire Montenegrin citizenship by admission for the implementation of a special investment program of special importance for the economic interest of Montenegro implies the construction of a four star hotel in Kolašin, with a capacity of 93 accommodation units or 380 beds and an estimated investment value of 11.360.959,00 EUR, and that the investment implies the opening of 66 new jobs,” says the official report of the Government from the session.

The Government agreed that the owners of the company "Kolašin Resort & Spa", "hiding" behind an offshore company from Malaysia, which is to build a condo-hotel in Kolašin, can obtain citizenship of Montenegro based on this investment.

In the Government's proposal, this condo hotel is included in the "list of development projects in the field of tourism", which is the basis for obtaining "Montenegrin citizenship by the reception to realize a special investment program of special importance for economic and economic interest".

In the decision of the Government, the names of the new Montenegrin citizens from this company are not listed, but they will be determined in continuation of the procedure before the Government Agent for Economic Citizenship Affairs, reports Vijesti daily.

According to data from the Central Registry, the founder of the company "Kolašin Resort & Spa" is the offshore company "Oriental Management INC" from Malaysia. Representatives in the Board of Directors and potential new Montenegrin citizens are Rowshan Ara Chowdhury, Mohammed Abdul Alim Chowdhury and Salim Chowdhury Nirjhor.

Damir Davidović, Secretary of State at the office of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism of Montenegro, explained that “the investor for economic citizenship is expected to meet strict criteria, primarily related to the size of the investment, the number of jobs the investment would create and the financial ability to realize the project, so the business plan for such projects requires serious and extensive preparation”, reports Vijesti daily.

“Investment projects aimed at economic citizenship in the field of tourism can be hotels with at least five stars, 60 accommodation units and at least 80 new jobs in the coastal region and Podgorica. In the north, it is necessary that the hotel has at least four stars, 35 accommodation units, and 25 new employees. The minimum value of the project on the coast and in Podgorica is 15 million euros, and in the north five million euros,” highlighted Davidović.

Read more about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.

20 Jun 2019, 01:12 AM

19 June 2019 - Minister of the Interior Mevludin Nuhodžić and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia Nebojša Stefanović noted in Belgrade the high-quality cooperation between the Montenegrin and Serbian police in the fight against organized crime, adding that criminals will not be safe either in Montenegro or in Serbia, as reported by the Ministry of Interior of Montenegro.

Minister Nuhodžić praised the cooperation of criminal police, as well as joint operational teams, which resulted in locating internationally wanted persons, the intersection of the narcotics smuggling channels and the solving of serious crimes.

"We are witnessing that criminal groups operate not knowing the boundaries, not only in our region, but also around the world. That is why our best answer is an open, efficient and honest cooperation that clearly states that criminals are not and will not be safe either in Serbia or Montenegro and that our countries will strongly oppose and fight against the organized crime," Minister Nuhodžić said.

Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Nebojša Stefanović said that cooperation in the field of fighting organized crime is effective and that members of the criminal police quickly exchange information that is important for detecting criminal offenses.

"We have exceptional cooperation that will continue in the future because we want to send a clear message to the criminals that the police will come out as winners in the fight against organized crime," Stefanović stressed.

Speaking about the cooperation between the border police of the two countries, the two ministers discussed expanding the capacity of border crossings in order to facilitate the transit of citizens, not only during the summer season, but throughout the year.

"Our aim is also to stop the smuggling of narcotics, goods, as well as the transfer of persons who belong to a criminal milieu," said Stefanović, who thanked Minister Nuhodžić and members of the Montenegrin police for exceptional cooperation.

Read more news about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.

18 Jun 2019, 00:25 AM

17 June 2019 - Minister of Foreign Affairs Srđan Darmanović opened the Consulate of Montenegro in Trieste, Italy, headed by Honorary Consul Sven Bichler.

On that occasion, Minister Darmanović pointed out that the opening of the Consulate in Trieste, in the year when Montenegro and Italy celebrate 140 years of diplomatic relations, represents an important step towards the expansion of the diplomatic network and confirmation of the commitment to continuously develop cooperation between the counties. According to the report of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro, he also expressed confidence that the activities of Honorary Consul Bichler will contribute to the further strengthening of bilateral ties and the promotion of economic, tourist, scientific and cultural potentials of Montenegro. 

Minister Darmanović reminded that Montenegro and Italy have very good political relations and high-quality cooperation, especially in the domain of economy, tourism and energy, which is confirmed by the growing presence of the Italian economy on the Montenegrin market. "Our diplomacy significantly contributes to the diversification of the Montenegrin economy and high growth rates through dedicated and comprehensive work on connecting business communities and attracting foreign direct investments," Minister Darmanović concluded. 

