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Ask the Government

                               Ask the Government

Montenegro's Cabinet Session

Published date 14.12.2017 21:45 | Author PR Service

Ispis Print

The Cabinet held today the 54th session chaired by Prime Minister Duško Marković.

In order to achieve harmonization with European legislation and improve the tourism economy on the principles of sustainable development and job creation, the Law on Tourism and Catering Industry was assented with the Report from the public debate. The proposed law regulates the area of service provision in tourism and catering industry, it defines new business models, simplifies business procedures, and introduces electronic commerce. In addition, conditions are created for supporting domestic and foreign investors for the implementation of high quality projects in order to increase the quality of accommodation capacities, promote the development of tourism in underdeveloped areas and implement EU standards based on the principles of sustainable tourism development.

The Law on local self-government has also been assented, further improving the legislative framework for the successful functioning of the local self-government system, or more precisely regulating the normative prerequisites for exercising citizens' rights to local self-government on the principles of democracy, depolitization, autonomy, professionalism, efficiency, legality and economy.

The proposed law specifies clear deadlines for the constitution of the Assembly, the election of the President of the Assembly and the President of the Municipality and prevents postponing the work of the sessions of the Assembly by setting clear deadlines for convening and holding regular sessions. The function of the Manager is also enhanced with the transition from the current administrative to the managerial-development function. The principle of professionalism is promoted by regulating the employment system in accordance with the principle of merit and the procedure of verification of competences, as well as by prescribing of new rules and procedures for filling jobs in the local administration. The planning and control of employment in municipalities is improved through the establishment of a personnel plan that provides timely planning and employment in accordance with the available funds in the municipal budget.

The Cabinet passed the Decision on the Establishment of the Commission for the Preparation of the Civil Code. When considering this item on the agenda, it was emphasised that the drafting of the Civil Code is a project of state interest, as it will contribute to the increase of legal and social security of all legal entities, mutual harmonization of legal solutions, as well as their harmonization with ratified international conventions and standards and European legislation. All this will, as has been pointed out, also accelerate the necessary integration processes and further development of Montenegro, its citizens and legal entities.

By adopting Decree on Amendments to the Decree on Organisation and Manner of State Administration, the Centre for Asylum Seekers is transferred from the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Directorate for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises is abolished, the body that so far comprised Ministry of Economy, and in the same Ministry Directorate for Investments and Development of Small and Medium Enterprises is established.

The Proposal of the Law on Representativeness of Trade Unions was assented with the Report from a public debate, which systematically regulates the procedure for determining and reviewing representativeness of the trade unions, both with the employer, as well as at the level of the business branch, group or subgroup of activity. Amendments will be harmonized with the Law on Administrative Procedure.

The Cabinet adopted the Information on qualitative and quantitative results of the summer tourist season in 2017 according to which the season was more successful than the previous one, because in the first eight months, in collective accommodation, there were 17.26% (694,706) more tourists and 10,54% (3,001,773) more nights and according to which the positive trend of tourist traffic continued in October when 20.7% (68.135) more tourists were registered in collective accommodation and 15.2% (195.076) more overnight stays than in October 2016.

It was pointed out that seasonality and uneven regional development are still present, which imposes the need to continue activities on diversification and enrichment of the tourist offer with further improvement of the traffic availability especially in the pre- and post-season. The goal that is to be achieved is tourism development that will be based on natural resources, while respecting the basic guidelines for sustainable development, which will contribute to Montenegro becoming an all year tourist destination, and improve citizens' living standards.

By concluding this item on the agenda, the Prime Minister assessed that the past tourist season was the best so far. The aspect of security and safety was assessed as particularly successful in the past tourist season, as there were no security challenges in tourist centers or tragic traffic accidents, and that, on the other hand, our borders were among the most open in Europe where waiting was far shorter compared to some countries, even among the members of the Schengen zone that introduced additional border controls.

Information on the activities carried out during the summer fire season in 2017 was adopted. It was concluded that the summer climatic conditions caused extremely high air temperatures and precipitation deficit which generated a high fire hazard index so a number of anticipated preventive fire activities were implemented, but besides the measures undertaken by state authorities and local self-governments, long-term drought and extremely high temperatures, relatively early in early July, caused wildfires in Montenegro, especially the Central and Southern region. It was assessed that, despite the challenges, the response of the competent authorities was adequate, that human lives and property were preserved, and that the NATO membership helped Montenegro because allied help was provided. It was estimated that the need for capacity building was recognised.

The Cabinet adopted the Plan for the preparation of the winter tourist season for 2017/2018, which includes an overview of the achieved activities and activities that will be implemented during the season in order to create the conditions for its undisturbed development and enrichment of the tourist offer of Montenegro. It was pointed out, among other things, that providing full function of the ski resorts is of great importance for the success of the season, but also that it is necessary to work on providing quality accommodation capacities with contents when the ski resorts cannot be active due to weather conditions.

