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Highlights from the 70th Cabinet session

Published on: Oct 19, 2023 3:00 PM Author: Public Relations Service of the Government of Montenegro

The Montenegrin Cabinet held its 70 session, chaired by Prime Minister Dritan Abazović.

The Cabinet has adopted the Draft Spatial Plan of Montenegro until 2040. This plan serves as a strategic framework to guide the country's development and infrastructure projects. It will undergo a 30-day public consultation period, allowing stakeholders and citizens to provide input.

The Cabinet discussed the Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on Public Sector Accounting. Considering the substantial challenges and the need to secure an adequate and highly demanding IT solution, necessary for the implementation of the Public Sector Accounting Law, which significantly differs from the current accounting information system, it is proposed to postpone the application of the Law for three years, moving the date of its application from 1 January 2024 to 1 January 2027.

The Cabinet has made a decision on imposing international restrictive measures established by the decisions of the Council of the European Union concerning the situation in the Republic of Tunisia and the Decision on amendments to the Decision on imposing international restrictive measures established by the decisions of the Council of the European Union concerning the situation in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, which Montenegro is joining in line with the foreign policy priority of aligning with the European Union in the area of the Common Foreign and Security Policy.

The Cabinet has adopted the Youth Strategy for 2023-2027 with the Action Plan for 2023-2024.

The Cabinet has adopted the Media Strategy of Montenegro 2023-2027 with the Action Plan for 2023-2024.

The Cabinet adopted the Information on the analysis of the conditions for the introduction of vetting in the judiciary. Vetting, as a procedure of checks, aims to assess the individual responsibility and integrity and their possible involvement in previous abuse, or to assess suitability and eligibility for public office. The analysis aims to point out the way to improve the system of accountability of holders of judicial functions, taking into account the constitutional principles of the independence and autonomy of judges and state prosecutors, international standards, as well as assessing the comparative experiences of countries where this process has been carried out. After a detailed analysis, the Ministry of Justice takes the position that the most adequate vetting system for Montenegro would be executed in phases, systematically, and that it would not produce negative consequences for the unimpeded functioning of judicial authorities. In Montenegro, vetting would be carried out in three consecutive phases:

  • The first phase would involve amendments to the relevant provisions of the Constitution related to the permanence of judicial functions, the composition of the Judicial Council, the selection of its members, relevant provisions relating to the Prosecutorial Council, as well as other provisions directly related to the vetting process.
  • The second phase of vetting ("pre-vetting") would include the assessment process of the members and candidates for the members of the Judicial Council, the Prosecutorial Council, and the commissions in specialized bodies of the judiciary and the prosecution (disciplinary and ethical commissions, assessment commissions, etc.).
  • The third phase would involve the reform of courts and the State Prosecution and the evaluation of the presidents of the courts, judges of the Supreme Court, judges of the Constitutional Court, the State Prosecutor, state prosecutors in the State Prosecutor's Office and heads of state prosecutor's offices. In parallel, the work of internal commissions (disciplinary...) of the Judicial and Prosecutorial Councils would be carried out, which would be formed in the meantime and would perform a large part of the work related to the election of new holders of judicial functions as well as horizontal shifts/promotions within the judicial and prosecutorial system.

The Cabinet adopted the progress report of the Civil Code Drafting Commission. Since its establishment on 17 June last year, the Commission has conducted numerous meetings to review provisions related to property rights, contractual relations, and inheritance rights. This significant project, of national interest, aims to codify regulations governing contractual, family, inheritance, and other rights that shape the daily lives of citizens. It is designed to enhance legal security and safeguard personal rights. The Commission will continue working on drafting provisions related to family law and personal rights in the upcoming period.

The Cabinet has proposed amendments to the 2023 Budget Law and the Decision on Borrowing. The amendments concern the assumption of a debt of up to €7,000,000. In this regard, during 2023, the Government will assume the debt of the "Dr. Simo Milošević" Institute Igalo to Jugobanka AD, in bankruptcy, or the relevant Deposit Insurance Agency of the Republic of Serbia, acting as the bankruptcy trustee of Jugobanka AD Belgrade in bankruptcy. To reduce Montenegro's liability towards Jugobanka AD, the Republic of Serbia's outstanding debt arising from old foreign currency savings, amounting to €1,366,113, will be subtracted. After this subtraction, the remaining obligations to be covered by Montenegro's budget amount to approximately €5,313,150.

The Cabinet has adopted the proposal for signing an updated bilateral arrangement between the EU and Montenegro for the implementation of the Joint Action Plan on Counter-Terrorism for the Western Balkans. The initial bilateral arrangement was signed on 19 November 2019. The update of the arrangement is necessary to align with the requirements of the EU acquis and to continue collaboration in the fight against terrorism. It will be signed on the margins of the EU-Western Balkans Ministerial Forum, taking place on 26-27 October 2023 in Skopje. This arrangement is vital for Montenegro as it strengthens the nation's collaboration with the EU in countering terrorism, bolsters the regional structure against terrorism, and supports the implementation of activities outlined in the Joint Action Plan on Counter-Terrorism for the Western Balkans, which is essential for Montenegro's integration processes and overall societal development.

The Cabinet adopted a proposal for a temporary, urgent support program for the transport sector in light of the ongoing global crisis caused by the war in Ukraine. This program will be effective until the end of the current year. The Ministry of Capital Investments will oversee this program, and it has the authority to implement it. The Ministry of Finance has revised the maximum amount of aid per economic entity from €2 million to €1 million when incorporating EU regulations into national legislation, a change that the Ministry of Capital Investments has accepted. Organizations within the transport sector can apply for support by the end of the year, provided they meet the program's criteria, which will be followed by formal assessments and disbursal of aid, depending on the availability of budget resources.

The Cabinet discussed and approved a proposal to provide financial support to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). This support aims to help civilians in the Gaza Strip who are suffering due to the blockade and contributes to humanitarian efforts.

In addition, the Cabinet was also informed about the oral information regarding the initiative from the national councils and councils of smaller ethnic groups and national communities in Montenegro to postpone the population and housing census in Montenegro.

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

70. sjednica Vlade Crne Gore (19.10.2023.)
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