Podgorica. Photo: flickr/Michel Guilly
Podgorica. Photo: flickr/Michel Guilly
 

Official name:

Republic of Montenegro

Date of independence:

3 June 2006 (following the referendum of 21 May 2006)

New constitution ratified by parliament on 19 October 2007

Population:

620,000 (2003 Census, Monstat, National Statistical Office)

43% Montenegrins, 32% Serbs, 8% Bosnians, 5% Albanians, 4% Muslims, 1% Croats, 4% Undeclared.

The results of the 2011 census are expected later this year

Capital city:

Podgorica (Population 180,810, Monstat, 2009, data for municipality including rural surroundings)

Other important towns:

Cetinje (former capital), Bar (port), Budva, Kotor, Niksic, Bijelo Polje

Total area:

13,812 sq km

Bordering states:

Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Serbia

Main religions:

Christianity (mostly Orthodox), Islam

Languages:

The official language is Montenegrin, and both the Latin and Cyrillic scripts are used. In addition, Serbian, Bosnian, Albanian and Croatian are in official use (Art. 13 of the constitution)

 

 

Currency:

The euro has been Montenegro's currency since 1 January 2002

GDP (2009):

2.98 billion Euro (Monstat)

GDP per capita (2009):

€4,720 (Monstat)

Unemployment:

19.8% (second quarter 2010, Monstat)

Average monthly net wage:

€463 (2009, Monstat)

 

Short chronology of EU accession:

 

10 October 2005

Opening of negotiations for a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with Serbia and Montenegro

3 May 2006

SAA negotiations interrupted due to lack of Serbia's cooperation with the UN's International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

3 June 2006

Montenegro declares independence

26 September 2006

Launch of the SAA negotiations with Montenegro

15 March 2007

Initialling of the SAA in Podgorica

15 October 2007

Signing of the SAA and signing and ratification by the EU of the trade-related Interim Agreement

1 January 2008

The Interim Agreement enters into force

27 May 2008

Montenegro receives a visa liberalisation roadmap

15 December 2008

Montenegro submits its application for EU membership

19 December 2009

Visa-free travel begins

1 May 2010

The SAA enters into force

9 November 2010

European Commission's Opinion on Montenegro proposes EU candidate status

17 December 2010

Council declares Montenegro an official candidate

9 December 2011

European Council announces the opening of accession negotiations with Montenegro in June 2011, provided that Montenegro continues to make progress in the implementation of reforms

29 June 2012

Montenegro starts EU accession negotiations

   

Prime ministers since 1991

 

1 Feb 1991 – 5 Feb 1998

Milo Djukanovic (Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS)

5 Feb 1998 – 8 Jan 2003

Filip Vujanovic (DPS)

8 Jan 2003 – 10 Nov 2006

Milo Djukanovic (DPS)

10 Nov 2006 – 29 Feb 2008

Zeljko Sturanovic (DPS)

29 Feb 2008 – 21 Dec 2010

Milo Djukanovic (DPS)

29 Dec 2010 – present

Igor Luksic (DPS)

 

 

Membership in international organisations:

 

UN

28 June 2006 (192nd member state)

OSCE

21 June 2006 (56th participating state)

Council of Europe

11 May 2007 (47th member state)

NATO

(December 2009, joined NATO's Membership Action Plan)

 

Politics:

 

 

President:

Filip Vujanovic since May 2003 (re-elected in April 2008, DPS)

Prime minister:

Igor Luksic, since 29 December 2010 (DPS)

Political parties:

Montenegro has a single chamber parliament with 81 seats. Ranko Krivokapic, president of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), a long-time junior coalition partner of the DPS, has been the speaker of parliament since July 2003.

The last parliamentary elections, held on 27 January 2009, produced the following results:

The Coalition for a European Montenegro, led by the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) of then Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, won an absolute majority of 48 seats, of which 35 went to the DPS. The SDP gained 9 seats, and the smaller coalition parties, the Bosniak Party (BS) and the Croatian Civic Initiative (HGI), 3 and 1 seat respectively.

The Socialist People's Party (SNP) is the largest opposition party, with 16 seats. It opposed independence in the 2006 referendum. While nominally centre-left, under the leadership of Srdjan Milic it has recently sought to reposition itself as a pro-European, centre party.

New Serb Democracy NSD or NOVA), led by Andrija Mandic, won 8 seats. It was created in 2009 with the merger of the Serb People's Party and the People's Socialist Party of Montenegro. It is a pro-Serbian nationalist party.

The Movement for Changes, (Pokret za Promjene, or PzP), founded in 2006 out of an earlier civic initiative led by Nebojsa Medojevic, won 5 seats. The PzP positions itself as a pro-EU liberal-conservative party. One of its deputies in parliament is the renowned film director Koca Pavlovic.

An up-to-date list of all political groups represented in parliament is available on the website of the Montenegrin Parliament.

As the result of the elections, Milo Djukanovic secured a sixth term in office as prime minister. In December 2010 however he stepped down after Montenegro was granted EU candidate status. He was replaced by Igor Luksic, until then deputy prime minister and minister of finance.

 

10 January 2012

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We thank the Montenegrin daily Vijesti for access to their photo archive.