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CrisisWatch Montenegro

Unchanged Situation

Tens of thousands of followers of Serbian Orthodox Church staged regular protests throughout month over controversial new Freedom of Confession Act, leading to clashes with police, and tensions with neighbouring Serbia. Critics argue law, which was passed 27 Dec, provides for govt register of all religious sites and stipulates religious groups must provide historic evidence of ownership to keep their properties, seeks to reduce role of Serbian Orthodox Church and allow govt to claim religious sites as state property. Tens of thousands of Church followers 12 Jan staged protests in capital Podgorica and other major towns calling for annulment of law; protestors 25 Jan clashed with police in Podgorica after security forces used tear gas to disperse them. Montenegrin president 23 Jan discussed religious law with Serbian president in attempt to diffuse rising bilateral tensions; acknowledged that respective positions on dispute remain so far “distant”. Police 31 Jan arrested in Mojanovići village mother of Milan Knežević, leader of opposition Democratic Front party, along with party members and another family relative; Knežević said arrests were related to his party’s objections to religious law.

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Montenegro's Independence Drive

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.

Also available in Français, Русский, Српски and other languages

Thessaloniki and After (III) The EU, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo

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.

A Marriage of Inconvenience: Montenegro 2003

It is time for new policies and new approaches on Montenegro. International engagement with that republic in recent years has brought significant positive results.

Still Buying Time : Montenegro, Serbia and the European Union

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".

Also available in Српски

ICG-CEPS Open Letter on Montenegro

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.