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Montenegro: Police intensifies patrol near border due to increase in the number of migrants

in EUROPE/POLITICS by

Due to the increasing presence of migrants in the area, police has intensified patrols in villages that gravitate towards the state border between Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina. However, police forces did not confirm the number of migrants residing in the territory of Pljevlja municipality, nor how many of them managed to cross the border with Bosnia-Herzegovina. When migrants enter the country they are not punished for illegal entry but are directed to submit the requests to the competent Ministry of Interior and accommodated in the competent centers where they can stay until the end procedure. However, many of them do not wait forC the asylum procedure to be terminated but try to illegally leave the territory of Montenegro via Bosnia or, seldom, through Croatia. Migrants enter the abandoned houses of the villages they cross to find refuge.

The Police Administration affirmed that four such cases were reported to them. Indeed, The Pljevlja Security Center has so far registered four citizens’ reports concerning breakouts in four family houses, in which no one lives in the winter. Police also claimed that since August 2017, there has been a slight increase in the number of illegal migrants from the neighboring Republic of Albania. Illegal migration in Montenegro is mainly of an individual and transitory character, mainly for economic reasons. The majority of migrants registered come from Algeria, Syria, Morocco, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq, as well as citizens of neighboring countries such as Albania, Kosovo, and Serbia.

Montenegro became the 150th member of the OECD Global Forum

in EUROPE/POLITICS by

Montenegrin Minister of Finance Darko Radunović announced that Montenegro became the 150th member of the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Automatic Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. Thanks to technical support provided to the Member States by the Global Forum, Montenegro will be committed to full harmonization of national tax legislation and practice with international standards in the future, and sign the Multilateral Agreement for the implementation of measures aimed at preventing erosion of the tax base and transferring profits, relate to double taxation avoidance agreements.

This will enable the availability and automatic exchange of information between the member countries of the Forum. Minister Radunović announced that Montenegro will work together with other members to fight tax evasion and claimed that membership in the Forum will bring the best standards and practices, as well as a partnership with the most developed countries in the world.

Montenegro: Radulović on the abolition of the Ministry of European Affairs

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The President of the Montenegrin European Movement Momčilo Radulović believes that the abolition of the Ministry of European Affairs should not cause harm or cause a stalemate in the integration process, but that the current situation should be resolved as soon as the EU will not tolerate indecision on the path of European integration.

Radulović claimed that what the EU is thinking about this situation must not be ignored, because it is even more important that Montenegro does not endanger the speed and quality of its integration process and overall internal reforms. He further claimed that Montenegro is still in advantage over competitors from the Western Balkans, but no one will tolerate the indecision or unwillingness to solve these unexpected problems on the path of EU integration for a long time.

Military exercises for crisis situations in Montenegro

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At the Podgorica airport, a military exercise involving a hijacking of an aircraft showed that Montenegrin institutions are ready to react promptly to incidents. This was the most complex and demanding exercise in the illegal interference of civil aviation in which a large number of participants and competent state authorities were engaged. The aim of the exercise is to train and verify the system of notification and coordination of activities between the competent authorities and institutions, to check the quality of the adopted legislation and plans and procedures in case of hijack. The president of the National Committee for Civil Aviation Security, Dragan Đurović, assessed that the exercise was successful and showed a high level of compliance of all entities that are activated in such crisis situations. He stated that this is another confirmation of the high standards of civil aviation safety that the European Commission has confirmed to be in line with the standards of EU member states. 

JUFREX: reform in the Montenegrin media sector

in EUROPE/TECHNOLOGY by

Recommendations for further reform in the Montenegrin media sector were presented within the project funded by the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe. As part of the Reinforcing Judicial Expertise on Freedom of Expression and the Media in South-East Europe (JUFREX), a group of independent experts was in Montenegro to conduct a detailed analysis of the media sector. It resulted that Montenegro should implement 67 recommendations, which should help the country formulate a national media policy. Some of the topics analyzed include state aid rules, copyright issues, media self-regulation, and freedom of speech in the digital age. Plamena Halacheva, Acting EU Ambassador to Montenegro and Head of the Political Section at the EU Delegation, stated that this is yet another opportunity to emphasize that media freedom is an unquestionable condition for any candidate country on its path to EU membership and an important indicator of functioning rule of law. Indeed, freedom of expression and freedom of the media are the basic elements of key chapter 23, one of the final negotiating chapters. Director General for EU Accession in the Ministry of European Affairs, Jelena Burzan, affirmed that Montenegro, with its work and results in the negotiation process, showed that it is serious in its intention to continuously improve the legislative and institutional framework in this area and to encourage further development in all spheres of society. 

