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.
The Minister without Portfolio, responsible for communication, accountability and transparency, Robert Popovski, participated in the debate “Challanges of the Government and Institutions in Increasing Transparency in the Media and Citizens” organized by the Association of Journalists of the Republic of Macedonia and Onlimit Media.
Welcoming the efforts of Minister Popovski to take part in all the public debates to which he was invited, the present journalists assessed that the Government that represents the Minister drastically changed the attitude towards the media following the principle of openness for discussion and debate, but pointed out that many more work to enable all institutions to be fully transparent.
Minister Popovski, other side, thanked the possibility for Government of the Republic of Macedonia through the debate to present and analyze its policies and, through transparency and accountability, to outline the measures taken in the service of all citizens and the media. Finally, Popovski pointed out that as minister in contacts with the ministers he constantly points to the need for transparency that brings responsible and accountable governance.
Interior Minister of the Bosnian-Podrinje Canton (BPK), Nijaz Mušić, requested a meeting with State Minister of Security Dragan Mektić due to a sudden increase in the number of migrants coming to the territory of Goražde from neighboring Montenegro. In the past 12 days, BPK has recorded 86 cases of migrants from the Middle East, Syria, Pakistan, Algeria, and Libya. BPK Interior Minister Mušić stated that Goražde does not have the material and technical capacities, nor the legal basis for hosting the immigrants.
The Goražde community provides rooms, certain quantities of food and hygiene products for the first aid. Police officers give their clothes or money for food. Several times the BPK has organized fundraising campaigns in order to pay a ticket to Sarajevo for the refugees.
During the presentation of the National Energy Strategy, Prime Minister Edi Rama brought to the attention the collapse in this sector a few years ago and the achievements in recent years. According to Rama, the government made the important transformation in every respect, ranging from establishing legality in the energy sector and transforming the company from a risky asset to an asset that is estimated today day after day. Regarding the energy market, Rama stressed that a courageous liberalization process was undertaken, while it is foresees that in the space of a few years Albania has a 100 per cent open energy market.
According to him, it will create a new atmosphere in the relationship between consumers and energy distribution sector, leading to a degree the company’s efficiency. Rama concluded saying that Albania has started work and by end of the year albanians are ready to offer citizens the opportunity to partecipate as shareholders with the ambition that next year the company will turn into a company where the mass participation of citizens as shareholders will have a mutual benefit.
On June 1st last year, the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina found that certain provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) were unconstitutional, and ordered that it be harmonized with the Constitution of BiH and the standards of the European Court of Human Rights within six months. As of today, amendments to the CPC have yet to be adopted. The party Naša Stranka (Our Party), claimed that Parliament’s House of Representatives started dealing with this issue only after the expiration of the deadline. Moreover, the proposals for amendments to the CPC of BiH were sent from several parties, however, none of the proposed amendments was made by a group of experts in the field of criminal law. Naša Stranka believes that in this way the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been put in jeopardy, because of the interest of certain parties to not adopt amendments so as to protect themselves from criminal prosecution for corruption. For this reason, Naša Stranka has requested that the Ministry of Justice of BiH reassemble the Criminal Legislation Monitoring Team.
The NATO Security and Defense Committee adopted reports on work and state of affairs in the administrative areas within the competence of the Ministry of Defense and the situation in the Army of Montenegro (VCG) for the past year and submitted them to parliament. The report assessed that the admission of Montenegro to NATO represents recognition of the achieved level of defense system reform and achievement of one of Montenegro’s foreign policy goals.
The Board noted that VCG had achieved a significant degree of operational capability and interoperability, considering that a successful NATO integration process and the declaration of the forces for future engagement in international missions and operations resulted from the significant effort of the Army during 2017. The committee supported activities to overcome challenges that adversely affect the readiness of the Army, such as the lack of armored fighting vehicles for infantry units and military bases for exercising tactical units and firing with large caliber weapons.
VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski met on Friday with Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias. Mickoski emphasized that his party supports developing good neighborly relations, based on sincere friendship and mutual respect. Mickoski pointed out that the Republic of Macedonia must continue its Euro-Atlantic agenda and the process should be unblocked. It will also contribute to the integration and stabilization of the region through enhanced cooperation within the framework of the global structures that Macedonia naturally belongs to.
During the meeting, VMRO-DPMNE’s leader expressed concern about certain steps in the Greek society that irritate and incite negative feeling towards Macedonia, and they are not helpful to the overall process: he also stressed that the solution negotiated by the Zaev’s government should respect state and national interests.
Deputy Prime Minister, Senida Mesi, received on Friday Ambassador Ruth Huber, the Head of Cooperation with Eastern Europe at the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
During the meeting they signed two agreements that provide funding and technical support in the areas of governance and economy: the first one for the Decentralisation and Local Development Programme (dldp) and the second one for RisiAlbania, a youth employment programme. Both projects amount to just over 8.2 million Euro and are extensions of previous phases of Swiss support for Albania. The interlocutors discussed also about Swiss government support regarding civil emergency and natural disaster cases. After the signing of the two agreements, in her greeting speech Mesi stressing the long-term cooperation of more than 25 years of Albania with Switzerland, underlined the two projects as very important and with successful results in their previous phases.
Among others Mesi expressed special thanks for the Swiss Cooperation Strategy 2018-2021 which was presented a few weeks ago and emphasized that the long-term cooperation between the two countries is a crear indication that the Swiss government is there to help and support Albania in all its initiatives and that the latter is fully engaged to reach the objectives.
Republika Srpska (RS) President Milorad Dodik sent a letter to the BiH Presidency member Mladen Ivanić, expressing his strong opposition to the manner in which the BiH Foreign Policy Strategy for the period 2018-2023 was adopted. Dodik in the letter stated that Ivanić should not have adopted the document without prior public debate in the relevant institutions of the RS, which degraded the international capacity of the region guaranteed by the Dayton Peace Agreement. According to Dodik, Ivanić ignored and overlooked the institutions of the RS by voting for a harmful document because, allegedly, he did not find it appropriate to inform anyone in the RS about its adoption. Dodik further highlighted that by voting for the mentioned Strategy, the Resolution of the National Assembly of the RS on military neutrality has been tried, by accepting the provisions on NATO integrations of BiH. Dodik reminded that, in order for an organ to approach the drafting of the strategy, it is necessary to first establish the goals of BiH’s foreign policy. Dodik concluded claiming that the foreign policy goals of the RS and the FBiH are not harmonized, and the development of a strategy without a clear goal is complete nonsense.