21 April 2019 - The Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Kemal Purišić met with Minister of Human Rights and Refugees of Bosnia and Herzegovina Semiha Borovac in Sarajevo, where they discussed the Law that covers the implementation of the Regional Housing Programme in these two countries.
The ministers expressed satisfaction with the progress made in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, as well as the belief that the planned construction of housing units for refugees and internally displaced persons will be completed within the specified deadline.
Purišić and Borovac emphasised the common interest of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro to use all available funds through the Fund of the Regional Housing Programme.
Minister Purišić stressed that one of the outcomes of the Regional Housing Programme in Montenegro is the Law on Social Housing, which the Government adopted last year.
"The Law covers broader categories of population in social need. Given that Bosnia and Herzegovina do not have such a regulation, and the construction of apartments according to the model of social housing is in progress, Montenegro and the competent authorities can provide assistance and experience in this regard," Purišić said.
Furthermore, Purišić and Borovac discussed the Agreement on the search for missing persons, which, after adoption by governments in both countries, should be signed soon.
"After the signing of the Agreement, the planned activities for the search for missing persons will follow. According to the analysis of the working group that drafted the Agreement, we search about 300 missing persons in both countries. It is important to reliably exchange these data to avoid duplication of the search process in the countries of the region, which is prescribed by the Regional plan for the search for missing persons brought within the framework of the Berlin Process," Borovac said.
In 2016, the Government declared as non-perspective and surplus four school-type fighters "supergaleb G-4" from the Army of Montenegro and indicated that they should be sold. The Ministry of Defense claims that there have not been any interests in them so far.
Unknown sources of "Vijesti" claim that the Croatian Ministry of Defense is allegedly interested in purchasing them.
"The Defense Ministry has so far twice announced the tender for the sale of 4 G-4 aircraft surpluses together with the associated spare parts and equipment, but there was no interest in buying from the bidders. In the coming period, the mentioned items will be offered again for sale, said Predrag Boskovic's ministry.
Montenegro currently has a total of four school-combat airplanes of this type from the former 172nd hunting-bomber aviation brigade of the Army of MNE War aircraft, which have not flown for several years. In February 2016, the Government made the decision that these four jet planes, together with three more pioneers for UTVA-75 basic flight training, with a "supergaleb G-4" flight simulator, 287,910 pieces of spare parts, equipment and tools needed for their maintenance, including 18 Rolls Royce Viper 632 jet engine motors for “supergaleb”, are offered for sale at a total price of 15.35 million euros.
The four G-4 planes were estimated at about 4.27 million euros, a G-4 simulator at one million, and 18 Viper 632 engines at 600,000 euros. According to available data, nothing has been sold until today. Nothing from a lorry airplane or aviation technique was included in the list of VCG aviation weapons and equipment that the Ministry of Defense offered to buyers on the last, confidential tender for the sale of the military surplus announced on 31st December 2018.
"Vijesti" asked MO whether, during a recent meeting of defense ministers Boskovic and Damir Krsticevic in Split, there were any talks about a possible sale of the G-4 or reciprocal "compensation" with these planes, and Croatia, in return, would give up on the request that school ship "Jadran" is returned to them.
"Minister Boskovic had bilateral talks with the Croatian Defense Minister Djukic Krsticevic during his visit to the international exhibition of arms and military equipment (Adriatic Sea Defense & Aerospace Exhibition and Conference ASDA 2019), where the modalities of continuation of otherwise good co-operation between the two states in the field of defense, primarily relating to the education of military personnel and training of military personnel and members of the armed forces, "it was stated from the Montenegrin MO.
VCG had 17 "supergalebs" after declaring independence. During the mandate of Defense Minister Bora Vucinic, Montenegro ceded six aircraft of this type and one flight simulator for the "supergaleb" to Serbia in exchange for personal records of members of the then common army of the two states. Several years later, Montenegro sold seven more G-4 aircraft to the Croatian company "ZPZ Aerospace" from Zagreb.
Both the Montenegrin and Croatian MOs deny speculation that their representatives have recently met at the Podgorica military aerodrome "Knjaz Danilo" for the inspection of “gulls”.
Text by Sinisa Lukovic, on April 20th 2019, read more at Vijesti
April 21, 2019 - Several thousand people gathered in front of the Montenegrin Assembly for the 9th protest organized by the ODUPRISE movement.
20 April 2019 - The Government of the United Kingdom believes that there’s no need to change power in Montenegro, the UK Ambassador to Montenegro, Her Excellency Ms Alison Kemp, said in an interview with the CdM Portal. She emphasized that Montenegro is an ally, a partner and a friend of the United Kingdom. Ms Kemp declared that there are more British investors in Montenegro than it’s generally thought and that the British businesspeople always say that Montenegro is a great country in terms of investment. The Ambassador continuously encourages British tourists to come and visit Montenegro and get acquainted with the country’s beautiful land.
During the interview, Ambassador Kemp highlighted that as long as the UK is a member of the EU, it will constructively and actively assist Montenegro in the process of reforms, adding that even after leaving the EU, United Kingdom will continue to support Montenegro’s prosperity.
“Over the previous year, the United Kingdom invested over 1.4 million EUR in Montenegro by supporting a range of program activities. This year, we are increasing our investments besides the UK’s contribution to the European Union and the assistance programs that are being implemented in Montenegro, “said Her Excellency, ensuring that the United Kingdom will remain fully committed to improving the prosperity and security of the Western Balkans and Europe as well.
According to Ms Kemp’s words, the Government of the United Kingdom will remain committed to supporting Montenegro in implementing reforms to strengthen the rule of law, democracy and human rights.
Commenting on recent protests in Montenegro, the Ambassador emphasized that the United Kingdom supports the right to peaceful protests and that she supports the confirmation of such a statement by the Montenegrin Government, expressed during the in-country protests. “I do not think that the boycott of the parliament is the most effective way in which opposition parties can represent the interests of their voters. I consider it’s important that everyone advocating for better future and strengthening of democracy is committed to supporting meaningful reforms and strengthening independent institutions,” said Ms Kemp.
In terms of British investments in Montenegro, Her Excellency explained that the United Kingdom is fully aware of the potentials of Montenegro, which is why the UK export fund offers over 500 million EUR of export credit support to strengthen business relations between the United Kingdom and Montenegro. She also added that according to official data, over 130,000 Brits visited Montenegro last year and that she hopes that this season will be equally successful.
April 20, 2019 - The ninth protest under the slogan ODUPRISE will be held tonight at 19:00 on the platform in front of the Assembly in Podgorica, and the protest column will be sent to the Public Service Building this weekend.
The caravan who visited the cities around the country last weekend said that the number of dissatisfied citizens was much higher than the one who runs every Saturday on the capital city, "and that we are a huge majority in our country."
19 April 2019 - There are many tourism potentials in the Bar Municipality that need to be identified and used as soon as possible, said British Ambassador to Montenegro, Her Excellence Alison Kemp. Ms Kemp expressed her willingness to relay the experience of the UK in implementing a program to shut down plastic packaging by 2050.
On April 19, British Ambassador met with the Mayor of the Municipality of Bar Dušan Raičević. He introduced Ms Kemp to the challenges and planned activities of the local government for the summer tourist season, as well as with current and future projects in Bar.
"Ambassador Kemp thanked the Mayor for the formal reception, pointing out that many potentials need to be recognized and used as soon as possible, with the emphasis on tourism," said the report by Bar Municipality PR Service.
During the visit, the Mayor and Ambassador also talked about protection and improvement of the environment, which will, as announced, have the special attention of the local government in the coming period.
"In relations to environmental issues, the possibility of cooperation to raise the awareness of citizens about the need and importance of environmental protection and proper disposal of waste has been considered. On this occasion, the Ambassador expressed her readiness to convey experiences in the UK in relations to the implementation of a program to discontinue the use of plastic packaging by 2050," the statement said.
According to the report, the UK is currently investing in long-term infrastructure development to facilitate waste recovery and recycling. Such a strategy will support and strengthen market engagement from both public and private sectors, while ensuring equitable coverage for all across the country.
During the meeting, it was jointly noted that it is necessary to strengthen cooperation in the field of tourism, especially considering that with the arrival of ships owned by a British company, Bar became recognized as one of the important cruising destinations.
April 18, 2019 - The Ninth ODUPRISE protest will be held on April 20th at 7 pm in front of the Montenegrin President's building, announced the organizers and called "all the free citizens to say together that there is a lot of corruption and autocracy, and that we are those who fight and work for this country. "
16 April 2019 - President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović received the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Suma Chakrabarti, who is visiting Montenegro on the eve of the annual meeting of the EBRD, which will be held in Sarajevo next month.
The President of Montenegro expressed satisfaction with the long-standing successful cooperation with this financial institution, as well as with the EBRD's decision to hold an annual forum in Sarajevo, thus sending a clear message of its dedication to the Western Balkans. The quality of EBRD and Montenegro's cooperation best attests to the number of funds approved and to the impressive number of projects implemented in Montenegro.
Thanks to this cooperation Montenegro, said Đukanović, achieved good economic results, primarily in the field of infrastructure, energy and the development of small and medium business.
Đukanović pointed to the priorities of state policy, the goals of economic development and the continuation of integration processes to achieve the European quality of life of citizens and fully belonging to the European system of values. In talks with the first man of the EBRD, he stressed the importance of preserving the vision of united Europe and the EU enlargement as the only reliable stability guarantor in the Western Balkans, overcoming the decades-long lag, but also the competitiveness of Europe on the global scene.
"The Balkans have long lived beyond the European system of values. If we want the stability of the region and the achievement of European quality of life, Europe and Euro-Atlantic integration are the only way forward, "said Đukanović.
In addition to full commitment and accountability to the obligations of the European Agenda of the countries of the region, on the one hand, President Đukanović also pointed to the importance of concrete EU support.
"Support is necessary and significant for both Montenegro and the whole region, primarily in the fields of infrastructure, energy and information technology. In that sense, the EBRD is a very important partner in the whole region," Đukanović said adding that the upcoming leaders meeting in Sarajevo will be an excellent opportunity to exchange views on the future of the Western Balkans
EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti highly appreciates the cooperation of this institution with Montenegro, pointing out that Montenegro although a small country is at the top of the list of investments per capita in the Bank.
"I admire what you have done as a leader in Montenegro and the region - you are in NATO, in negotiations with the EU you are far ahead of others and it is very important for us to be seen as a partner supporting the process of integration and regional cooperation," said EBRD president. He expressed the expectation that cooperation with Montenegro will be strengthened in the future period and indicated the possibility of cooperation in the field of energy, above all renewable sources, infrastructure, Montenegro's accessibility, tourism and the strengthening of the private sector.
"Through the financing of the Competitiveness Council Secretariat, the Bank is also working to improve the business environment in Montenegro," added Chakrabarti.
The interlocutors agreed that the further dynamism of structural reforms and administration reform is of particular importance for the further development of the economy and the improvement of the quality of life. Finally, EBRD President thanked President Đukanović for accepting the invitation to attend a meeting in Sarajevo.
17 April 2019 - Prime Minister Duško Marković met with the ambassadors of the EU member states in Brussels, within the continuation of the dialogue on the process of Montenegro's accession to the European Union, its results and challenges as well as European perspective.
The Prime Minister informed the ambassadors about political and economic developments in Montenegro, pointing out that Montenegro sees no alternative to its future in the Euro-Atlantic and European space.
"As a country in transition, we are aware of our weaknesses, challenges, but we do not hide them, we do not yield to them and we strongly use the experience, support and consultations of our partners. We are a candidate country that does not want membership in the EU until we are fully prepared for it. We do not want to be a new problem in the EU, but a quality, we do not want to jeopardize the value of the EU, but to contribute to it," Prime Minister Duško Marković said at the meeting.
Informing the ambassadors about the Government's successful economic policy, the Prime Minister said that the deficit has been halved and that there is no fear for the sustainability Montenegrin public finances, noting that Montenegro recorded very high economic growth rates - 4.7% in 2017 and 4.9% in 2018. In this regard, the Prime Minister said, growth was recorded in all sectors - tourism, energy, agriculture, industry, trade.
PM Marković pointed out that Montenegro is successfully fighting organized crime, stressing that in the past year the State carried out decisive actions to break up the strongest criminal organizations.
"It is evident that organized crime loses the battle with the State. Institutions are getting stronger and more efficient. This fight in the country we are building cannot and will not be equal," the Prime Minister told the highest diplomatic representatives of the EU member states in Brussels.
Prime Minister Marković highlighted the EU's investment in the region of the Western Balkans, which in the past ten years amounted to more than EUR eight billion, and the trade in the recent years amounted almost EUR 50 billion, with a growing trend in favour of the region. "The citizens of the region should know and be aware of the EU's direct participation in the development of our region," Prime Minister Duško Marković said.
The ambassadors emphasised that the region of the Western Balkans has a European perspective and emphasised the fact that Montenegro is undoubtedly the leader of the integration process. In terms of European integration of Montenegro, they praised the fact that Montenegro has fully harmonized its foreign and security policy with the common European Union policy.
Montenegro's attitude towards other countries in the region and country's policy of good neighbourly relations and dialogue are highlighted as a positive example, with the assessment that Montenegro represents a stabilising factor in the Western Balkans.
Furthermore, the meeting discussed the political situation in our region. PM Marković took the opportunity to reiterate Montenegro's full support to the historic agreement of North Macedonia and Greece.
Chief Negotiator with the European Union Aleksandar Drljević also attended the meeting, organised by Romania which is currently holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
16 April 2019 - Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for the Western Balkans Zsuzsanna Hargitai, who is on an official visit to Montenegro, met with the Mayor of Podgorica Ivan Vuković on April 16 to discuss further cooperation regarding the development of the Capital City.
The main topic of the meeting was the progress that Podgorica has made in relations to its official entry into the EBRD Green Cities programme and EBRD Smart Cities programme. These programmes are of great importance for the Capital of Montenegro, for almost all the capitals of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe are currently implementing them.
Mayor Vuković expressed his satisfaction with the fact that, apart from being considered as one of Montenegro's most important partners in development, today the EBRD officially becomes one of the most important partners of the Capital, in the efforts of the city administration to make Podgorica a green and smart city.
"The first step towards our goal involves the reconstruction of dozens of buildings, that is, buildings owned by the Capital City, but not only the facilities used by our administration, but also those that are in public use, which will in this way become more beautiful and more energy efficient," the Mayor explained, adding that the positive experiences of cities in the region in the implementation of similar projects will be a road sign that Podgorica will follow in the years ahead.
Mayor Vuković also emphasized that this step represents only a part of the "green package" which will be fully implemented by the administration of the Capital. "The Green Package includes a lot of projects, among others, wastewater treatment plant, reconstruction of public lighting, construction of a solar power plant, electricity generation from biogas, promotion of alternative forms of traffic, an attempt to compensate for a part of the lost green fund of Podgorica by greening numerous locations in the Capital, as well as the modernization of our public transport," Vuković said. "All of these plans imply that the City Administration has a very ambitious agenda and, quite certainly, without the help and support of partners such as the EBRD, we could not succeed in the way we have so far. With optimism, we expect a further continuation of our cooperation," the Mayor concluded.
"At the beginning of this successful cooperation, which aims to transform Podgorica into a smart and green city, we have signed a letter of commitment that will help us in the realization of projects," said EBRD Director for the Western Balkans, Zsuzsanna Hargitai.
Podgorica has joined EBRD Green Cities with first steps towards improving the energy efficiency in public buildings in the Capital of Montenegro in December 2018. Mayor Ivan Vuković and EBRD Head of Montenegro Jaap Sprey, signed a mandate letter committing the city to improve the sustainability and liveability of the Capital. The mandate letter is the first step on the path to developing a Green City Action Plan (GCAP) for Podgorica. The GCAP strategically addresses the city’s needs for sustainable and green growth. With financing from the EBRD and international donors, the plan addresses the most pressing climate change and environmental challenges, including public building energy efficiency, urban roads and lighting, urban transport, water and wastewater, and, to reduce local pollution, improve energy and resource efficiency and promote climate change adaptation.
Director Hargitai emphasized that the EBRD is a long-standing partner of Montenegro and has invested over half a billion euros in the country so far. She also expressed her satisfaction that the EBRD will support the realization of the projects above, which will contribute to improving the living conditions of all citizens of Podgorica and further development of the Capital of Montenegro.
16 April 2019 - On April 16, Prime Minister Duško Marković hosted the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Sir Suma Chakrabarti who is on an official visit to Montenegro. During the meeting, it was noted that Montenegro has achieved excellent results in economic policy, has a good development prospect and numerous opportunities for progress and investments with the support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
"My compliments for the accession of Montenegro to NATO as well as for the progress made in relations to the accession to the EU. Our job is to help, to invest in the region, to bring it closer. Montenegro is ahead of other countries in these aspects," said Sir Chakrabarti. The EBRD President also pointed out that in many projects the EBRD partners with the EU as well as in policy reform and the improvement of the investment climate.
He congratulated Prime Minister Marković on the results in economic policy - achieved growth, revenue growth, and pointed out that foreign financial markets look positively at the developments in Montenegro, which was shown when the Eurobonds were issued last year.
Sir Chakrabarti said that Montenegro plays a special role in the Western Balkans and it has a special place within the EBRD as a whole, for it is in Montenegro that the EBRD has its highest per capita investment.
"And we have a good reason for this - we have good investment conditions," Chakrabarti said, adding that there are fantastic opportunities for new investments in Montenegro and support from the EBRD.
PM Marković said that the Government is focused on the economy, creation of new jobs and providing a better standard of living. He pointed to the importance of previous EBRD support to state institutions and enterprises, as well as the private sector. The meeting discussed further strengthening of cooperation in the field of tourism, energy and infrastructure, without whose improvement there is no dynamic development.
Both sides agreed that it is important to continue structural reforms, reducing the grey economy, strengthening competitiveness and the business environment.