Montenegro

Introduction The use of the name Montenegro began in the 15th century when the Crnojevic dynasty began to rule the Serbian principality of Zeta; over subsequent centuries Montenegro was able to maintain its independence from the Ottoman Empire. From the 16th to 19th centuries, Montenegro became a theocracy ruled by a series of bishop princes; in 1852, it was transformed into a secular principality. After World War I, Montenegro was absorbed by the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, which became the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929; at the conclusion of World War II, it became a constituent republic of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. When the latter dissolved in 1992, Montenegro federated with Serbia, first as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and, after 2003, in a looser union of Serbia and Montenegro. In May 2006, Montenegro invoked its right under the Constitutional Charter of Serbia and Montenegro to hold a referendum on independence from the state union. The vote for severing ties with Serbia exceeded 55% - the threshold set by the EU - allowing Montenegro to formally declare its independence on 3 June 2006.
History

The first recorded settlers of present-day Montenegro were Illyrians, the Docleata. In 9 AD the Romans conquered the region of present-day Montenegro. Slavs massively colonized the area in the 5th and 6th centuries, forming a semi-independent principality, Doclea, that was involved in Balkan medieval politics with ties to Rascia and Byzantium and to a lesser extent Bulgaria, becoming a monarchy in 1077. By the end of the 12th century, fully incorporated into a unified Serbian realm, the Serbian land, then called Zeta, was governed by Nemanjics. After the Serbian Empire collapsed in the second half of the 14th century, another family came to prominence by expanding their power in the region, the Balšićs. In 1421 it was annexed to the Serbian Despotate, but after 1455 another Serbian noble family, the Crnojevićs, ruled the Principality of Montenegro that until the end of the 15th century became the last free monarchy of the Balkans, finally falling to the Ottomans in 1499, who annexed it to the sanjak of Skadar. For a short time Montenegro existed as a separate autonomous sanjak in 1514&ndahsh;1528, another version of which existed again some time between 1597 and 1614.

In the 16th century Montenegro developed a form of special and unique autonomy within the Ottoman Empire; the local Serb clans were free of many bonds. Nevertheless the Montenegrins refused to accept Ottoman reign and in the 17th century raised numerous rebellions, culminating with the Ottoman defeat in the Great Turkish War at the end of that century. Montenegro became a theocracy led by the Serbian Orthodox Metropolitans, flourishing since the Petrović-Njegoš became the traditional Prince-Bishops. The Venetian Republic introduced governors that meddled in Montenegrin politics; when the republic was succeeded by the Austrian Empire in 1797, the governors were abolished by Prince-Bishop Petar II in 1832. His predecessor Petar I contributed to the unification of Montenegro with Serb clans of the highlands.

Kingdom of Montenegro

Under Nicholas I, the Principality of Montenegro vastly advanced and enlarged several times in the Serbo-Turkish Wars and achieved recognition of independence in 1878. Modernization of the state followed, culminating with the draft of a Constitution in 1905. Political rifts for the first time emerged between the reigning People's Party that supported democratization of the ruler's autocratic regime and unconditional union with Serbia and the minor pro-monarch True People's Party. In 1910 Montenegro became a Kingdom. It initiated the Balkan wars in 1912 and 1913 in which the Ottomans lost all lands in the Balkans, achieving a common border with Serbia, but the Skadar was awarded to a newly created Albania. In World War I in 1914 Montenegro sided with Serbia against the Central Powers, suffering a full scale defeat to Austria-Hungary in early 1916. In 1918 the Serbian Army liberated Montenegro, which elected a union with the Kingdom of Serbia.

In 1922 Montenegro formally became the Zeta Area of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and in 1929 it became a part of a larger Zeta Banate of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In World War II Yugoslavia was invaded by the Axis forces in 1941, who established a fascist puppet Independent State of Montenegro, liberated by the Yugoslav Partisans in 1944. Montenegro became a constituent republic of the communist Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), its capital renamed to Titograd in honor of Partisan leader and SFRY president Josip "Tito" Broz. More and more autonomy was established, until the Socialist Republic of Montenegro ratified a new constitution 1974 (however, this RFM remained a constituent republic of the SFRY).