Montenegro: security operations praised by National Security Council

in DEFENCE/EUROPE by

The National Security Council, chaired by President Duško Marković, welcomed the prompt and effective detection and arrest of perpetrators of serious crimes committed this past week. Marković reiterated the commitment of the institutions to continue their efforts to fight organized criminal groups, and especially their content providers. Indeed, the newly-formed specialized teams made up of representatives of the Prosecutor’s Office, the Police Directorate and other bodies have a clear task, namely to be a step ahead of any criminal intent. Prime Minister Duško Marković affirmed that the current period to be overcome does not require just the work of institutions in accordance with their regular legal obligations. Indeed, he claimed also that, at the moment of state budgeting, everyone must give additional and stronger contribution in order to protect every citizen and family in Montenegro. 

Milo Đukanović: The EU should not repeat its mistakes

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President of the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) Milo Đukanović, at the opening of the Conference “Meeting the EU-Western Balkans Summit” organized by DPS along with the European Socialists Party (PES), claimed that the centuries-old interweaving of the great global powers in the Balkans threatens to endanger the countries in the region. Indeed, according to Đukanović, more EU in the Balkans means a faster level of integration and the EU needs to make stronger efforts to tackle problems beyond its borders. On this premises, President of the PES Sergei Stanishev claimed that it was wrong of President of the European Commission (EC) Jean-Claude Juncker, at the beginning of his term, to affirm that there would be no EU enlargement during his mandate. Indeed, according to Stanishev, without the Balkans, the enlargement process would not be complete. EU accession is not only a formal process, continued Stanishev, it is already a difficult process that requires mutual efforts and concrete solutions. 

Milo Đukanović: The EU should not repeat its mistakes

in EUROPE/POLITICS by

President of the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) Milo Đukanović, at the opening of the Conference “Meeting the EU-Western Balkans Summit” organized by DPS along with the European Socialists Party (PES), claimed that the centuries-old interweaving of the great global powers in the Balkans threatens to endanger the countries in the region. Indeed, according to Đukanović, more EU in the Balkans means a faster level of integration and the EU needs to make stronger efforts to tackle problems beyond its borders.

On this premises, President of the PES Sergei Stanishev claimed that it was wrong. of President of the European Commission (EC) Jean-Claude Juncker, at the beginning of his term, to affirm that there would be no EU enlargement during his mandate. Indeed, according to Stanishev, without the Balkans, the enlargement process would not be complete. EU accession is not only a formal process, continued Stanishev, it is already a difficult process that requires mutual efforts and concrete solutions.

Montenegro’s Democratic Front against expelling Russian diplomats

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Democratic Front (DF) deputy Jovan Vučurović urges the Government of Duško Marković not to expel Russian diplomats from Montenegro, and to hold to the honor and dignity of Montenegro, which has already been obstructed several times. It is clear to Vučurović that, at this moment, the government is in great difficulty because on the one hand, as NATO members, Montenegro should expel Russian diplomats as a result of the shameful attack, while on the other hand, they are thinking of the presidential elections, aware that it is ultimately unpopular to show again the open hatred towards Russia.

The government of Duško Marković has repeatedly shown hostility towards Russia and is continuing to pursue this policy even though it is aware that it is once again humiliating Montenegro. According to Vučurović, there is no single reason why Montenegro, in this case, should follow the interests of Western countries, especially of those who are waiting to seize the opportunity to confront Russia.

Judicial reform strengthen Montenegro’s path to the EU

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Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Pažin presented key results of Montenegrin judicial reform at the roundtable “Criminal Justice Reform Top – Achievements, Challenges, and Perspectives”. During the meeting, it was highlighted that the rule of law is an area that gives pace to the overall success of the reforms in Montenegro and there is no doubt that this is the most demanding undertaking of the whole society that is striving for European integration. Pažin stressed that great contribution to the rule of law is given by the courts and judges by consistently affirming the right to a fair and public hearing before an independent and impartial tribunal within a reasonable time. Moreover, one of the Government’s priorities over the next three years is to develop alternative dispute resolution methods to make justice more accessible to citizens. In order to encourage the European Council to set benchmarks for the final closure of Chapters 23 and 24, which will mark the start of the final phase of the EU accession process, Pažin pointed out that Montenegro must achieve convincing results in the judiciary sector.

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