The Cabinet adopted the Autumn Analysis of Macroeconomic Trends and Structural Reforms – 2017, which presents economic trends in the first nine months of 2017, an overview of structural policies and reforms made in 2017 with proposals for their improvement, in line with developments and potential challenges arising from domestic and international environment, taking into account the recommendations of the European Commission regarding the implementation and improvement of reform measures and policies. The analysis states that the Montenegrin economy is accelerating growth, stimulated by the intensification of works on the implementation of transport infrastructure projects, as well as projects in tourism and energy. In the first two quarters of 2017, the economy grew at a real rate of 3.2 and 5.1 per cent annually, so the GDP growth rate in the first half of the year was 4.2 per cent. It was also stated that the measures of remediation of the budget deficit and public debt 2017-2021 and Fiscal Strategy 2017-2020, have positive effects, which are visible in the first nine months of the current year, bearing in mind that budget revenues were increased by EUR 32.9 million compared to the same period of the previous year.

For the purpose of terminological harmonization of certain terms, conditions and criteria prescribed by the IPARD II Programme, as well as additional clarifications of certain provisions related to the handling of requests for support under support measures, the Cabinet adopted the Regulation on Amendments to the Regulation on the Implementation and Procedure for the Use of Funds from the EU Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPARD II Programme) and adopted the Programme for the Development of Agriculture and Rural Areas of Montenegro under IPARD II - 2014-2020 (IPARD II programme version 1.1).

The Information on the Proposal for a Financing Agreement between the Government of Montenegro and the European Commission on the Annual Action Programme for Montenegro for 2016 under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (Ipa II) was adopted with the Proposal of the Agreement. The total amount of expenses for implementation of the Ipa 2016 programme in Montenegro is EUR 26,544,530. This amount includes the total allocated EU funds and national contributions. The total maximum amount of EU grant is EUR 22,948,900.

Within the annual program, which is the proposal of this financing agreement, two actions – Environment and Climate Action and Competitiveness and Innovation – were approved for financing. In order to strengthen the capacity and activities related to the acquis in the environment and climate action sector, the amount of funds allocated by the EU is EUR 16,000,000, while the national co-financing is EUR 2,823,530. In order to strengthen the competitiveness and innovation sector of Montenegro, the EU contribution is EUR 6,948,900, and the national co-financing amounts to EUR 772,100.

The Programme for subsidizing the interest rate on loans granted to companies and entrepreneurs in the field of tourism and catering industry has been adopted. The amount of EUR 50,000 has been allocated for the programme implementation.

The Cabinet adopted the Information on Montenegro's military integration into NATO. It was stated that in 2017 the Ministry of Defence and the Army of Montenegro continued the implementation of planned activities from Montenegro's NATO accession and integration process, which resulted in the acquisition of the status of a fully-fledged member. The Government instructed the Ministry of Defence to continue the implementation of the activities from the Montenegro's NATO Integration Plan, which, as a key document, was prepared by the Ministry based on the recommendations of the Working Group for Accession and Integration, in addition to the representatives of the Ministry of Defence and the Army of Montenegro, and representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Directorate for the Protection of Classified Information.

The National Railway Infrastructure Programme for the period 2018-2020 was adopted. The programme shows the current state of the infrastructure, plans for the construction, modernization and maintenance of infrastructure, tasks, their scope, dynamics of the implementation of plans, as well as the amount and resources of the financial resources needed for its realization.

The Cabinet adopted the Action Plan for Implementation of the Strategy for Development of Vocational Education in Montenegro (2018-2019) with the Report on the Implementation of the Action Plan for 2016 and 2017. As priority areas in vocational education for the period 2015-2020 high quality and efficient vocational education relevant for the labour market, equal opportunities for acquiring qualifications in vocational education for employability and social inclusion, and lifelong learning and mobility were determined. The implementation of the activities from the Action Plan should: enable further development and improvement of vocational education, faster response of vocational education to the needs of the labour market, enable students to develop the professional and key competences needed for life and work, etc.

The Action Plan for Employment and Human Resources Development for 2018 was adopted, which established measures and activities for achieving the goals defined in the National Strategy for Employment and Human Resources Development 2016-2020: increase in employment, efficient functioning of the labour market, improvement of qualifications and competencies adjusted to the needs of the labour market and promotion of social inclusion and reduction of poverty.

The Cabinet assented the Annex II of the Long-Term Lease Agreement concluded between the Government of Montenegro and the Consortium consisting of "Northstar" d.o.o. Podgorica and "Equest Capital Limited", Jersey, UK, which does not change the initial conditions established by the tender, but changes the dynamics of investment in a tourist complex in the municipality of Herceg Novi, which should be the hotel of the prestigious brand Ritz-Carlton.

The proposal of the Ministry of Defence was accepted for issuing a long-term lease of a part of the real estate, which is located within the Golubovci military airport in Podgorica, which gave consent to issue this immovable property for long-term lease for a period of 30 years, by collecting bids, in accordance with the Law on state property. Revenue generated from long-term lease payments is revenue of the Ministry of Defence.

The Cabinet adopted the Information on strengthening the system of managing cultural goods and gave its consent to the Agreement between the Ministry of Culture of Montenegro and the United Nations Development Programme. The project included, inter alia, the establishment and maintenance of a register of cultural goods in an analogous and electronic form, the establishment and management of the information system of cultural goods and its connection with other appropriate information systems, as well as the rehabilitation of endangered cultural and historical objects. Project management is under the authority of the Government, while implementation assistance will be provided by UNDP as an implementing agency, with the strong involvement of all involved partners and stakeholders.

The Decision on the opening of the Consulate of Montenegro in Lyon, Republic of France, was adopted. Bertrand Thibert was appointed as a honourary consul.