This webinar will focus on the repercussions of the parliamentary elections in Montenegro held on 30th August. In a surprise election result, President Milo Djukanovic, president for the past 30 years, did not secure a majority for his Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) and their traditional coalition partners. Eminent civil society practitioners from Montenegro will give their view on possible post-election developments in the country and will explore the likely effect on society.
Analysts note that support of the ruling party fell significantly in the past year due both to high profile corruption cases and the adoption of a controversial Law on Freedom of Religion, which included nationalisation of property owned by the Serbian Orthodox Church – the dominant religion in Montenegro. Mass protests took place in the country in recent months.
Citizens and experts alike have reacted in different ways to this election result. Some celebrate the end of DPS dominance in Montenegro, citing the high levels of corruption and state capture in the country. Others fear a resurgence of religious nationalism if opposition parties are to come to power. This could affect both the country’s NATO Status and the EU accession process. However, the opposition majority includes, besides the pro-Serbian nationalist Democratic Front, the centrist Democrats and civic party United Reform Action (URA), led by Dritan Abazovic. This election have given particular prominence to URA.
URA’s 4 seats in the Parliament give the opposition a slim majority. The former opposition parties have now agreed to form a government, and have committed that Montenegro will remain on its pro-EU and pro-NATO path. An expert government is to be formed. It remains to be seen how this will be implemented in practice.
Our expert panel will include:
Jovana Marović is Executive Director of the Politikon Network, a think tank based in Podgorica, Montenegro. Between 2004-2016, Jovana worked as a Counsellor for the European Union in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ multilateral department, Advisor for International Relations and European Integration within the Cabinet of the Budva Municipality’s Mayor, Research Coordinator at the Institute Alternative (think tank) and Special Advisor to the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare. Jovana is a member of the Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG).
Milka Tadic Mijovic is a journalist, media executive, and international civic activist. She is one of the co-founders of the Weekly Monitor, the first Montenegrin private and independent weekly magazine (1990). During the 1990s, she was actively engaged in the antiwar movement. Tadic Mijovic was the first journalist dismissed from a job in Montenegro for articles critical of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic’s nationalistic policies. She was threatened in her country for speaking against corruption and other government wrongdoings. For this, Tadic Mijovic was included in the first ever list of ‘100 Information Heroes’ by Reporters without Borders.
Boris Maric is an expert in public policy, democratic leadership, and EU integration through his many years in civil society in Montenegro. Following a period working at the public water company, Maric became a director of the parliamentary party Movement for Change, where he was also head of its fraction in the Assembly of the capital city of Podgorica. He served as Minister of Labour and Social Welfare in the Government of Electoral Confidence, as well as an independent, non-partisan expert and a recognised civic activist.
Milos Vukovic has 20 years of professional experience in banking, finance, and business consulting. Pursuing his other passion, satire and parody, he recently founded Finomen, a satirical platform where people with a sense of humour publish their work. The platform consists of a web page (for text publishing) as well as Facebook and Instagram pages (memes and other content).
Opening remarks will be made by Jerzy Pomianowski, EED Executive Director, Tonino Picula, MEP and EP Rapporteur for Montenegro, and Vladimir Bilcik, MEP and Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee.
Rados Musovic, a civil society expert from Montenegro, will moderate the discussion.
Please note that this event is by invitation only.Event Report