Saturday, 23 April 2022

Croatian Minority Representative to Serve in New Montenegrin Government

ZAGREB, 23 April 2022 - A representative of the Croatian Civic Initiative (HGI), one of the political parties representing the Croatian minority in Montenegro, will be a minister without a portfolio in the minority government to be nominated by Prime Minister-elect Dritan Abazović on 28 April, local media said on Friday.

HGI leader Adrijan Vuksanović confirmed to the Montenegrin media that he would be the party's candidate for minister without a portfolio in the new government. Earlier, the party's main committee unanimously accepted the invitation from Prime Minister-elect Abazović to participate in the minority government.

"We consider this an important gesture that will help ensure respect for minority rights and be an important mechanism for their affirmation. This is a strong message to the international and domestic public that Montenegro is following its natural path of multi-ethnic harmony and respecting the contribution from the ethnic minorities in the social, cultural and political field," HGI said.

Ethnic Croats account for about one per cent of Montenegro's population.

For more, check out our politics section.

Saturday, 22 January 2022

Croatian FM Attends Montenegrin Panel Debate on Croat Minority

ZAGREB, 22 Jan 2022 - Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlić Radman on Saturday attended via video link a round table discussion on the minorities as bridges of cooperation between Croatia and Montenegro, which was held in Podgorica.

In his address to the conference, Grlić Radman said that Montenegro was on the right track to recognise its strength and values in diversities, the Croatian ministry stated in a press release.

"We have had and still have many outstanding issues concerning our cultural heritage. However, the agile work of the Croatian National Council in Montenegro, led by the council president Zvonimir Deković, in cooperation with us and Croatian institutions, finds ways to satisfy the fundamental customs to the mutual benefit of both countries," said the minister, citing examples of the ethnic Croat heritage in Montenegro such as the cult of St. Tryphon, the tradition of the Croatian fraternity Bokeljska Mornarica, and local Marian shrines and so on.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Friday, 3 December 2021

Croatian PM Arrives in Montenegro for CEI Summit

ZAGREB, 3 Dec 2021 - Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković arrived in Montenegro on Friday for a one-day visit during which he will attend a Central European Initiative (CEI) summit and meet with representatives of the Croatian community.

The CEI was launched in Budapest in 1989, following the fall of the Berlin Wall, with the aim of assisting central and eastern European countries in joining the European Union.

The initial four members were Austria, Hungary, Italy and Yugoslavia. Austria has in the meantime withdrawn from this organisation, which now has 17 members. Apart from the countries of the former Yugoslavia, the members are: Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine.

Nine CEI countries are now members of the European Union.

Today's meeting in the coastal town of Budva will mark the end of Montenegro's chairmanship of the CEI. Croatia held the chairmanship in 2018 and handed it over to Italy in 2019, when the organisation marked its 30th anniversary in Rome.

The Montenegrin government has announced the attendance of the prime ministers of Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia. The Croatian delegation includes Interior Minister Davor Božinović and the Secretary of the Central State Office for Croats Abroad, Zvonko Milas.

The summit is expected to adopt a joint statement on further cooperation, with emphasis on development and European integration, and a road map for health and well-being in the Western Balkans until 2025.

The countries in the region are among the worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic in the world. According to the worldometers.info website, which gathers official information on COVID-19, the country with the highest death toll in relation to its population size is Peru, which is followed by Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and North Macedonia. Romania ranks ninth and Croatia 13th. The World Health Organisation's Director for Europe, Hans Kluge, will also attend today's summit.

Meeting with the Croatian community

After the CEI summit, the Croatian delegation is scheduled to meet with Montenegrin Prime Minister Zdravko Kirvokapić and visit the Croatian Consulate-General in Kotor, where Prime Minister Plenković will meet with Bishop Ivan Štironja and visit the 12th century Cathedral of St. Tryphon.

After that, the Croatian delegation is due to meet with representatives of the Croatian community in the nearby small town of Donja Lastva.

Local Croats have been complaining about the unresolved legal status of the Croatian Hall in Donja Lastva, the centre of activity of the Croatian National Council in the area.

The 2011 census shows that 6,021 ethnic Croats live in Montenegro, while church records put their number at about 10,000. They are recognised as an ethnic minority, and under the Montenegrin constitution the Croatian language is in official use, according to the Central State Office for Croats Abroad.c

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Montenegro Digital Nomad Visa in Early 2022: Jan de Jong

October 7, 2021 - Regional collaboration on show, as Jan de Jong annnounces the imminent Montenegro Digital Nomad Visa.

