Western Partner or Smuggler’s Paradise? Montenegro Is a Little of Both

Western Partner or Smuggler’s Paradise? Montenegro Is a Little of Both
Montenegro's prime minister, Milo Dukanovic, left, and NATO's secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg, right, at NATO headquarters, Brussels, May 19, 2016 (AP photo by Virginia Mayo).

BELGRADE, Serbia—It is expected to join NATO next year and is in pole position to become the European Union’s next member. A Mediterranean paradise increasingly popular with the glitterati, it is forecast to have one of the world’s fastest-growing tourism industries over the next decade. It has also, in effect, been ruled by the same party since World War II. Critics say that it has chronic problems with organized crime and corruption that are intertwined with the political elite and state institutions. The past year has seen anti-government protesters take to the streets, accused of supporting Russia’s interest in derailing the country’s westward shift.

This is the context in which Montenegro goes to the polls on Oct. 16, in an election that is almost certain to see the re-election of Milo Djukanovic for a seventh term as prime minister. Djukanovic has also served a term as president since coming to power in 1991, spending just four years of the past 25 out of either office. But even during that hiatus, he was widely seen as the power behind the throne.

Djukanovic’s Democratic Party of Socialists, or DPS, has been Montenegro’s dominant party since 1991. It is the direct successor of the communist party that was in power since the liberation of Montenegro from the Nazis in 1944; Djukanovic himself was a senior communist. He has called next week’s parliamentary election as important as Montenegro’s referendum on independence from Serbia in 2006, when it became the second-to-last country to secede from what was once Yugoslavia.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article as well as three free articles per month. You'll also receive our free email newsletter to stay up to date on all our coverage:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having your own personal researcher and analyst for news and events around the globe. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of 15,000+ articles
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday
  • Weekly in-depth reports on important issues and countries
  • Daily links to must-read news, analysis, and opinion from top sources around the globe, curated by our keen-eyed team of editors
  • Your choice of weekly region-specific newsletters, delivered to your inbox.
  • Smartphone- and tablet-friendly website.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review