After the dissolution of the SFRY in 1992, Montenegro remained part of a smaller Federal Republic of Yugoslavia along with Serbia.

In the referendum on remaining in Yugoslavia in 1992, 95.96% of the votes were cast for remaining in the federation with Serbia, although the turnout was at 66% because of a boycott by the Muslim, Albanian and Catholic minorities as well as the pro-independence Montenegrins. The opposition claimed that the poll was organised under anti-democratic conditions, during wartime in the former Yugoslavia, with widespread propaganda from the state-controlled media in favour of a pro-federation vote. There is no impartial report on the fairness of the referendum, as the 1992 referendum was totally unmonitored, unlike the 2006 vote, which has been closely monitored by the European Union.

During the 1991–1995 Bosnian War and Croatian War, Montenegro participated with its police and paramilitary forces in the attacks on Dubrovnik and Bosnian towns along with Serbian troops. It conducted persecutions against Bosnian refugees who were arrested by Montenegrin police and transported to Serb camps in Foča, where they were executed.

In 1996, Milo Đukanović's de facto government severed ties between Montenegro and Serbia, which was then still under Milošević. Montenegro formed its own economic policy and adopted the German Deutsche Mark as its currency. It has since adopted the Euro, though it is not formally part of the Eurozone currency union. Subsequent governments of Montenegro carried out pro-independence policies, originally restored by the Liberal Alliance of Montenegro, and political tensions with Serbia simmered despite the political changes in Belgrade. Despite its pro-independence leanings, targets in Montenegro were repeatedly bombed by NATO forces during Operation Allied Force in 1999.[9]

In 2002, Serbia and Montenegro came to a new agreement regarding continued cooperation and entered into negotiations regarding the future status of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In 2003, the Yugoslav federation was replaced in favor of a looser state union named Serbia and Montenegro and a possible referendum on Montenegrin independence was postponed for a minimum of three years.

21st century independence

The status of the union between Montenegro and Serbia was decided by the referendum on Montenegrin independence on May 21, 2006. A total of 419,240 votes were cast, representing 86.5% of the total electorate. 230,661 votes or 55.5% were for independence and 185,002 votes or 44.5% were against.[10] The 45,659 difference narrowly surpassed the 55% threshold needed to validate the referendum under the rules set by the European Union. According to the electoral commission, the 55% threshold was passed by only 2,300 votes. Serbia, the member-states of the European Union, and the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council have all recognized Montenegro's independence; by doing so they removed all remaining obstacles from Montenegro's path towards becoming the world's newest sovereign state.

The 2006 referendum was monitored by five international observer missions, headed by an OSCE/ODIHR monitoring team, and around 3,000 observers in total (including domestic observers from CEMI, CEDEM and other organizations). The OSCE/ODIHR ROM[clarify] joined efforts with the observers of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA), the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (CLRAE) and the European Parliament (EP) to form an International Referendum Observation Mission (IROM). The IROM—in its preliminary report—"assessed compliance of the referendum process with OSCE commitments, Council of Europe commitments, other international standards for democratic electoral processes, and domestic legislation." Furthermore, the report assessed that the competitive pre-referendum environment was marked by an active and generally peaceful campaign and that "there were no reports of restrictions on fundamental civil and political rights."

On June 3, 2006, the Parliament of Montenegro declared the independence of Montenegro, formally confirming the result of the referendum on independence. Serbia did not obstruct the ruling, confirming its own independence and declaring the Union of Serbia and Montenegro ended shortly thereafter.

On September 6, 2007 an advisor of the Prime Minister of Serbia called Montenegro a 'quasi-state'. Montenegro gave a protest list to the Serbian Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia, Božidar Đelić, has apologised for this.

Geography Location: Southeastern Europe, between the Adriatic Sea and Serbia
Geographic coordinates: 42 30 N, 19 18 E
Map references: Europe
Area: total: 14,026 sq km
land: 13,812 sq km
water: 214 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Connecticut
Land boundaries: total: 625 km
border countries: Albania 172 km, Bosnia and Herzegovina 225 km, Croatia 25 km, Kosovo 79 km, Serbia 124 km
Coastline: 293.5 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: defined by treaty
Climate: Mediterranean climate, hot dry summers and autumns and relatively cold winters with heavy snowfalls inland
Terrain: highly indented coastline with narrow coastal plain backed by rugged high limestone mountains and plateaus
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Adriatic Sea 0 m
highest point: Bobotov Kuk 2,522 m
Natural resources: bauxite, hydroelectricity
Land use: arable land: 13.7%
permanent crops: 1%
other: 85.3%
Irrigated land: NA
Natural hazards: destructive earthquakes
Environment - current issues: pollution of coastal waters from sewage outlets, especially in tourist-related areas such as Kotor
Environment - international agreements: party to: Climate Change, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ship Pollution
Geography - note: strategic location along the Adriatic coast
Politics

Montenegro is defined as a "Civic, democratic, ecological and state of social justice, based on the reign of Law". It is an independent and sovereign Republic. It proclaimed its new Constitution on 22 October 2007.

Government

The current Government of the Republic of Montenegro (Vlada Republike Crne Gore) is composed of the prime minister, the deputy prime ministers as well as ministers. Milo Đukanović is the Prime Minister of Montenegro and head of the Government. The ruling party in Montenegro ever since multiparliamentarism is the controversial centre-left Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro (DPS) (Demokratska Partija Socijalista Crna Gore), in coalition with the much smaller center-right Social Democratic Party of Montenegro (SDP) (Socijaldemokratska Partija Crne Gore).

President

The President of Montenegro is elected for a period of five years through direct elections. According to the constitution, the President will represent the republic in the country and abroad, promulgate laws by ordinance, call elections for the Parliament, propose candidates for the Prime Minister, president and justices of the Constitutional Court to the Parliament, propose to the Parliament calling of a referendum, grant amnesty for criminal offences prescribed by the national law, confer decoration and awards, and perform all other duties in accordance with the Constitution. The President shall also be a member of the Supreme Defence Council.

Parliament

The Montenegrin Parliament (Skupština Republike Crne Gore) passes all laws in Montenegro, ratifies international treaties, appoints the Prime Minister, ministers, and justices of all courts, adopts the budget and performs other duties as established by the Constitution. The Parliament can pass a vote of no-confidence on the Government by a majority of the members. One representative is elected per 6,000 voters, which in turn results in a reduction of total number of representatives in the Parliament of Montenegro. The current president of the Parliament is Ranko Krivokapić.

The present Parliament convening 81 seats instead of previous number of 75 (parliamentary elections were on 10 September 2006 and were the first after the proclamation of independence. The constituent Parliament session took place on 2 October 2006).

