According to itypeusa, Montenegro has been an independent Western Balkan country since 2006. Its young history is closely linked to that of neighboring Serbia. At first, throughout the nineties, the country was a federated republic within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, then, in 2003, as a result of the Belgrade agreement, supported by the European Union – which guaranteed Montenegro greater autonomy – joined the Union of Serbia and Montenegro. The semi-independence lasted for a short period, since in May 2006 a referendum, limited to Montenegro alone, sanctioned its complete independence from Serbia. However, the necessary threshold of 55% of the votes in favor was exceeded to a certain extent. Montenegro, however, became the second country in the Balkans to have achieved independence in a peaceful way, after Macedonia in 1991. Independence attributed to Montenegro the competences in the defense and foreign policy sectors, but already since 1992, within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the small republic had acquired ever wider prerogatives until it was able to have an autonomous economic policy and a different currency from that used in the Serbian region. The current institutional system of Montenegro, a parliamentary republic with a single-chamber structure, is similar to that of the region before independence. The assembly of Montenegro (Skupština) consists of 81 deputies elected every four years. The last parliamentary elections of October 2012 were won by the Coalition for a European Montenegro, alliance of liberal parties led by the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) of Prime Minister Milo Đukanović. The current prime minister has been the undisputed protagonist of the country’s political life for over twenty years: as prime minister in the periods 1991-98, 2002-06 and 2008-10 and as president of the Republic between 1998 and 2002. However, 2013 represented the most difficult year for the prime minister due to some political scandals which involved important party leaders, partly undermining the image of the prime minister himself. Nonetheless, the DPS and Đukanović achieved an important electoral result in local consultations in May 2014, achieving an absolute majority in almost all Montenegrin municipalities, with the exception of the capital Pogdorica. A result that reinforced Đukanović’s internal political stability. The Montenegrin leader had been an ally of the Serbian president Slobodan Milošević, but he progressively distanced himself from his repressive policies until he became, in the second half of the nineties, the recognized protagonist of national independence. The oppositions have always favored closer and more friendly ties with Serbia and today they are pushing for reunification, instead discouraging the country’s entry into NATO judged an enemy since the bombing of the Federation’s territory in 1999, during the Kosovo war. On the contrary, the government is a staunch supporter of the pro-European and Atlanticist causes, so much so that it is carrying out negotiations for membership of both international organizations.
Membership of the European Union continues to represent one of the two pillars of Montenegrin foreign policy. After obtaining the status as an official candidate for entry into the EU, accession negotiations began in June 2012, although the timing for effective entry into the EU area remains uncertain. Despite the opening of three new negotiating capitals, the reservations reiterated by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Enlargement (DG Elarg) in its Progress Report weigh on the country’s prospects: the level of corruption and fragility of the rule of law suggest a possible entry of Pogdorica into the EU not before 2020. As for the second pillar, NATO, in December 2009 Montenegro was granted access to the Membership Action Plan of the Atlantic Alliance, but there is uncertainty about the timing of entry. The governing majority is strongly oriented towards full inclusion in the Euro-Atlantic defensive system,
Serbia deserves a separate discussion. Following independence, relations with Belgrade were initially strained, mainly due to the Montenegrin recognition of Kosovo as an independent state in late 2008. However, in November 2010 the then Serbian president Boris Tadić visited Montenegro and, in a ‘ a relaxed perspective, he underlined his support for the country’s entry into the EU.
Dictionary of History
Montenegro State of the Balkan Peninsula with Podgorica as its capital. Conquered by the Ottoman Turks (end of the 15th century), the Montenegro remained almost isolated for about two centuries. From the 1700s onwards it was ruled by a kind of hereditary theocratic monarchy, and then forged ever closer ties with Russia during the 18th century. Independent kingdom since 1878, due to the princely marriages of the daughters of Nicholas I (one of them, Elena, married Vittorio Emanuele then king of Italy) Montenegro acquired a certain international importance. The Austrophile attitude of Nicholas I during the First World War led to the fall of the dynasty and in 1918, having lost independence, Montenegro became part of the kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (from the 1929 kingdom of Yugoslavia). During the Second World War an ephemeral Montenegrin state was established, vassal of the Axis powers and theater since 1941 of a strong partisan resistance. After the end of the conflict, Montenegro became a republic of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and re-established close ties with Serbia. After the explosion of the Yugoslav crisis in 1991, Montenegro was the only one among the federated republics that remained united with Serbia, with which it gave birth in 1992 to a small Yugoslavia (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia). Despite having renounced to proclaim itself an independent and sovereign republic, Montenegro has repeatedly distanced itself from Serbia and expressed intentions to withdraw from the federation, which have clashed with the opposition of Serbia (M. is the only outlet to the sea). Montenegro has also taken autonomous decisions, such as that of considering the German mark current currency, or hostile to Serbia, like the recurring pro-Albanian stances. In March 2002 Montenegro and Serbia signed an agreement to create a new federation that would satisfy some of the Montenegrin demands and in 2003 the Confederation of Serbia and Montenegro was formed. In 2006 a referendum sanctioned the independence of Montenegro and the separation from Serbia.