Sensitive or controversial issues

AuthorMaja Kostić-Mandić
11.1 Potential breaches of the directives at the national leve l
Montenegrin legislation is, to a high degree, aligned with the acquis in the fields covered
by the directives. The fields in which further alignment of legislat ion is needed include the
duty to provide reasonable accommodation, same-sex partners and faith-based
In the legislation of Montenegro , there is no general duty to provide reasonable
accommodation in line with Articles 2(2)(b) and 5 of the Employment Equality
Directive. Employers are obliged to take measures in this context only in relation to
people with disabilities who are already employed.
In Montenegro, it would not constitute unlawful discrimination in accordanc e with
national law if an employer provided benefits only to those employees with opposite-
sex partners. This is because the Constitution of Montenegro and relevant laws still
do not recognise same-sex partners, and under current law, a marriage must be
between two individuals of the opposite sex.
Relations between faith-based and state institutions, including in education, h ave
not been regulated appropriately and harmonised with international law and
standards, including the Racial Equality Directive.
However, the implementation of the legislation may in some cases give rise to concern.
11.2 Other issues of concern
Low employment rate among marginalised groups
As of 31 December 2019, a total of 37 616 unemployed people were registered with the
National Employment Agency,164 while according to the latest available records of the
Employment Service (dated 26 March 2019), in the same year 8 882 persons with
disabilities were unemployed. Th e general unemployment figure remains high, but the
proportion of persons with disability who are unemployed is a matter of concern.
Furthermore, the methodology that is used may give rise to concerns, as it may be
misleading with regard to the real picture on unemployment (e.g. the data does not include
those who ar e formally employed but are not actually working, or young people who are
taking part in programmes of a limited duration such appr enticeships).
The results of two in dependent 2019 surveys carried out by NGOs, on public opinion on
discrimination give rise to concerns regarding discrimination in the labour market, in
whichalong with the Romapeople wit h disability and political oppone nts can be clearly
perceived as being among the most vulnerable groups.
According to a survey by the Centre for Civic Education (CCE) on public opinion on
discrimination, conducted in the first half of 2019,165 three in five citizens consider
discrimination to be most prevalent in job seeking and employment, while one quarter find
it to be most prevalent at work, school or college. On the que stion of which groups are
most exposed t o discrimination according to the perceptions of Montenegrin citizens, the
Roma remain at the top of the list, followed by persons with disabilities, the poor, sexual
minorities/the LGBT population and political opponents.
The same survey f ound that over f our-fifths of citizens surveyed b elieve that there i s
political discrimination166 in Montenegro. Among those who believe that political
164 See:
165 See:
166 Political discrimination in employment is in fact closely connected with the ethnicity issue, as the majority of
opposition supporters are of Serbian ethnicity, although they hold Montenegrin nationality.

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