Expat Guide to Montenegro
Montenegro declared its independence from Serbia in 2006, introduced significant privatization, and adopted the euro despite not being a member of the eurozone. It became the 29th member of NATO in June 2017.
Milo Ðukanovic has served as president or prime minister for nearly all of the past 25 years. Although his Democratic Party of Socialists won the most seats in the October 2016 parliamentary elections, it failed to secure a majority, and his longtime ally Duško Markovic became prime minister in a coalition government. Ðukanovic, who may seek the presidency again in 2018, has steered the country in a pro-Western direction and has accused Russia of financing opposition parties.
The current Constitution of Montenegro was ratified and adopted by the Constitutional Parliament of Montenegro on 19 October 2007. The Constitution was officially proclaimed as the Constitution of Montenegro on 22 October 2007. This Constitution replaced the Constitution of 1992.
The new Constitution defines Montenegro as a civic, democratic and environmentally friendly country with social justice, established by the sovereign rights of its government.
The Parliament of Montenegro (Montenegrin: Скупштина Црне Горе, Skupština Crne Gore) is the legislature of Montenegro. The Parliament currently has 81 members, each elected for a four-year term. Montenegro has a multi-party system, with numerous parties in which no one party often has a chance of gaining power alone, and parties must work with each other to form coalition governments.
The Assembly passes all laws in Montenegro, ratifies international treaties, appoints the Prime Minister, ministers, and justices of all courts, adopts the budget and performs other duties as established by the Constitution. The Parliament can pass a vote of no-confidence on the Government by a majority of the members. One deputy is elected per 6,000 voters, which in turn results in a reduction of total number of deputies in the Assembly of Montenegro.
Montenegro follows the principle of division of powers. Its judicial, legislative, and executive branches are independent of each other. The judiciary is autonomous and independent. The rulings of the courts must be in accordance with the Constitution and the laws of Montenegro. Appointment to a judiciary position is permanent.
With regard to the legal profession, it is important to note that Montenegro officially became a sovereign state in 2006. According to a 2015 source, the country has approximately 800 registered attorneys and the bar association has existed for over a century. Although the Bar Association of Montenegro [Advokatska Komora Crne Gore] maintains records, there is no indication as to how demographic groups, such as women, have fared in the legal field.
A new official flag of Montenegro was adopted on July 12, 2004 by the Montenegrin legislature. The new flag is based on the personal standard of King Nikola I of Montenegro. This flag was all red with a gold border, a gold coat of arms, and the initials "НИ" in Cyrillic script (corresponding to NI in Latin script) representing King Nikola I. These initials are omitted from the modern flag.
The national day of 13 July marks the date in 1878 when the Congress of Berlin recognised Montenegro as the 27th independent state in the world and the start of the first popular uprising in Europe against the Axis Powers on 13 July 1941 in Montenegro.
In 2004, the Montenegrin legislature selected a popular Montenegrin folk song, "Oh the Bright Dawn of May", as the national anthem. Montenegro's official anthem during the reign of King Nikola was Ubavoj nam Crnoj Gori (To our beautiful Montenegro). The music was composed by the King's son Knjaz Mirko.