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Highlights from the 69th Cabinet session

Published on: Oct 12, 2023 3:30 PM Author: Public Relations Service of the Government of Montenegro

The Montenegrin Cabinet held its 69th session, chaired by Prime Minister Dritan Abazović.

The Cabinet adopted a draft law to ratify the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications. The primary objective of this law is to align Montenegro's legal framework with that of the European Union and expand the scope of the agreement to include not only names of origin but also geographical indications. This aligns Montenegro with international standards for the protection of product names and the promotion of regional products.

The Cabinet decided to grant the sale of timber from state-owned forests in various regions for the purpose of sanitary felling in 2023. This timber, which has been affected by fires, pests, and other abiotic factors, needs to be harvested promptly to prevent further damage. The government anticipates a minimum revenue of 431,940 euros from this timber sale.

The Cabinet adopted an information document about the financial agreement for Interreg VI-B IPA Adriatic-Ionian Programme. The purpose of this approval is to ensure the efficient management and implementation of the programme within Montenegro's territory. This agreement sets out the terms and conditions for financing and executing the programme in Montenegro, outlining allocations of funds for the programme's duration, reporting procedures, co-financing requirements, and other obligations as a participating state. As per the agreement, Montenegro will allocate a total of 202,377 euros to support the technical aspects of the entire programme. These funds will facilitate the operation of joint bodies and the implementation of technical support projects, with the Ministry of European Affairs serving as the beneficiary. The contribution payment will be spread over a six-year period, covering the years 2021 to 2027. The Interreg IPA Adriatic-Ionian Programme 2021-2027 represents a continuation of the programme that ran from 2014 to 2020. It follows the same funding pattern, offering benefits through increased collaboration across a broader geographical area, as it now includes North Macedonia and San Marino, in addition to the initial 10 participating countries.

The programme encompasses the IPA ADRION 2021-2027 area, which consists of countries both within and outside the European Union. EU member countries involved in this programme include Croatia, Greece, Slovenia, and Italy, with regions like Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Marche, Umbria, Abruzzo, Molise, Apulia, Basilicata, Calabria, Sicily, and the autonomous provinces of Trentino and South Tyrol.

Among the non-EU member countries in the programme are Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and San Marino. The total budget for the programme is 160,810,020 euros, with the European Union contributing 136,688,515 euros.

The Cabinet gave consent for preparatory work for the reconstruction of the M-3 (M-18) highway section between Šćepan Polje and Nikšić. This project involves widening the existing road to improve traffic conditions and safety, enhance connectivity with neighbouring municipalities, and create better infrastructure for transportation.

The Cabinet approved measures to address erosion and protect property on Ada Bojana by constructing artificial dunes. This is a response to the experience of previous years, showing that this approach effectively safeguards against erosion during the winter season.

The Cabinet adopted an agreement regarding the recognition of professional qualifications in the context of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA). This agreement focuses on the recognition of professional qualifications for general practice nurses, veterinarians, pharmacists, and midwives. The text of the agreement has been accepted and is scheduled to be signed at the Berlin Process Leaders' Summit on 16 October in Tirana. The primary goal of this agreement is to strengthen regional cooperation by enabling the integration of professionals in the labour market of the region through automatic recognition of the regulated professions. It aims to enhance good neighbourly relations, promote economic integration, and improve infrastructure connectivity. By signing this international agreement, Montenegro reaffirms its commitment to advancing regional cooperation with Western Balkan countries and making progress in negotiations with the European Union under Chapter 3, "Right of Establishment and Freedom to Provide Services."

The Cabinet has established the basis for conducting negotiations and concluding an agreement to amend the existing extradition treaty between Montenegro and Serbia. The current agreement, which deals with extradition of own nationals in cases of corruption-related crimes, does not cover crimes such as abuse of position in economic activities and abuse of authority in the economy, as specified in Montenegro's Criminal Code. Given the significance of these crimes and the importance of prosecuting them in both countries, especially concerning cross-border aspects, there's a need to amend the agreement to allow extradition of own nationals for these offenses. These crimes are crucial in the fight against corruption, and prosecuting them falls under the jurisdiction of Montenegro's Special State Prosecutor's Office, a key institution in combating organized crime and corruption. Amending the agreement would enable both Montenegro and Serbia to extradite their own nationals upon request for prosecution and serving prison sentences for these specified crimes.

An agreement has been reached to establish the Western Balkans Cyber Capacity Center (WB3C), and the text of the agreement has been accepted. A Letter of Intent for the establishment of the WB3C, headquartered in Podgorica, was signed on 16 November 2022. This center will have the legal status of an international organization and will be founded by three states (Montenegro, France, and Slovenia), with other states becoming members. The center's programmes are primarily aimed at critical infrastructure stakeholders and are designed to provide thematic education to their representatives. The goal is to equip them with knowledge that can be transferred to other employees within their organizations. By concluding this agreement, the prerequisites for strengthening cybersecurity in Western Balkan countries are established. It will foster collaboration among regional actors in addressing cybersecurity threats and create a regional hub for promoting advanced training programmes and collaboration in the development of a regional cybersecurity curriculum in the academic domain.

The Cabinet adopted a crisis management plan for dealing with the potential outbreak of African Swine Fever. This plan outlines strategies to prevent the introduction of the virus and to mitigate its impact on domestic and wild swine populations.

An agreement was reached for the purchase of dynamic simulators for JLTV 4x4 vehicles with integrated weapon stations. These simulators will significantly reduce training costs for the military while maintaining training effectiveness, allowing up to 90% of training to be conducted using simulators.

For the full press release in Montenegrin, please click here.

69. sjednica Vlade Crne Gore - kadrovi
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