Press conference following Cabinet session: National symbols, higher education, EU accession, cooperation with NGOs

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    Podgorica, Montenegro (2 November 2017) — At today’s session, the Montenegrin Cabinet passed the Draft Law Bill on the Selection, Use and Public Display of the National Symbols. Minister of Human and Minority Rights Mehmed Zenka told the press conference following the Cabinet session that this law allows members of minority nations and other minority national communities, or nations as collectives, the choice and use of their national symbols…

    Podgorica, Montenegro (2 November 2017) — At today’s session, the Montenegrin Cabinet passed the Draft Law Bill on the Selection, Use and Public Display of the National Symbols.

    Minister of Human and Minority Rights Mehmed Zenka told the press conference following the Cabinet session that this law allows members of minority nations and other minority national communities, or nations as collectives, the choice and use of their national symbols.

    “This law defines the choice of use and display of national symbols, both publicly and privately, and the situation is clearly defined when the use of national symbols is misused,” he explained.

    Cabinet also passed the draft Law Amending the Law on Treatment of Juveniles in Criminal Proceedings.

    Director-General of the Directorate for Justice Marijana Laković-Drasković pointed out that the draft law does not deal with the basic concept of the law on the Treatment of Juveniles in Criminal Proceedings, which is already in line with the relevant legal framework, as well as the standards of the Council of Europe, the UN, as well as the sources of the international criminal law, but with the harmonisation with the new law on the execution of the sentence of imprisonment, fines and security measures regarding the provisions on parole.

    Minister of European Affairs Aleksandar Andrija Pejović presented the Annex for the European Commission Report on Montenegro for the period 1 October 2016 – 20 October 2017.
    Minister Pejović stressed that this is a very important and long document, since this year was the first time for Montenegro to answer, in accordance with the new methodology, a whole series of new and additional questions, for the purpose of a comprehensive overview of fulfilling obligations from economic and political criteria and what touches upon the negotiations in 33 negotiating chapters.

    “Progress has been noted in both administrative capacity and legislative and strategic activities. Over 130 acts adopted in the previous period testify to the fact that this integration momentum motivates us to do even better and better,” European Affairs Minister Pejović told the press.

    At today’s session, the cabinet passed the Decision on the Establishment of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education

    Director General of the Directorate of Higher Education Mubera Kurpejović said that Montenegro will establish this body for the first time, as it was the only country in the region and beyond that had no agency as a body responsible for improving quality of higher education.

    “The agency will perform all those tasks related to external evaluation of higher education institutions and study programmes, what the Higher Education Council has done so far. It will publish accreditation certificates, re-accreditation and will conduct periodic control over the work of higher education institutions,” said the Director-General of the Directorate for Higher Education.

    Head of the National Office for Cooperation with NGOs Danka Latković spoke about the Decision on determining priority areas of public interest and the amount of funds for financing projects and programmes of non-governmental organisations in 2018,which was passed at today’s Cabinet session.

    She pointed out that the priority areas were defined at the proposal of line ministries, which is the basic conceptual change in relation to the previous model of financing, which was defined in 2011.

    Ms Latković emphasised that the Decision defined the following priority areas in 2018: social and health protection and protection of persons with disabilities, social care for children and youth, assistance to older persons, protection and promotion of human and minority rights, rule of law, development of civil society and volunteerism, European and Euro-Atlantic integration, institutional and non-institutional education, arts, agriculture and rural development, consumer protection, gender equality, anti-corruption, plant health protection, animal welfare and defence.

    PUBLIC RELATIONS SERVICE OF THE GOVERNMENT

    Source: Government of Montenegro