Berane, (MINA) – The Montenegrin Pan-European Union (MPEU) organized two days on Friday and Saturday 17-18 May 2019 in Berane a conference entitled “Building a Sustainable Future for Montenegro through Accession to the EU and UN Sustainable Development Goals”. Agenda of the Conference.
The conference was supported by the European Union (EU) through the Jean Monnet project “Through Integration Towards Sustainability in Montenegro / TISIM Project / – ERASMUS +, Jean Monnet Action” and co-financed by the Ministry of Public Administration.
The conference is being held in May, the month of Europe and marks three years since the founding of the MPEU, which is part of the International Pan-European Union, a network of European NGOs active in more than 30 countries in Europe.
At the same time, the conference is also organized in honor of marking 30 years of implementation of the EU’s Jean Monnet project, which promotes education and communication about the EU in more than 80 countries around the world, including Montenegro.
In the process of European integration, it is possible to achieve two-thirds of the UN sustainable development goals, it was assessed at the conference of the Montenegrin Pan-European Union (MPEU) and pointed to the necessity of fostering cooperation between institutions and good policy coordination, especially at the local level.
President of the MPEU, prof. Gordana Djurovic emphasized the importance of projects that connect issues of European integration and sustainable development, especially at the local level, which emphasizes the connection between the two processes.
Gordana Đurović https://youtu.be/o2AOCzkQRUQ
She said that the sustainable development goals of the UN are realized at the same time through the accession process, and reminded that Montenegro was one of the first countries to commit itself on achieving SDGs through Strategy, to strive to achieve and measure them.
Bojan Vujovic, representative of the Office for European Integration, noted that during seven years of negotiations, Montenegro made significant progress on the path of European integration, and pointed out that Montenegro, compared to the countries from the previous enlargement cycle, received a slower process.
Bojan Vujović https://youtu.be/rIJVj1HeijY
He said that about 65 percent, or two-thirds of the measures that are related to the negotiation process are consistent with the sustainable development goals of the UN Agenda 2020-2030.
Councilor in the Cabinet of the Mayor of the Municipality of Berane, Darko Stojanovic, said that the Municipality is a partner of the MPEU, with whom the Memorandum of Cooperation has been signed, as well as with all non-governmental organizations dealing with the issues of European integration and sustainable development in Berane.
Darko Stojanović https://youtu.be/rqZtTzUjC58
He agrees that the European path has no alternative and that Montenegrin society can only see the prospect in the framework of the adoption of European standards and democratic principles.
UNDP representative in Montenegro, Miodrag Dragisic, said that UNDP through its program activities promotes the achievement of sustainable development goals adopted by the UN in September 2015.
Miodrag Dragišić https://youtu.be/4tUQlNOPC9o
Dragisic stated that Montenegro has adopted a National Strategy for Sustainable Development which has provided a framework in which direction the state is moving and what are sustainable development goals achievement in the Montenegrin context, adding that the most important result of achieving these goals is whether people are healthy, live a quality life and can be properly educated.
Ana Gojkovic from the Ministry of Public Administration said that this department was the first to public invitations to NGOs to co-finance projects supported by EU funds, enabled the full implementation of NGO law in this important segment, especially when it comes to projects related to the promotion of the European integration process and issues of sustainable development.
Ana Gojković https://youtu.be/4hyyQ4sBGyo
Sreten Lutovac, director of the Berane gymnasium “Panto Malisic”, said that their institution was in the group of the first high schools in Montenegro that introduced the subject of European integration into their program and that there is great interest among students for all activities related to integration, but also for Sustainable Development.
Sreten Lutovac https://youtu.be/h0Ya5IwtBNA
As he pointed out, pupils of the Berne gymnasium also achieved very good results in the competitions related to the topic of the European integration process of Montenegro. Lutovac said that the contents of the UN Agenda 2030 and the EU Agenda 2025, which deal with inclusive education, lifelong learning, gender equality, can be implemented in the teaching process, and especially through extracurricular activities.