In the words of Split-based Dutch entrepreneur, Jan de Jong, whose efforts to promote digital nomad tourism in Croatia have now officially gone regional, as can be seen from his latest post on LinkedIn:   

BREAKING - #Montenegro  will follow into Croatia's footsteps as it plans to introduce a Digital Nomad Visa by beginning of 2022 

I would like to thank Minister Tamara Srzentić MS MBA & State Secretary Marina Banovic - from the Ministry of Public Administration, Digital Society and Media in Montenegro - for supporting legislative changes, turning Montenegro into a digital nomad welcoming country. 

It's amazing to see how you recognize the opportunity of opening your borders to #DigitalNomads. Thank you for your support to make this a reality. 

I strongly believe that the entire Adriatic region can benefit from becoming a hotspot for remote work professionals - and this region has all ingredients to make that happen. 

It's an honor and true pleasure to be part of this process. Step by step, we are moving forward to a more sustainable region.

Milovan Novakovic MRICS - thank you for all your efforts and facilitating this meeting. 

Montenegro - I applaud you for your progress 

Regards from Podgorica,

Jan

Follow me on #LinkedIn to never miss an update on this exciting new journey 

The announcement follows months of discussions with de Jong and his Montenegrin counterparts, and it is another concrete example of the cross border collaboration that is strengthening the remote work opportunity in the region. 

cbcc-2021_5.jpg

The LinkedIn announcement was accompanied with a photo of the key stakeholders on this initiative - from left to right in the lead photo above:

Milovan Novaković who contacted me last year, for me to help him push this in Montenegro,. Minister Tamara Srzentić, and State Secretary Marina Banovic. Both are from the Ministry of Public Administration, Digital Society and Media in Montenegro.

De Jong is currently in Montenegro, having just taken part in the two-day Cross Border Coworking Conference in Budva. You can read more about the event in TCN's coverage of the first day - Croatian Digital Nomad Energy Crosses Border at Budva CBCC 2021. He spoke to TCN about the current momentum:

It's great to see how countries like B&H and Montenegro are following closely what is happening in Croatia - which has demonstrated true leadership by being among first countries in the world to welcome digital nomads.

What is even more fascinating to see is how Croatia private sector is leaning in on this opportunity.

This Cross-Border Co-working Conference was the perfect platform to share experiences with the goal to turn the entire region into a hotspot for remote work professionals.

The feedback we got from digital nomads like Kate, Steve and Dean - about the attractiveness of this region for digital nomads was more than pleasant and only confirms that this region has all ingredients to become a top destination for digital nomads.

For the latest news and features on digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section

Friday, 17 September 2021

Milanović: Pro-European Montenegro Important as Neighbour, NATO Partner

ZAGREB, 17 Sept 2021 - Croatia will continue to support Montenegro's European path as a pro-European Montenegro is important as a neighbour and NATO partner, Croatian President Zoran Milanović said on the Brijuni archipelago on Friday, where Montenegrin President Milo Đukanović wrapped up a two-day visit to Croatia.

The two presidents exchanged information and views on Montenegro's EU accession negotiations as well as the situation in Montenegro and Southeast Europe, Milanović's office said in a press release.

Montenegro should continue to develop as a democratic, secular and pro-European state, said Đukanović.

For more on politcs, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, 16 September 2021

Croatian President Expresses Support to Modern, Civic and Open Montenegro

ZAGREB, 16 Sept 2021 - Croatian President Zoran Milanović on Thursday received his Montenegrin counterpart Milo Đukanović and after the meeting, Milanović told the press that he supported the modern, civic and open Montenegro.

Commenting on the rising political and ethnic tensions triggered off by the recent inauguration of a Serbian Orthodox Church bishop in the Montenegrin city of Cetinje, Milanović said that the Montenegrin head of state was expected to pay a reciprocal visit to Zagreb anyway, however, "the latest developments in Montenegro have accelerated it to happen." 

Đukanović's visit ensued the day after the opposition parties, led by Đukanović's Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) demanded that a transitional government should be set up which would be tasked with calling early parliamentary elections.

Those Opposition parties brand the cabinet led by Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić marionettes who promote anti-Montenegro interests.  They also describe the recent enthronement of Serb orthodox bishop Joanikije as "a Great Serbian offensive".

Milanović told the press conference in Zagreb that Đukanović's visit was an opportunity to extend support to "the modern, civic and open Montenegro".

He went on to say that Croatia's relations with Montenegro are good and commented that the relations had oscillations, however all that has been settled.

Milanović went on to say that Montenegro, Albania, and North Macedonia deserved preferential treatment on their journey towards the European Union.

My duty is to attract the attention of those in the EU who cannot see that to this fact, he added.

The Montenegrin president arrived in Zagreb on his first official visit abroad since the situation in his country has worsened with the 5 September enthronement of Joanikije in Cetinje.

Montenegrins perceive the ceremony held in the Montenegrin historical capital city as yet another attempt of Great Serbia advocates to exert their influence in Montenegro and negate the Montenegrin identity.

The current PM Krivokapić is believed to have risen to prominence during a series of protests in reaction to a law on religion in late 2019. Those protests were led by senior members of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

The original law proposed by Đukanović's DPS passed in late December 2019 — dubbed the 'Law on Religious Freedoms' — pledged to return all property granted to the Serb Orthodox Church after 1918, unless they had proof of ownership prior to that year. However, in the last elections, Krivokapić, supported by the Serbian Orthodox Church, managed to defeat Đukanović's party that was in power for 30 years.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 10 September 2021

Montenegrin President to Visit Zagreb Next Week

ZAGREB, 10 Sept 2021- Montenegrin President Milo Đukanović is coming for an official visit to Croatia next week at the invitation of his Croatian counterpart Zoran Milanović. 

Đukanović is due to arrive in Zagreb on Wednesday, 16 September and meet with Milanović, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković, Hina learned unofficially from the President's Office on Friday.

The visit comes following the inauguration of Serbian Orthodox Church Metropolitan Joanikije in the Montenegrin historical capital Cetinje earlier this month, which sparked protests by several thousand people who blocked the access roads to the city for two days. Seven police officers were injured in clashes, a dozen protesters sought medical assistance and another 14 were detained by the police.

Đukanović said that the violent inauguration was "against the will of the vast majority of the citizens of Cetinje and a considerable number of the citizens of Montenegro", condemning "the inappropriate use of force against peacefully gathered citizens."

Đukanović accused Serbia of humiliating Montenegro and pursuing the policy of territorial expansion in the region. On the other hand, Montenegrin Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić, who is close to the Serbian Orthodox Church, blamed Đukanović for initiating the protests in Cetinje.

For more on politics, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, 5 September 2021

Croatia’s Foreign Ministry Closely Following Developments in Montenegro

ZAGREB, 5 Sept, 2021 - The Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs stated on Sunday that it was closely following the developments in Montenegro, and that it condemned any form of violence.

The ministry calls for dialogue in the search of solutions to the current problems and expressed hope that the latest developments will not have repercussions for the status of ethnic Croatians in that country.

"We expect all political protagonists in Montenegro to solve all the issues facing the Montenegrin society in the European spirit and through inclusive and constructive political dialogue," the ministry said after the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) bishop Joanikije for Montenegro was inaugurated in a monastery in the Montenegrin historical capital of Cetinje despite the days of protests of thousands of Montenegrin patriots.

During the clashes of the police and demonstrators, seven police officers and a score of protesters were injured. The police detained a dozen protesters.

Croatia "condemns any form of violence and we expect all protagonists in Montenegro to contribute to the defusion of tensions and to peace and order in the country."

"We are hopeful that the current situation will not adversely affect the position of the Croat community in Montenegro," says the ministry.

It recalls that Montenegro is a neighbour of Croatia and that the two countries have developed good relations, and that both are members of NATO.

It underscores that Croatia strongly supports Montenegro's EU membership aspirations.

Montenegrin President Milo Đukanović said on Sunday afternoon that the enthronement of the SPC bishop for Montenegro in a monastery in Cetinje had been conducted with the use of force which he condemned in the strongest terms. He also accused the government of excessive force against peaceful protests.

The Embassy of the United States in Montenegro has called for the defusion of tensions. It urges protesters not to vent out their anger on law enforcement forces that were trying to preserve peace.

The embassy says on its Facebook that all who support the multi-ethnic, inclusive and democratic Montenegro should defuse the current tensions.

DP blasts Joakinije's enthronement, supports Montenegrin patriots

The Croatian oppositionparty called the Homeland Movement  (DP) on Sunday condemned the forcible enthronement of Joanikije and criticised the SPC for continuing to be a key player in attempts to destabilise Montenegro.

The DP says that the arrival of SPC Patriarch Porfirije and Joanikije by helicopter in Cetinje was an air landing operation and war-mongering act.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 6 August 2021

Croatian Minister Condemns Threats against Montenegrin Croat Minority Official

ZAGREB, 6 Aug 2021 - Croatia's Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlić Radman has condemned threats against the leader of the Croat Civic Initiative in Montenegro, Adrian Vuksanović. 

The threats against the leader of the Croat minority party were made in comments on the In4s portal, with some of the readers saying that Croats should have been killed or expelled from the former Yugoslavia and that Vuksanović would be "among the first to pay for it."

Grlić Radman condemned the threats in a conversation with Vuksanović and the leader of the Croat National Council, Zvonimir Deković, noting in a Twitter post that he had discussed the matter with his Montenegrin counterpart Đorđe Radulović and that minority protection was the focus of bilateral relations.

The threatening messages against Vuksanović were posted under a text in which he responded to Montenegrin Parliament Speaker Aleksa Bečić's comment on the 1995 Operation Storm, with which Croatia put an end to a four-year Serb armed insurgency, in which Bečić said "May Storm never happen again."

"You can rest assured that the military and police, liberating Operation Storm will never happen again because nobody will ever dare again to conquer Croatian territory, expel its residents and heartlessly shell towns across Croatia, including its capital, for four years," Vuksanović said in response to Bečić's comment as carried by In4s.

For more on politics, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

After Croatia, Montenegro Digital Nomad Visa One Step Closer to Becoming Reality

June 1, 2021 - The energy of the Croatian digital nomad visa is spreading through the region as the Montenegro digital nomad visa is in the works. 

Bankar.me reports that the Ministry of Public Administration, Digital Society, and Media has sent a public invitation to organizations, associations, and individuals to get involved in the initial phase of preparing a Program for Attracting Digital Nomads and Encouraging Foreign Investments in Montenegro until 2025.

According to the invitation published on May 27, the consultations of the interested public in the initial phase of the Program will last for 28 days from the publication date of this invitation.

The invitation states, among other things, that priorities and challenges can be proposed in the consultation process when it comes to conditions for defining the status of digital nomads and incentives for foreign investments, including other important topics that this Program may cover.

As stated in the invitation, the Ministry of Public Administration, Digital Society, and Media will update all received initiatives, proposals, suggestions, and comments should be updated and, after the consultation, a report should be prepared containing an overview of the participants in the consultation and an overview of received initiatives, proposals, suggestions, and comments. It will then be published on its website http://www.mju.gov.me/ministarstvo and portal e-administration https://www.euprava.me/ and submitted to the participants in the consultation within seven days from the expiration of the aforementioned deadline of 28 days.

"The Ministry of Public Administration, Digital Society, and Media will consider and take into account all received initiatives, proposals, suggestions, and comments during the preparation of the Program for Attracting Digital Nomads and Encouraging Foreign Investments in Montenegro until 2025," the Ministry said.

This is one of the most important steps in bringing digital nomads to Montenegro, which will be among the first countries to grant a visa to this tourist group.

A digital nomad visa is a great chance for Montenegro

Several countries have already legally regulated the issue of visas for digital nomads. Estonia became the first country in the world to officially start with digital nomad visas. Shortly afterward, other countries such as Barbados, Bermuda, Georgia, Anguilla, the Cayman Islands, Dubai, and Mauritius followed in Estonia's footsteps. The initiative was first shown by Croatia from the surrounding countries, which is most similar to Montenegro with its beaches and beautiful destinations for tourists.

One of those who realized in time that Montenegro is an ideal destination for digital nomads is Milovan Novakovic, CEO, and partner of Colliers International. Novakovic and his team have taken the initiative with the Government to approve digital nomad visas as soon as possible. The team includes Dutch entrepreneur Jan de Jong, one of the most deserving of Croatia on the list of countries that approve digital nomad visas. As they say, there will be support from Estonia, which was the first country to regulate the visa legally.

Novakovic believes that Montenegro is a very suitable destination for digital nomads and has a satisfactory infrastructure, so in that sense, it would be necessary to introduce a one-year digital nomad visa and harmonize the Law on Foreigners as well as relevant bylaws, all to create a suitable legal framework that would encourage the arrival of digital nomads in Montenegro.

At the end of last year, he launched an initiative to position Montenegro as a new popular destination for digital nomads because, as he said earlier, a digital nomad visa would be a special benefit to improve tourism and extend the season to a whole year.

"Covid-19 has accelerated this industry as well, and more and more people in the world want to do their job remotely. Research predicts that by 2035, one billion people will work "remotely." If Montenegro regulates the visa program for digital nomads, a special benefit would be improving tourism and extending the season to the whole year. Digital nomads would no longer come to Montenegro for just a couple of weeks, but for a minimum of a few months or a whole year," Novakovic said.

For all, you need to know about digital nomads in Croatia, bookmark our dedicated section.

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