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Government passes 2019 Programme of Action: Key commitment creates conditions for growth of living standards of citizens

Government passes 2019 Programme of Action: Key commitment creates conditions for growth of living standards of citizens
Published date: 31.01.2019 18:40 | Author: PR Service

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PR ServicePodgorica, Montenegro (31 January 2019) -- The key commitment of the Government of Montenegro in 2019 is to create conditions for the growth of citizens' living standards, deputy prime ministers, Milutin Simović and Zoran Pažin, told a press conference following 107th Cabinet session.

DPM Simović noted that the Government defined four priority goals for this year:

1. Continuation of the dynamic European integration process
2. Continuation of strong economic growth
3. Combating the grey economy
4. Improving public services.

DPM Pažin said that, when it comes to the Government's priority - the process of accession to the European Union, it has set out concrete and measurable objectives.

"This year we expect to fulfill the conditions for opening the last negotiating chapters, getting clear guidelines from European partners for finally closing negotiations in key chapters dedicated to the rule of law, and gradually closing negotiation chapters," he underlined.

Speaking about the continuation of strong economic growth, Deputy Prime Minister Simović said that expectations are based on very successful two previous years. He added that the Government's ambition is to continue with strong economic growth rates in order to achieve the final goal as quickly as possible - high quality of life for citizens. He stressed that this goal is based on the achieved macroeconomic stability of the State, preservation of the stability of the financial sector, the carrying out of major infrastructure projects, sustainable resource valorisation and implementation of the Development Programme for Acquisition of Montenegrin Citizenship by Admission for Investment Purposes.

With regard to suppressing the grey economy, as the third priority of the Government, the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Policy and Financial System announced the launch of comprehensive activities against the informal economy in all its forms, full coordination of all relevant institutions and additional cooperation with stakeholders, especially with social partners. "We think that this should be a common platform," said DPM Simović.

As a result of the real achievement of these goals,he added, the Government expects the continuation of ceating new and improving quality of existing jobs, increasing the living standards of citizens through clear and measurable indicators: minimal wage, further regularity of pensions and their alignment, and reviewing reducong tax rates, which increases the competitiveness of our economy and opens up space for job creation.

PR ServiceDeputy prime ministers, Milutin Simović and Zoran Pažin, emphasised the importance of improving public services to citizens, for which four million euros have already been provided by the European Commission, and after meeting the criteria, another eight million are expected. In parallel, the Government is negotiating with the World Bank on support amounting to  EUR 15 million.

Deputy Prime Minister Pažin announced further efforts of the Government towards making the citizens feel the effects of the reforms. "That is also an indicator of our overall success. The basic task is to adjust the public administration to the needs of citizens and the economy," the Deputy Prime Minister told the press.

Presenting a set of activities aimed at strengthening security of the country and the safety of citizens as a prerequisite for the overall development of Montenegro, DPM Pažin also spoke about what the Government is planning to do this year in terms of protecting human and minority rights, and presented the most important draft laws that will be passed in the current year.

He said that, in the first quarter, the Government is planning to pass draft laws on media and on the national broadcaster RTCG. "Both draft laws were developed by a working group comprised of representatives of the media, academic community, civil sector and the state institutions. We have received comments from experts of the Council of Europe and the OSCE. Draft media laws are currently subjects of public debates. After we have once again interviewed the interested public and reviewed the suggestions from the public debate, the drafts laws will be sent for another expert reading and submitted to the European Commission for an opinion," said Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Pažin.

PR ServiceIn the second quarter, he noted, the Government is planning to pass the Draft Law on Freedom of Religion. "In that regard, the Government has tasked the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights to develop a draft law that will regulate relations between the State and religious communities in Montenegro in a way that guarantees full freedom of religion in line with European standards."

In the third quarter, the Draft Law on Internal Affairs is planned to be passed. "This will create normative conditions for continuing the reform of the Police Authority, police treatment in line with European standards, as well as issues of internal organisation and strengthening of personnel capacities."

In the fourth quarter, the  Government is planning to pass the DraftLaw on Alternative Dispute Resolution. This law, DPM Pažin stated, will provide citizens and businesses with a much faster and cheaper way of resolving disputes, beyond lengthy court procedures. "By passing this law, citizens will get a better access to justice, and the business community will get a more reliable support for creating new values in society," Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Pažin concluded.

The Government will be monitoring 25 priority development projects and 226 obligations from thematic and  normative parts.