The second day of the conference was dedicated to the topic “Measuring Sustainability: National Strategy for Sustainable Development of Montenegro by 2030 and the EU agenda for the accession of the CG to the Union by 2025”, where representatives were: Marija Tripunović from the Office for European Integration, Natasa Vojinović from Statistical office , Ivana Stojanović from the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism and Gordana Despotović Đekić from the General Secretariat of the Government.
Marija Tripunovic said that there is evident synergy between the process of EU accession and the achievement of the UN Agenda 2030 and its 17 goals of sustainable development. She stated that negotiating chapters that have the greatest impact on the achievement of the UN goals of sustainable development are chapters 27 – Environment and Climate Change, 23 – Judiciary and Fundamental Rights and 19 – Social Policy and Employment. Tripunović pointed out that it is very important to harmonize strategic documents at the level of the Government, as well as adequate implementation at the local level with the provision of the budget and monitoring progress in the implementation of both Agenda.
Ms. Vojinović pointed out that the Statistics Office with other relevant institutions, primarily the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, is a partner in this process. She said that the National Sustainable Development Strategy was the first in the world that was adopted in 2016, based on the Agenda 2030. According to the NSSD, the Statistical Office has the capacity to monitor, in whole or in part, until the year 2024 the 51 indicators. The Statistical office has high-quality personnel and IT technology for collecting, processing and analyzing statistical data, and to provide a high level of reliability and quality of data for continuous monitoring of processes in the context of European integration in a complementarity with the UN Agenda.
Gordana Despotovic Djekic said that Montenegro’s accession to the European Union is a process that requires many years of work to carry out substantial reforms that will prepare the state and society for future membership and bring us closer to the European quality of life. In addition to the adoption and application of European regulations and standards and the gradual takeover of obligations and responsibilities arising from membership, successful implementation of European integration implies full awareness of the citizens of Montenegro, their active participation and support to the process. Over the past decade and a half, four strategic documents have been adopted to inform the public about the European integration process of Montenegro. According to the conducted public opinion survey, citizens consider themselves relatively informed and have room for improvement and we have to work on it. We must pay particular attention to the high expectations and duration of the negotiations, as this can affect fatigue and lead to a fall in support. Ms. Despotović Đekić presented her impressions from many events for young people organized in order to improve the awareness and involvement of young people as a key target group in the process of integration of Montenegro with the European Union.
Ivana Stojanović presented the role of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism in the process of implementation of the National Sustainable Development Strategy, as well as in the process of European integration, especially in chapter 27- the environment.
After the presentation, workshop was organized with students of the high school “Panto Mališić”, dedicated to calculating the ecological footprint, followed by a discussion on the importance of preserving limited development resources.
At the end of the Conference, a set of conclusions and recommendations were adopted, through which it supports better communication and strengthening of joint efforts in the process of achieving Montenegrin unique development and integration goals, in order to promote a greener and humane development of Montenegro on the path to full EU membership.
It was concluded that the UN Agenda 2030 and the EU Agenda 2025 are closely interlinked and contribute to the achievement of individual or common goals.
Participants of the conference assessed that it was necessary to further stimulate the cooperation of institutions and good policy coordination, both at the state and local level, in cooperation with international development partners, but also in cooperation with the civil sector – in order for both Montenegro’s agenda, development and integration, to achieve as soon as possible and completely.
It is necessary to focus further on both agendas, especially to make efforts to implement them at the local level, while providing the necessary budget for the planned actions. This implies an integral approach to the financing of sustainable development objectives.
Additional efforts, as concluded by the participants, must also be invested in the process of developing sustainable development indicators, which are not only indicators of achieving the UN’s goals of sustainable development, but also the achievement of EU standards in the fields of common European policies.
“The above indicators will enable Montenegro to prepare appropriate reports on reforms implemented within the UN and EU agenda, and to be recognized in numerous reports by international organizations,” concluded the participants.