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Press release from 35th Cabinet session

Press release from 35th Cabinet session
Published date 20.07.2017 18:48 | Author PR Service

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Podgorica, Montenegro (20 July 2017) -- At the session held earlier today, the Montenegrin Cabinet adopted the information regarding fires that hit the territory of Montenegro in the period 1 - 18 July 2017. The information states that all necessary preparations were made for 2017 fire season, but that the long-term drought and extremely high temperatures caused widespread fires to hit the coastal area and inland Montenegro relatively early - in the beginning of July.

The discussion stressed that the firefighters and the competent services were operating in an unfavourable political environment and with continuous disinformation, even the spread of panic, and without adequate preparation and support from the local administrations. It was concluded that, in spite of this, all the competent services reacted in an adequate, strong, professional and patriotic manner. The Government therefore allocated a total of EUR 230,000 from the current budget for reimbursement of protection and rescue workers, with firefighters directly involved in fire fighting being rewarded with EUR 400. Those who had an increased workload, but did not participate in fire extinguishing, will be rewarded with EUR 200.

The Information states that international assistance was requested, both within the NATO Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) and the Civil Protection Mechanism of the EU, and a number of states have sent assistance to Montenegro. The Government of Montenegro expressed its gratitude to NATO and partner countries for the prompt reaction and assistance of the allies, concluding that Montenegro appreciates the help. It was emphasised that NATO's assistance in fire fighting in Montenegro shows that Montenegro has already enjoyed the benefits of its new status and new capacity.

Government instructed the Ministry of the Iterior to examine the existing concept of the protection and rescue system and, through additional analysis, to propose to the Government a model for its improvement, as well as to prepare as quickly as possible an additional programme for the procurement of the necessary means and equipment for preventive action, observation, field survey and better functioning of the protection and rescue system.

At today's session, the Cabinet passed the Draft Law on the Old Royal Capital, which will contribute to the strengthening of the institutional status of the Old Royal Capital, provide better valorisation of the Montenegrin cultural, historical and academic heritage, as well as to the high-quality and long-term development of the Old Capital City. In order to create the conditions for economic, cultural and historical development, it is provided for to establish the Capital Development Fund, from which will be financed developmental, infrastructure projects, projects that would be in the function of creating new jobs, projects for the preservation of cultural and historical heritage, projects from the public Interests that are implemented according to the public-private partnership or other form of partnership. In that regard, additional funds will be provided through the establishment of the Fund, at a rate of 1% of the projected value of the current Budget of Montenegro for each fiscal year. Furthermore, the proposed solutions will further improve the coordination between the state authorities and the authorities of the Old Royal Capital in the bodies of public utilities management based in Cetinje, as well as defining the way of planning and financing development programmes through redefining the structure and role of the Old Royal Capital's Senate.

In the framework of the reporting on the implementation of the activities on the accession to the European Union, the Cabinet passed the Fourteenth Quarterly Report on the overall activities in the framework of Montenegro's integration into the European Union, for the period April-June 2017 and the Second Quarterly Report on the Implementation of Obligations from the Montenegro's Accession to the European Union for 2017 - 2018. The discussion pointed to continuous progress in the accession process, which, inter alia, is confirmed by the opening of two new chapters: Chapter 1: Freedom of movement of goods and Chapter 22: Regional policy and coordination of structural funds, as well as the temporary closing of the Chapter 30: International relations. It was also noted that regular activities continued on the implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, through the work of the joint bodies of the institutions of Montenegro and the European Union, as well as the activities of informing citizens about the accession process. The second quarterly report on the implementation of obligations under the Programme of Montenegro's Accession to the European Union for the period 2017 - 2018 shows that 71% of the planned commitments were realised, which presupposes the best percentage of realisation since the beginning of the accession process.

In order to harmonise with the Law on Energy and the provisions of the European Union's law in the field of energy, the Draft Law Amending the Law on Consumer Protection was passed. The defined amendments provides for that a trader providing a service of public interest through a distribution network must not include the costs of the construction, reconstruction and modernisation of the distribution network in the service price in the case of services of public interest in the field of electricity distribution and supply . Accordingly, when using the public service in the area of electricity distribution and supply, which is provided through the distribution network, the consumer will not be additionally financially burdened, since the said costs in the price of the service are already included under the provisions of the Law on Energy.

Cabinet also passed the Draft Law Amending the Law on Privileges on Travel of Persons with Disabilities. The amendments, inter alia, establish inspection supervision, extend the scope of users and their records, as well as the application of a criminal policy for a misdemeanor for a legal entity, a responsible person in a legal entity and a user, or his legal representative or guardian. In addition, in order to establish more efficient inspection supervision and enforcement of a criminal policy for misdemeanor for a legal entity and a responsible person in a legal entity, which, among other things, enables better control of the use of rights from social and child care, as well as the savings of financial resources, the Draft Law Amending the Law on Social and Child Protection was also passed.

At today's session, the Cabinet passed the Draft Law Amending the Law on Restitution of Seized Property Rights and Compensation. Key reasons for the changes are contained in the need to extend the validity period of the bonds of restitution, bearing in mind that the validity period of previously issued bonds expires in this August.

Government passed the Draft Law amending the Law on purchases of used vehicles, vessels and aircrafts. The underlying reasons for adopting the amendments were conditioned by the need for a closer definition of the concept of a used vehicle, vessel and aircraft, bearing in mind that the tax treatment of those products in practice has caused quite a dilemma whether taxation of this type of traffic is carried out only for vehicles that are at least once registered In Montenegro, and for which seller or transferor was not entitled to deduct input VAT during procurement.

As to personnel issues, two members of the Board of Directors of the University of Montenegro were dismissed from among the representatives of the founders. Editor-in-chief of the Institute for Textbooks and Teaching Resources Radule Novović was dismissed on his personal request because he had been elected MP, while the President of the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro Velimir Mijušković was also dismissed on a personal request. Professor of the Faculty of Metallurgy and Technology Željko Jaćimović was dismissed from the position of a member of the Board of Directors of the University of Montenegro, with a rationale that he did not represent the interests of the Ministry of Education and the Government of Montenegro in his work and decision-making, in accordance with the Law and the decision on appointment.