HOME    |    THE MEDIUM    |    INTERCOM    |    CONTACT US
  REPORT - MONTENEGRO
 

ASSOCIATED WITH SERBIA IN A STATE UNION WHICH ALLOWS BOTH COUNTRIES A LARGE DEGREE OF AUTONOMY, MONTENEGRO WILL DECIDE ON COMPLETE INDEPENDENCE BY REFERENDUM ON MAY 21. IT HAS ALREADY ADOPTED THE EURO AND AIMS AT BEING PART OF THE E.U.
Seeking an independent future in Europe

The breathtaking natural beauty of the Durmitor Mountain massif. With its glacial lakes and the historic city of Zabljac, the highest city in the Balkan region, it has been a listed UNESCO site since 1980. Europe’s deepest gorge and last virgin forests are located within the park.

Improved macroeconomic stability, inflationary regulation, increased foreign direct investment and an ongoing series of successful privatizations are just a few of the tangible results from Montenegro’s drive to take control of its political, economic and social welfare. Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic affirms a long-held and widely shared commitment to realizing Montenegro as an independent European nation succinctly: “We want to be in charge of our future.” The parliament of Montenegro unanimously agreed to open the issue to the people and so Montenegrins will decide in a referendum on May 21 if they want to cut official ties with Serbia and gain total independence.

The former Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia, which also included Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia, fell apart under Serbian nationalist leader Slobodan Milosevic during the 1990s. The secession of Slovenia and Macedonia came relatively peacefully but there were devastating wars in Croatia and Bosnia. Commenting on this period, Mr. Djukanovic says, “The greatest achievement of Montenegro, its citizens and state politics, is that it preserved peace. It remained the only territory where war was not waged.” Serbia and Montenegro formed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia until 2002 when the current state union was voted in and the possibility of a referendum on independence was postponed for three years to continue cooperation between the two countries when Yugoslavia formally ended.

MILO DJUKANOVIC
BRANIMIR GVOZDENOVIC
MILO DJUKANOVIC
Prime Minister
BRANIMIR GVOZDENOVIC
Deputy Prime Minister

“Montenegro is 15 to 18 times smaller than Serbia, and an equitable union in the form of a two-state federation is not realistic,” says the prime minister. “We believe the best solution is for Serbia to manage their road to Europe and that we manage ours.”

Montenegro has already adopted the euro as its currency while its neighbor continues with the dinar, and in 2004 it established three new official symbols of identity: a new flag, a national anthem, “Oh the Bright Dawn of May,” and national day on July 13, marking the date in 1878 when the Berlin Congress recognized Montenegro as the 27th independent world state.

The leadership of the long-serving prime minister, an enviable history of inter-ethnic stability, and a burgeoning political and economic climate are harmonizing efforts for EU membership. Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Policy and Development Branimir Gvozdenovic says, “We are intensively working on acceptance of all European standards. In the last year we adopted some 120 EU-compliant laws and regulations. We established a Ministry for European integration and first on the agenda at government meetings is the European integration implications. It is a sign of our determination.”

In the capital Podgorica, Mayor Miomir Mugosa remarks on the progress accomplished in the city. “We have constructed three bridges, the airport of Podgorica is being renovated and new free-zone and marina facilities are being planned. The city is a political, cultural and financial crossroads. We have solid relations with our neighbors, but we do have a restrictively strong brotherly hug from Serbia. We want to welcome people and to exploit our advantages.”

Mr. Gvozdenovic adds, “We have highly favorable conditions for foreign capital. There are no true barriers for foreign investments in Montenegro except the lack of information about the country.”