Honorary Consul Bichler emphasised that cooperation between the two countries can be further improved, and that it is necessary to inform the Italian public in a timely and targeted manner about the characteristics of Montenegrin society and market. He presented plans to organise a presentation on Montenegro in Trieste, stressing that there is room for deepening of connections, especially in the wood, food and textile industry. 

Prefect of Trieste Valerio Valenti, Mayor of Trieste Roberto Dipiazza and CEI Secretary-General Roberto Antonione also attended the ceremony.

The recent meeting that took place in Trieste between the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the Central European Initiative adopted the Trieste Declaration, which confirmed that Montenegro will take over the presidency of the Initiative from 1 January 2020

Read more news about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.

18 Jun 2019, 00:05 AM

17 June 2019 - The meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the Central European Initiative adopted the Trieste Declaration, which confirmed that Montenegro would take over the presidency of the Initiative from 1 January 2020. The second presidency of the Central European Initiative will happen on the 10th anniversary of the first Montenegrin presidency of this oldest regional mechanism, which is a confirmation that Montenegro has been recognised as an active and responsible regional player dedicated to open and close cooperation and joint action towards sustainable development of the region, as reported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro. 

"The Montenegrin presidency of the Central European Initiative will seek to further strengthen regional dialogue and ties between the 17 Member States of the Initiative in order to achieve the most effective results and stable socio-economic progress," said Minister of Foreign Affairs Srđan Darmanović, who took part in the ministerial meeting. He added that a well-designed shared approach is the best instrument for addressing regional potentials and challenges, and stressed that Montenegro, within the presidency, will encourage cooperation and increase synergies between relevant regional initiatives. 

Minister Darmanović said that in the thirty years of its existence, the Central European Initiative confirmed that it was an important element in the construction of a more democratic and stable region. He pointed out that the Initiative greatly encourages the promotion of democratic principles and the building of institutional capacities, and is therefore of particular importance for the countries that are on the path towards the European Union. 

"Montenegro is today the country that has made the most progress in the reform process, continually harmonizing the internal legal framework with the European legislation. Therefore, we will undoubtedly be the first next member of the EU," the Minister said and expressed the belief that the newly elected European Parliament and European Commission will affirm and strengthen the enlargement policy. "This will be a geostrategic investment in the peace and economic prosperity of the whole of Europe," concluded Minister Darmanović. 

The ministerial meeting of the Central European Initiative highlighted the importance of continuing EU enlargement policy and further strengthening the European perspective of the Western Balkans. Furthermore, the meeting supported the achievement of clear progress in the accession negotiations for Montenegro and Serbia, and welcomed reforms implemented by North Macedonia and Albania. The meeting reiterated the importance of cooperation in the implementation of transport and energy infrastructure projects, as well as the strengthening of policies that are focused on the inclusion of young people in contemporary social processes. 

On the sidelines of the meeting, Minister Darmanović met with Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia Nikola Dimitrov. Darmanović stressed that resolving the dispute between North Macedonia and Greece is a model for overcoming the open issues in the region, stressing that Montenegro strongly supports the opening of negotiations with the EU for North Macedonia and Albania. Minister Dimitrov stressed that Montenegro is a role model in the implementation of reforms and fulfillment of obligations arising from Euro-Atlantic and European integration and that Montenegro's support was of particular importance in the process of accession of North Macedonia to NATO.

Read more news about Politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.

16 Jun 2019, 22:35 PM

16 June 2019 - At the recent United Nations General Assembly elections, Montenegro was elected a member of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) from 2020-2022.

The Economic and Social Council is at the heart of the United Nations system to advance the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental. It is the central platform for fostering debate and innovative thinking, forging consensus on ways forward, and coordinating efforts to achieve internationally agreed goals. It is also responsible for the follow-up to major UN conferences and summits.

ECOSOC links a diverse family of UN entities dedicated to sustainable development, providing overall guidance and coordination. The entities include regional economic and social commissions, functional commissions facilitating intergovernmental discussions of major global issues, and specialized agencies, programmes and funds at work around the world to translate development commitments into real changes in people’s lives.

Building on its coordination role within the UN system, ECOSOC is a gateway for UN partnership and participation by the rest of the world. It offers a unique global meeting point for productive dialogues among policymakers, parliamentarians, academics, foundations, businesses, youth and 3,200+ registered non-governmental organizations.

Each year, ECOSOC structures its work around an annual theme of global importance to sustainable development. This ensures focused attention, among ECOSOC’s array of partners, and throughout the UN development system.

By emphasizing combined economic, social and environmental concerns, ECOSOC encourages agreement on coherent policies and actions that make fundamental links across all three.

As a member of the ECOSOC, Montenegro will be committed to meeting the mandate of this body and its proactive and effective role in the field of sustainable development.

Read more about Politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.

16 Jun 2019, 22:34 PM

15 June 2019 - It is essential to maintain the credibility of the enlargement policy and strengthen the European perspective of the Western Balkans, Foreign Minister of Montenegro Srđan Darmanović and his Czech counterpart Tomaš Petriček concluded at the meeting that recently took place in Podgorica.

The head of Montenegrin diplomacy stressed that Montenegro and the Czech Republic are allies and partners that foster very good relations, and reiterated Montenegro's gratitude for the strong support of the Czech Republic in the achievement of Montenegrin strategic foreign policy priorities. As noted within the official announcement of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro, Srđan Darmanović also added that the cooperation between the two countries has been further strengthened by the alliance in NATO, emphasising the importance of interior cohesion and the continuous strengthening of transatlantic dialogue. By the same token, he pointed out that Montenegro, as a responsible and reliable member, is strongly committed to the values, strategic goals and activities of the Alliance.

With regard to the bilateral agenda, Minister Darmanović stressed that these open and very constructive talks affirmed the Montenegrin-Czech partnership and he welcomed the signing of the Agreement on Scientific and Technical Cooperation, which testifies to the efforts of the two states to develop a legal normative base of mutual relations continuously. He also highlighted the importance of intensifying economic cooperation, especially in the fields of energy, agriculture, and tourism.

Minister Petriček emphasised that the two countries foster excellent and traditionally friendly relations characterised by intense contacts at political and expert levels. He underscored the importance of joint consideration of the modalities of the development of economic cooperation, and the greater presence of the Czech capital on the Montenegrin market. Regarding the European integration of the Western Balkans, Minister Petriček stressed that in the next five years he expects progress in the enlargement process, stating that Montenegro is the leader of the integration process.

Both sides agreed that the European future of the Western Balkans is the only way to long-term stability and the overall development of the region. Furthermore, they noted that the strong support of the Višegrad Group for the process of European integration is very significant, primarily due to the confirmed commitment to continue strengthening the enlargement policy.

Read more about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.

16 Jun 2019, 22:14 PM

16 June 2019 - The ban on smoking in the facilities where food and drink are consumed will decrease the income of the restaurants, said the president of the Montenegrin Tourist Association Žarko Radulović, while the president of the Association of Tourism and Catering Association of the Chamber of Commerce, Dragan Ivančević, believes that the business of catering facilities cannot be compromised, reports RTCG.

On Thursday, the Government passed a new Bill on Restriction on the Use of Tobacco Products, which stipulates a ban on smoking in indoor areas, among other things in parts of cafes, bars and restaurants serving drinks or food.

According to new legal provisions, it will also not be possible for the restaurants to pay a fee for smoking in some part of the facility.

Radulović said he expects the new Bill to be adopted, stating that the provisions are precise and clear. "I think that this time the state will have to persevere in its application, but I think that it is too early to assess whether it will and how this new bill will come to life in practice," Radulović said.

Radulović, who was a supporter of the previous legal solution that stipulates that caterers pay a fee of EUR per square meter, if they want to allow tobacco consumption in catering facilities, said that he now considers this the best compromise solution. However, as he added, in practice this solution was compromised to the extent that much lower income was incurred than it was supposed to be.

"So, unfortunately, by disregarding the solutions we proposed, one of the key arguments for the defence and a special decision that corrects the proposed provisions has erupted," Radulović said, adding that the newly proposed solutions are more rigorous.

Asked about how this legal ban will affect catering facilities, Radulović claims that this will reduce revenues, as was the case everywhere in the world. He expects caterers to disagree with the proposed restrictions. "If we all agreed on something in 2017, and only individuals respected the agreement, I think it will be difficult to maintain such a situation. If we all took the previous law seriously and paid our obligations, I think the negotiating position would be even better and more serious," Radulović said.

As he said, it is not realistic that someone can force people to stop consuming tobacco products by law and fines. Radulović thinks that a drastic increase in the price of a pack of cigarettes is the most effective measure. "This is the only measure that has brought results in other countries, but then other issues arise: socioeconomic policy and various policies, so I do not believe that this measure will be adopted. But let's go with the ban, so we'll see how much progress it will make, but I don’t think this progress will be drastic," concluded Radulović.

Ivančević believes that such a decision by the Government follows European trends, which are characteristic of the democratic and civilized world and hold to the core values ​​- the protection of health and the human environment.

