National flag of Montenegro
Position of Montenegro on the map of Europe

Montenegro is a sovereign state located in the Western part of the Balkan Peninsula, on the shore of the Adriatic Sea. The capital city currently is Podgorica, however, the city of Cetinje is commonly recognized as the historical royal capital. Territory of the country is covered with mountain ranges offering spectacular landscapes on numerous old cities hidden in the mountains. Having mild Mediterranean climate and breathtaking nature combined – it is a popular destination for tourists.

The country regained its independence on 3 June 2006, after a referendum vote. Currently, the majority in the parliament holds Democratic Party of Socialists, which is a social democratic values-oriented party. Today the government is actively working on implementing Western values and moves towards Euro-Atlantic integration. Montenegro formally became member-state of NATO back in June 2017 and has set a goal of joining the European Union by year 2022.


Capital city:Podgorica
Area: 13 812 sq. km
Population:678 901
Currency: € (Euro)
Time zone:UTC+1

History

The name of the state, Crna Gora, also known as the Black Mountain, arises from the middle of the 13th century, serving a common name to a highland area in the realm of Zeta. During next few centuries, the kingdom of Zeta existed as a sovereign state until year 1496, making it the last independent monarchy falling under the Ottoman rule. Under the Ottoman rule, Montenegro has managed to develop and preserve a certain level of unique autonomy. The land was mostly ruled by the mountain clans led by the general assembly of the leaders of all clans, making decisions and discussing relevant issues. However, during different periods of time, some parts of the territory fell under control of Republic of Venice, the First French Empire or Austria-Hungary, all unknowingly contributing to the unification of the Montenegro.

During the time period between the 16th and the 19th centuries, the country existed as a theocratic state under the reign of bishop princes. Later, in the middle of the 19th century, it was reformed, becoming an autonomous principality once again. Two decades later, in 1878, Montenegro became fully sovereign and has acquired international recognition with the Treaty of Berlin.

After World War I Montenegro became part of the unified Kingdom of Yugoslavia. During the World War II, territory of the Yugoslavia had been occupied by the military forces of the Axis. Several uprisings took place during the occupation period. At the conclusion of the World War II, Montenegro became a part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which has collapsed half a century later in year 1992, after which Montenegro united with Serbia, constituting the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

In May 2006, local government has decided to hold a referendum on withdrawal from the federal state and gaining independence, which was passed and successfully implemented. In year 2017, Montenegro has joined the NATO and is currently working on its accession to the European Union, which should take place in 2022.


Nature and climate

Montenegro, in general, has a very well-preserved natural environment as well as diversity of landscapes and climates, depending on the biome. 13 812 square kilometers of area include beautiful beaches, creeks, rivers, mountain lakes, highlands and mountains with unique canyons. It is possible to divide nature into three major biomes: interior highlands, mountain ranges and the coast, each of them having their own climate. Five national parks aimed to preserve local wildlife and natural heritage.

Overall, climate of Montenegro can be described as mild Mediterranean along the coastline, with heavy rains during the most time of the year. As you are moving inland – the climate will become more and more continental. Also, the higher you will climb into the mountains – the colder it will get. Humidity level in coastal areas can be pretty high, sometimes certain inland areas of the country receive as much rain as the entire Europe combined. Average temperature varies from 12 degrees Celsius in winter to 23 degrees in summer.

Economy

The economy of Montenegro mostly relies on the service sector: being dominant, approximately, services contribute 72.4% to the national GDP, followed by agriculture (17.6%) and industry (10%). Tourism is also well developed: a total of 1.6 million tourists visits the country annually.

Back in 2016 nominal GDP of the country was 4.37 billion USD, while GDP per purchase parity (PPP) estimated at 10.42 billion USD. It is worth mentioning, that even though the country is using euro as its official currency – it is not a part of the Eurozone officially: the government has decided to introduce euro as national currency unilaterally.


Politics

Montenegro is a unitary parliamentary constitutional republic, meaning that the elected parliament serves as a main legislative body. Currently, the majority in the parliament holds Democratic Party of Socialists, which is a social democratic values-oriented party. President mostly performs representative functions, such as:

  • representing the country in the international community;
  • accepting and promulgate laws and other legal acts passed by the parliament;
  • proposing candidates for the position of the prime minister;
  • performing other representative duties set by constitution.

The actual head of the government, holding the executive power, is considered a prime minister. His main duties include appointing the ministers, participating and facilitating assembly of the cabinet of ministers, making decisions and implementing laws on the national level. Position of the prime minister has no term limit, however, resignation of the prime minister causes resignation of the entire cabinet of ministers.

Five facts about Montenegro

Aerial view of a castle on a cliff in the middle of sea

Despite Montenegro being not too big in terms of population and area, it has many ways how to surprise you. Below you can find 5 random interesting facts about the country.

  1. Montenegro is one of the few states in the world to include environmental protection in its constitution;
  2. The village Crkvice is the most wet place in the Europe with total annual precipitation amount of 5000 mm.;
  3. Mitrovica village has one of the oldest olive trees in the entire world: it is believed to be at least 2000 years old;
  4. Some scenes of the “James Bond: Casino Royale” movie had been filmed in Montenegro;
  5. Montenegro was the first country in the world to have a national printing press.

Read here about immigration program in Montenegro: