Edition: Lublin 2011
In Montenegro, similarly to the majority of post-Communist states, the accession project enjoys the support both from the ruling political elite (which sees it as the chance for strengthening and legitimisation) and the majority of citizens (the support, though decreasing lately, still exceeds 70%), hoping for economic benefits but also for the distancing from the “Yugoslavian odium.” In Montenegro the accession has comparatively high chances of success, among others due to the lack of controversies over territorial issues, or more serious disagreements in the relations with neighbouring countries and finally, because of a small size and population of the country, which reduces the cost of modernisation actions. The country’s top position among the states striving for the EU membership is evident both from the status (since 17th December 2010 the country has been an official EU candidate) and the shape of the last annual EC report where it was admitted that 11 out of 35 chapters of the acquis demand “further serious efforts.” However, it is no coincidence that the issues of political order and the judiciary are among the fields which undergo the strictest EC suggestions. That is so because one of the phenomena of Montenegro’s political life is the fact that since the beginning of Yugoslavia’s disintegration in the early 1990s the power has been in the hands of one political party (since 1991 its name is the Democratic Party of Socialists) whose leader is Milo Djukanović: fivetimes Prime Minister, two-times President and one of the richest politicians of the world. Although neither the formal system shape nor the range of revealed cases of the breaking of the opposition’s political rights permits one to speak of a classic “political dictatorship,” most commentators agree that there is a iunctum between the position of the governing party and the alarming scale of corruption. Another phenomenon which has a huge influence on the political order in the country (and might, although does not have to, be the reason for delays on the way to the accession) is the existence of a considerable (almost 30% of the population) Serbian minority, mostly critical towards the attempts to build or strengthen the “Montenegrin national identity,” frustrated with the final separation of Montenegro from Serbia in 2006 and refusing the legality of Kosovo’s proclaimed independence. The question of the full recognition of the status quo of the republic by Montenegrin Serbs and the stance that they may take regarding the regional tensions connected with the future of Kosovo or Montenegro, might be of great importance for the stability of the country.