People Population: 678,177 (July 2008 est.)
Population growth rate: -0.925% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 11.17 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 8.51 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Major infectious diseases: degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A
vectorborne disease: Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever (2008)
Nationality: noun: Montenegrin(s)
adjective: Montenegrin
Ethnic groups: Montenegrin 43%, Serbian 32%, Bosniak 8%, Albanian 5%, other (Muslims, Croats, Roma (Gypsy)) 12%
Religions: Orthodox, Muslim, Roman Catholic
Languages: Montenegrin (official), Serbian, Bosnian, Albanian, Croatian
Government Country name: conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Montenegro
local long form: none
local short form: Crna Gora
former: People's Republic of Montenegro, Socialist Republic of Montenegro, Republic of Montenegro
Government type: republic
Capital: name: Podgorica
geographic coordinates: 42 26 N, 19 16 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1 hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions: 21 municipalities (opstine, singular - opstina); Andrijevica, Bar, Berana, Bijelo Polje, Budva, Cetinje, Danilovgrad, Herceg Novi, Kolasin, Kotor, Mojkovac, Niksic, Plav, Pljevlja, Pluzine, Podgorica, Rozaje, Savnik, Tivat, Ulcinj, Zabljak
Independence: 3 June 2006 (from Serbia and Montenegro)
National holiday: National Day, 13 July (1878)
Constitution: 19 October 2007 (was approved by the Assembly)
Legal system: based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Filip VUJANOVIC (since 11 May 2003)
head of government: Prime Minister Milo DJUKANOVIC (since 29 February 2008)
cabinet: Ministries act as cabinet
elections: president elected by direct vote for five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 6 April 2008 (next to be held in 2013); prime minister proposed by president, accepted by Assembly
election results: Filip VUJANOVIC reelected president; Filip VUJANOVIC 51.89%, Andrija MANDIC 19.55%, Nebojsa MEDOJEVIC 16.64%, Srdan MILIC 11.92%
Legislative branch: unicameral Assembly (81 seats; members elected by direct vote for four-year terms; changed from 74 seats in 2006)
elections: last held 10 September 2006 (next to be held 2010)
election results: percent of vote by party - Coalition for European Montenegro 47.7%, Serbian List 14.4%, Coalition SNP-NS-DSS 13.8%, PZP 12.9%, Liberals and Bosniaks 3.7%, other (including Albanian minority parties) 7.5%; seats by party - Coalition for European Montenegro 41, Serbian List 12, Coalition SNP/NS/DSS 11, PZP 11, Liberals and Bosniaks 3, Albanian minority parties 3
Judicial branch: Constitutional Court (five judges with nine-year terms); Supreme Court (judges have life tenure)
Political parties and leaders: Albanian Alternative or AA [Vesel SINISHTAJ]; Coalition for European Montenegro or DPS-SDP (bloc) [Milo DJUKANOVIC] (includes Democratic Party of Socialists or DPS [Milo DJUKANOVIC] and Social Democratic Party of SDP [Ranko KRIVOKAPIC]); Coalition SNP-NS-DSS (bloc) (includes Socialist People's Party or SNP [Srdjan MILIC], People's Party of Montenegro or NS [Predrag POPOVIC], and Democratic Serbian Party of Montenegro or DSS [Ranko KADIC]); Democratic League-Party of Democratic Prosperity or SPP [Mehmet BARHDI]; Democratic Union of Albanians or DUA [Ferhat DINOSA]; Liberals and the Bosniak Party (bloc) [Miodrag ZIVKOVIC] (includes Liberal Party of Montenegro or LP [Miodrag ZIVKOVIC] and Bosniak Party or BS [Rafet HUSOVIC]); Movement for Changes or PZP [Nebojsa MEDOJEVIC]; Serbian List (bloc) [Andrija MANDIC] (includes Party of Serb Radicals or SSR [Dusko SEKULIC], People's Socialist Party or NSS [Emilo LABUDOVIC], and Serbian People's Party of Montenegro or SNS [Andrija MANDIC])
International organization participation: CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD, FAO, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC, MIGA, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Miodrag VLAHOVIC
chancery: 1610 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 234-6108
FAX: [1] (202) 234-6109
consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Roderick W. MOORE
embassy: Ljubljanska bb, 81000 Podgorica, Montenegro
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [382] 81 225 417
FAX: [382] 81 241 358
Flag description: a red field bordered by a narrow golden-yellow stripe with the Montenegrin coat of arms centered
Culture

The culture of Montenegro has been shaped by a variety of influences throughout history. The influence of Orthodox South Slavic, Central European, and seafaring Adriatic cultures (notably parts of Italy, like the Republic of Venice) have been the most important in recent centuries.

Montenegro has many significant cultural and historical sites, including heritage sites from the pre-Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque periods. The Montenegrin coastal region is especially well known for its religious monuments, including the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon in Kotor (Cattaro under the Venetians), the basilica of St. Luke (over 800 years), Our Lady of the Rocks (Škrpjela), the Savina Monastery and others. Montenegro's medieval monasteries contain thousands of square metres of frescos on their walls.

The traditional folk dance of the Montenegrins is the Oro, a circle dance that involves dancers standing on each other's shoulders in a circle while one or two dancers are dancing in the middle.

The first literary works written in the region are ten centuries old, and the first Montenegrin book was printed five hundred years ago. The first state-owned printing press was located in Cetinje in 1494, where the first South Slavic book, Oktoih, was printed the same year. Ancient manuscripts, dating from the thirteenth century, are kept in the Montenegrin monasteries.

Montenegro's capital Podgorica and the former royal capital of Cetinje are the two most important centers of culture and the arts in the country.

Economy Economy - overview: Montenegro severed its economy from federal control and from Serbia during the MILOSEVIC era and maintained its own central bank, used the euro instead of the Yugoslav dinar as official currency, collected customs tariffs, and managed its own budget. The dissolution of the loose political union between Serbia and Montenegro in 2006 led to separate membership in several international financial institutions, such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. On 18 January 2007, Montenegro joined the World Bank and IMF. Montenegro is pursuing its own membership in the World Trade Organization as well as negotiating a Stabilization and Association agreement with the European Union in anticipation of eventual membership. Severe unemployment remains a key political and economic problem for this entire region. Montenegro has privatized its large aluminum complex - the dominant industry - as well as most of its financial sector, and has begun to attract foreign direct investment in the tourism sector.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $26.38 billion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $2.27 billion (2006 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 6% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $3,800 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Labor force: 259,100 (2004)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 2%
industry: 30%
services: 68% (2004 est.)
Unemployment rate: 14.7% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line: 7% (2007 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 30 (2003)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.4% (2004)
Investment (gross fixed): 30.5% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budget: revenues: NA
expenditures: NA
Public debt: 38% of GDP (2006)
Agriculture - products: grains, tobacco, potatoes, citrus fruits, olives, grapes; sheepherding; commercial fishing negligible
Industries: steelmaking, aluminum, agricultural processing, consumer goods, tourism
Electricity - production: 2.864 billion kWh (2005 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 18.6 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2005)
Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - consumption: 450 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: NA cu m
Current account balance: $NA
Exports: $171.3 million (2003)
Exports - partners: Switzerland 83.9%, Italy 6.1%, Bosnia and Herzegovina 1.3% (2006)
Imports: $601.7 million (2003)
Imports - partners: Greece 10.2%, Italy 10.2%, Germany 9.6%, Bosnia and Herzegovina 9.2% (2006)
Economic aid - recipient: $NA
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $NA
Debt - external: $650 million (2006)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $NA
Currency (code): euro (EUR)
Exchange rates: euros per US dollar - 0.7345 (2007), 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Communications Telephones - main lines in use: 353,300 (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 821,800 (2006)
Telephone system: general assessment: modern telecommunications system with access to European satellites
domestic: GSM wireless service, available through 2 providers with national coverage, is growing rapidly
international: country code - 382; 2 international switches connect the national system
Radio broadcast stations: 31 (station types NA) (2004)
Television broadcast stations: 13 (2004)
Internet country code: .me
Internet users: 266,000 (2006)
Transportation Airports: 5 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2007)
Heliports: 1 (2007)
Railways: total: 250 km
standard gauge: 250 km 1.435-m gauge (electrified 169 km) (2006)
Roadways: total: 7,353 km
paved: 4,274 km
unpaved: 3,079 km (2005)
Merchant marine: total: 4 ships (1000 GRT or over) 9,458 GRT/10,172 DWT
by type: cargo 4
registered in other countries: 3 (Bahamas 2, St Vincent and The Grenadines 1) (2007)
Ports and terminals: Bar
Military Military service age and obligation: compulsory national military service abolished August 2006
Military - note: Montenegrin plans call for the establishment of a fully professional armed forces
Transnational Issues Disputes - international: none
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 7,000 (Kosovo); note - mostly ethnic Serbs and Roma who fled Kosovo in 1999
IDPs: 16,192 (ethnic conflict in 1999 and riots in 2004) (2007)