"The decision is good and there should be places where it is possible to consume tobacco products, and where people who do not want to feel the smell of nicotine, where they drink and eat, should be free of tobacco products and all the harmful substances it brings," said Ivančević to the MINA Agency. According to him, it's okay to have rooms that are strictly for smokers. "But people who do not want to be close to those who consume tobacco products should be protected," Ivančević added. The use of cigarettes in rooms where people are staying and consuming some services, he said, is not good for tourism, nor is it a trend with the protection of human health, the environment.

Asked whether he thinks that the state will be persistent in applying the law this time, unlike the previous one, Ivančević said that the country has so far adopted many norms, laws, and rules that were good and on the track of European standards, but that it did not have the strength to implement them.

"The state has a good law, and then there is no power to implement it. We expect that the state will finally find a way to implement those laws and norms that it determines itself," Ivančević said.

He believes that this legal solution cannot particularly jeopardize the business of catering facilities. "Those who propose and pass laws do not have to go in this direction, nor have ambitions to like everyone, but they must protect the public and the general interest primarily," Ivančević concluded.

Read more about Politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.

15 Jun 2019, 23:53 PM

15 June 2019 - Montenegro has made significant progress in pursuing reforms and showed that, as a NATO member state, it is a reliable partner that contributes to the common values and remains firmly dedicated to achieving further progress, especially in the rule of law area, it was noted at today's meeting of Prime Minister Duško Marković and Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Hendrik van den Dool.

"We want to enter the EU once we meet the conditions and to show that we are a credible partner and that by Montenegro’s accession new value is obtained. Also, it is important for Europe to improve the enlargement policy, make it unquestionable and send a clear message that there is no united Europe without the Western Balkans,” the Prime Minister told the Dutch Ambassador, who was paying a farewell visit.

Prime Minister Marković pointed to the strong economic growth and activities undertaken in order to increase competitiveness, improve the business environment and administration efficiency. As noted by the Government of Montenegro announcement, the Prime Minister assessed as positive the presence of the Dutch company Damen in Montenegro, hopeful that the increasing number of the Dutch business people will be investing in Montenegro.

Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Hendrik van den Dool emphasised that Montenegro has made huge progress although certain challenges remain. The progress, in his words, can be seen with the naked eye.

"As Montenegro progresses to the EU, the task will become more difficult. But, the Netherlands is there to help," the Dutch Ambassador stated.

The meeting also discussed the situation in the region and the importance of the continuation of the European and Euro - Atlantic integration with regard to peace, stability and prosperity on the Balkans.

The two officials agreed on the importance of the decision of Montenegro to open the embassy in the Hague and that it is about boosting high–quality relations between the two countries. 

"It is a privilege to have partners such as the Netherlands, which has always objectively considered our possibilities and progress but also pointed to the real challenges. Such an attitude was very incentive for us and our progress," Prime Minister Marković concluded.

Read more about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.

15 Jun 2019, 23:32 PM

14 June 2019 - During his working visit to Slovenia, Interior Minister of Montenegro Mevludin Nuhodžić visited the most frequent border crossing, Obrežje, on the border with Croatia. The visit was an opportunity for the Montenegrin delegation to become familiar with the closer procedures that are being conducted within border checks in line with the Schengen standards, given that Slovenia became part of the Schengen area more than a decade ago.

Slovenian colleagues presented the way of work at the border crossing, which is at the same time the external border of the Schengen area, as well as equipment for the first and second checking lines and the infrastructure solutions prescribed by the EU Schengen Catalog.

Minister Nuhodžić expressed gratitude for the assistance and praised the cooperation with Slovenia during the implementation of the Twinning project "Support to the establishment of the Schengen acquis", within which the Schengen Action Plan, which was adopted by the Government in 2017, had been drafted.

"Montenegro has made progress in terms of Schengen standards related to harmonisation of the legal framework, infrastructure and information and communication systems, and we pay special attention to education and strengthening of the personal capacities of the Border Police," said Minister Nuhodžć in the announcement of the Ministry of Interior of Montenegro.

During his stay in Slovenia, Interior Minister of Montenegro Mevludin Nuhodžić also met with Interior Minister of Slovenia and they discussed the fight against organized crime, terrorism and illegal migration.

On this occasion, the two officials agreed that Montenegro and Slovenia are two friendly countries, and that cooperation between the two ministries of the interior is traditionally good. On this occasion, Minister Nuhodžić was grateful for Slovenia's support to Montenegro in fulfilling two of the most important foreign policy goals – membership in NATO, which Montenegro has already achieved, and membership in the European Union.

Read more about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.

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