Chairperson of the Committee on International Relations and Emigrants Mr Andrija Nikolić and Committee members: Mr Luigj Shkrela, Mr Dragutin Papović, and Mr Ervin Ibrahimović attended the ceremonious part of constitutive meeting of the Council for Cooperation with Diaspora - Emigrants.
Within the ceremonious part, the attendees were addressed by the Prime Minister Mr Duško Marković, Chairperson of the Committee on International Relations and Emigrants Mr Andrija Nikolić, and acting Director of the Diaspora Administration Mr Predrag Mitrović.
The Council for Cooperation with Diaspora - Emigrants, formed in 2016 for the first time, is an advisory body of the Government of Montenegro tasked to participate in designing and creating policy for cooperation with the diaspora - emigrants. This body has 94 members and consists of representatives of the diaspora - emigrants, representatives of state and local bodies and institutions and prominent persons.
On behalf of the Committee on International Relations and Emigrants, MPs Mr Luigj Shkrela and Mr Ervin Ibrahimović are members of the Council for Cooperation with Diaspora - Emigrants.
Address by Chairperson of the Committee on International Relations and Emigrants Mr Andrija Nikolić:
„Distinguished Prime Minister Marković,
Honourable former President Vujanović,
Esteemed Director of the Diaspora Administration Mr Mitrović,
Distinguished members of the Council for Cooperation with Diaspora - Emigrants,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to have the opportunity to address you today, and, on behalf of the Committee on International Relations and Emigrants of the Parliament of Montenegro, to congratulate the new convocation of the Council for Cooperation with Diaspora - Emigrants on their being elected and to wish them successful work.
Diaspora is Montenegro's most vital connection to the world. Everything that happens with emigrants concerns ourselves and vice versa. It is a natural need, but also an obligation, for the home country to preserve the identity, culture, language and customs of people originally from Montenegro. That is why a restored, internationally recognised Montenegro has turned to reflecting on policies via which it wants to refresh and strengthen its ties with diaspora.
Consisting of prominent representatives of diaspora, Montenegrin state institutions and local self-government, the Council for Cooperation with Diaspora - Emigrants has a good starting point to impose itself as a forum in which new ideas will be born, while also all important topics of significance for Montenegro and our diaspora will be opened.
On this occasion, I would like to express the openness of the Parliament of Montenegro to all initiatives and suggestions aimed at improving the position of our diaspora. Through the mechanism of parliamentary diplomacy, the Committee on International Relations and Emigrants, in addition to participating in the creation of legal solutions regulating the cooperation between Montenegro and its emigrants, has the option to raise certain issues that are important for the achievement of our diaspora’s interests in the relevant countries. The dedication and seriousness of the state's commitment to diaspora must also be accompanied by adequate professional and financial support for the topic. In this regard, I would like remind you that the initiative of the Committee on International Relations and Emigrants to increase the allocation of budgetary resources for the implementation of the policy on emigration has reached a full understanding of the Government of Montenegro, therefore this year's budget of the Diaspora Administration has been significantly increased.
The restored independence is the most beautiful joint story of Montenegro and our diaspora. We are proud that the crucial contribution to this project was made by minorities. Diaspora thus demonstrated that it trusted its multi-ethnic state house, and obliged us to treat this trust with care and responsibility. Let me also thank you for all these years proving that our people are hardworking, persistent, and successful. We highly appreciate your love for your country of origin, but also a responsible attitude towards the countries in which you live and pursue your personal, family and professional ambitions.
Dear members of the Council for Cooperation with Diaspora - Emigrants,
In spite of the wide-spread membership and the not-so-frequent gatherings of the body which you have formed, let us try to use the new technologies that are available to all of us, establish intensive communication, and achieve a greater level of networking. Let us come up with new ideas, solutions, and joint projects.
In that name, I wish you a successful and fruitful term.”