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August 04, 2020.

The Government of Montenegro enacts the Strategy for Development of Maritime Economy with the relevant Action Plan

Our managing partner, Petar Djurovic, participated as a project manager in preparation of the national Strategy for Development of Maritime Economy for the period 2020-2030 with the relevant Action Plan.

Being a first formal document in recent Montenegrin history to analyze and evaluate the current status and potentials of a national maritime sector, the Strategy aims to strengthen the role of maritime economy in overall development of a country. According to the Strategy, by 2030 Montenegro will have restored its reputation of a traditionally maritime country, with a competitive maritime economy based on the principles of sustainability.

The Strategy for Development of Maritime Economy is the strategic document that guides development, sets development priorities and specific strategic and operational goals, defining at the same time the activities whose implementation can be followed through clearly defined indicators. The strategy develops long-term public policies in the field of maritime economy and it is based on the clear understanding of the current state of affairs and principles of consistency, feasibility and harmonization with other existing documents. A particular focus is on it being attractive and understandable for the public.

By developing this Strategy, Montenegro aims to strengthen the role of the maritime economy in the country’s development and to increase its competitiveness through clearly defined maritime policy and sustainable development initiatives. Therefore, Strategy for Development of Maritime Economy summarizes the potentials of Blue Economy to contribute to the Montenegrin public and private sector. It contains four key parts that cover all aspects that stand in correlation with economic, social, infrastructural and regulatory framework in Montenegro. The document reflects the long-term strategic goal of Montenegro that implies sustainable and inclusive economic growth, which will contribute to the reduction of the development gap between Montenegro and EU average and to ensuring higher quality of life to all its citizens. In that respect, the process of developing the Strategy, approached from the perspective of «Blue Economy», did not include only the basic segments of maritime economy like shipping or services in maritime transport, shipbuilding, port infrastructure, port services and human resources, but all related activities as well. To be more specific, «Blue Economy» includes all economic activities related to the sea and coast and the sectors like fisheries, nautical tourism, exploration and production of hydrocarbons, as well as the emerging industries, like biotechnology of the sea. Blue Economy implies the use of sea resources for development of economic activities in a way acceptable for the environment, i.e. the marine ecosystem. Particular attention was dedicated to the activities aimed at strengthening administrative capacities in order to create preconditions for high quality achievement of the defined strategic goals and timely adoption of the appropriate remedial measures.

When it comes to maritime law, the Strategy acknowledges that Montenegrin legislation lacks with up-to-date regulations on maritime private law and recommends accession to the relevant international conventions from the field. It also highlights the main week points of implementation of the IMO conventions into the Montenegrin legal system. However, the Strategy calls for strategic approach when it comes to undertaking to be bound by international conventions and protocols and announces acceding only to those international treaties that are considered to be in line with the national interest and with the European Union acquis.

Well organized, comprehensive and updated national legislation, educated administrative stuff and representation of maritime stakeholders in the maritime economy building process are recognized in the Strategy as a precondition for making Montenegro an internationally recognized maritime hub.

Even though considered as a policy document, the Strategy has a significant legal value and can serve as a guideline for the maritime law practitioners, providing a map of all relevant international and national maritime legislation in place.