The Balkans was best known for minority problems. Today, the most bitter conflicts are between parties that appeal to majority ethnic communities. As recent turbulence in Macedonia shows, Eastern Europe could face new dangers if majority populism ends the current stigma against separatism for oppressed small groups.
Inauguration of new head of Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro sparked protests and inflamed political tensions. Hundreds 4 Sept blocked roads in Cetinje city in protest at inauguration of new leader of Montenegrin branch of Serbian Orthodox Church. During day of ceremony, demonstrators 5 Sept clashed with police who fired tear gas, leaving at least 20 officers and 30 protesters wounded and at least 15 arrested. Deputy PM Dritan Abazović same day accused members of opposition Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) of using event to “attempt to introduce Montenegro into permanent destabilization with elements of dissolution”. PM Krivokapić 6 Sept launched investigation into police management of protest attacks. After President Milo Đukanović and DPS members of parliament attended Cetinje allegedly to show support to protesters and urge cancellation of ceremony, ruling coalition members of parliament 22 Sept passed resolution demanding Constitutional Court rule whether Đukanović violated constitutional responsibility by promoting protests.
Montenegrins are more likely than not to vote in April 2006 to break away from the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. It is time for the European Union, whose diplomacy in 2001-2002 created the manifestly dysfunctional confederation, to make clear that it will accept whatever decision Montenegro’s citizens make, and encourage those opposing independence to participate peacefully in the referendum process.
Since the fall of the regime of Slobodan Milosevic in October 2000, the steady normalisation of Serbia's relations with the international community has significantly enhanced the prospects for long-term peace and stability. The European Union (EU) rose to the challenge, providing resources for reconstruction and reforms in Serbia itself, as well as in Montenegro and Kosovo.
It is time for new policies and new approaches on Montenegro. International engagement with that republic in recent years has brought significant positive results.
On 14 March 2002 the leaders of Serbia, Montenegro and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) signed an agreement in Belgrade to replace FRY with a new "state community": a "union of states" to be called "Serbia and Montenegro".
Ten months after the fall of Slobodan Miloševiæ, considerable progress has been made in establishing democratic governance in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) and reintegrating the country into the international community.
The extraordinary parliamentary election to be held in Montenegro on 22 April 2001 is focused on the single issue of the republic’s future status, whether in a continued federal union with Serbia, or as an independent state.
An Open Letter to Dr Javier Solana Madariaga, Secretary General of the Council of the European Union and High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy.