Executive summary

AuthorKostic-Mandic, Maja
1. Introduction
Montenegro is one of the successor states of the former Socialist Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia. During the turbulent history of the Balkans Montenegro has changed its
status several times. From being an independent state in the late 19th century, in 1918 it
became a part of what would later be called Yugoslavia. Althoug h an equal member of
the Yugoslav Federati on, Montenegro only regai ned full independence in a referendum in
2006 when it became an independent state. The 2007 Constitution defined it as a civic
and ecological state based on the sovereignty of the citizen. Presently, it i s a member of
NATO and a moderately prepared candidate country for membership of the European
According to the last census of 2011, Montenegro has a population of 622 781 and an
area of 13 812 square kil ometres. The country is comprised of 23 municipalities with
different demographic, ec onomic and cultural characteristics. Al though there is no formal
division, three characteristic regions are the Northern, Central and Southern parts of
Montenegro. Most of the country’s i nhabitants l ive in the central area whi ch, together
with the capital, Podgorica, is the most important administrative and industrial region.
Montenegro is a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional state in which no nation has a
numerical majority. The 2007 Constitution of Montenegro in its Preamble refers to free
and equal citizens, belon ging to nations and national minorities living in Montenegro:
Montenegrins, Serbs, Bosnians, Alb anians, Muslims, Croats and others. The Montenegrins
are the most nu merous ethnic group, while the Serbs are the second l argest group living
in Montenegro. One peculiarity is that Bosnians and Muslims are listed as separate
groups (although both of them adhere to the same religion, the status of the lat ter being
a relic of the former Yugoslav constitutional legacy). The Law on Minority Rights and
Freedoms implicitly recogni ses Roma as an ethnic group on the basis of their linguistic
characteristics. The same Law d efines minority people and other minority nati onal
communities as any group of Montenegrin citizens which is less numerous than the rest
of the predomin ant population, with common ethnic, religious or linguistic characteristics
different from the rest of the population, being historically tied to Montenegro and
motivated by a desire to express and preserve their national, ethnic, cultural, linguistic
and religious identity (Article 2).
All these ethni c groups (including Roma) have institutionalised their activities by forming
national councils as special forms of expression and protection of th eir ethnic interests.
2. Main legislation
The Montenegrin legal framework consists of the Constitution, as the supreme l egal act,
and the laws of Montenegro. The Constitution itself prescribes the primacy of
international agreements when a situation is regulated differently from national
legislation. The basis of the standard of equality i s contained in constitutional guarantees
and special laws, of which the most important is the Law on the Prohibition of
Discrimination (LPD). This law was passed i n 2010 and has been amended on s everal
occasions, the most important being the changes in 2017 which encompassed 17
provisions. It is a systemic law in the protection against discrimination. Its foundati on is
the European Convention on Human Rights and its protocols.
As the process of bringing Montenegro cl oser to the European Uni on has progressed, th e
law has increasingly adopted the principles and standards of the European directives on
equality (this report focuses on Council Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000
implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of ra cial or
ethnic origin and Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a

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