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.
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
president elected by direct vote for five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 6 April 2008 (next to be held in 2013); prime minister proposed by president, accepted by Assembly
Filip VUJANOVIC reelected president; Filip VUJANOVIC 51.9%, Andrija MANDIC 19.6%, Nebojsa MEDOJEVIC 16.6%, Srdan MILIC 11.9%
unicameral Assembly (81 seats; members elected by direct vote to serve four-year terms; note - seats increased from 74 seats in 2006)
last held on 29 March 2009 (next to be held in 2013)
percent of vote by party - Coalition for European Montenegro 51.94%, SNP 16.83%, NSD 9.22%, PZP 6.03%, other (including Albanian minority parties) 15.98%; seats by party - Coalition for European Montenegro 48, SNP 16, NSD 8, PZP 5, Albanian minority parties 4
Albanian Alternative or AA [Vesel SINISHTAJ]; Coalition for European Montenegro (bloc) [Milo DJUKANOVIC] (includes Democratic Party of Socialists or DPS [Milo DJUKANOVIC], Social Democratic Party or SDP [Ranko KRIVOKAPIC], Bosniak Party of BS [Rafet HUSOVIC], and Croatian Civic Initiative or HGI [Marija VUCINOVIC); 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 BARDHIJ]; Democratic Union of Albanians or DUA [Ferhat DINOSA]; For a Different Montenegro (bloc) [Goran BATRICEVIC] (includes Democratic Center or DC [Goran BATRICEVIC] and Liberal Party of Montenegro or LP [Miodrag ZIVKOVIC]); FORCA [Nazif CUNGU]; Movement for Changes or PZP [Nebojsa MEDOJEVIC]; National Coalition (includes People's Party of Montenegro or NS [Predrag POPOVIC] and Democratic Serbian Party of Montenegro or DSS [Ranko KADIC]); New Serb Democracy or NOVA [Andrija MANDIC]; Socialist People's Party of Montenegro or SNP [Srdjan MILIC]
a red field bordered by a narrow golden-yellow stripe with the Montenegrin coat of arms centered; the arms consist of a double-headed golden eagle - symbolizing the unity of church and state - surmounted by a crown; the eagle holds a golden scepter in its right claw and a blue orb in its left; the breast shield over the eagle shows a golden lion passant on a green field in front of a blue sky; the lion is symbol of episcopal authority and harks back to the three and a half centuries that Montenegro was ruled as a theocracy
Montenegro severed its economy from federal control and from Serbia during the MILOSEVIC era and maintained its own central bank, adopted the Deutchmark, then the euro - rather than 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 and signed a Stabilization and Association agreement with the European Union in October 2007. On December 15, 2008, Montenegro submitted an EU membership application. Unemployment and regional disparities in development are key political and economic problems. 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. The global financial crisis has had a significant negative impact on the economy, due to the ongoing credit crunch, a decline in the real estate sector, and a fall in aluminum exports.
state-owned national radio-TV broadcaster operates 2 terrestrial television networks, 1 satellite TV channel, and 2 radio networks; roughly a dozen privately-owned TV broadcasters operate networks nationally, regionally, and locally; in addition to the 2 state-owned national radio networks, roughly 50 privately-owned radio stations and networks broadcast (2007)
current situation: Montenegro is primarily a transit country for the trafficking of women and girls to Western Europe for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation; women and girls from the Balkans and Eastern Europe are trafficked across Montenegro to Western European countries
Tier 2 Watch List - Montenegro is on the Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons in 2007; public attention to the issue of trafficking has diminished considerably in Montenegro in recent years (2008)