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.
Parliament passed resolution prohibiting Srebrenica genocide denial and dismissed justice minister, creating rift within ruling coalition. Parliament 17 June passed resolution condemning June 1995 Srebrenica genocide and banning its denial; same day dismissed Minister of Justice Vladimir Leposavić for doubting International Criminal Tribunal’s classification of Srebrenica events as genocide. Ruling coalition faced internal strains as largest coalition partner pro-Serbian Democratic Front 17 June announced boycott of parliament, accusing govt of cooperating with opposition Democratic Party of Socialists during vote. Governing coalition member Democratic Montenegro party backed current govt and PM, rejecting call for new parliamentary elections. Serbian President Vučić mid-June responded to developments, saying: “We expected them from all those who would like to weaken Serbia, but we did not expect it from those who were always closest to us”. Meanwhile, Council of Europe report 3 June warned of increasing ethnic divisions and hate speech in Montenegro.
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.