“Montenegro is a highly concentrated dose of the Balkans.”

Adelheid Wölfl, editor of  Der Standard

In Montenegrin culture, the ethical ideal of Čojstvo i Junaštvo (‘Humanity and Gallantry’) is a very important aspect which people still try to live by.

Petar II Petrović Njegoš was Prince-Bishop of the Orthodox Church and a secular ruler. This probably most important Montenegrin poet devoted his life to the unification of warring tribes and the creation of state authorities.  In 1843, he founded the first school in the country.

Montenegro is home to all religions and all ethnic groups of the region — alongside Orthodox Montenegrins and Serbs, there are Muslim Bosniaks and Albanians, Catholic Albanians and Croats.

Montenegro has been accused of using its criminal defamation laws and economic pressure to punish and inhibit critical media reporting. There have been also a number of violent attacks on the independent press in the past. The country has recently taken steps to repeal its criminal defamation laws.


The state whose name means 'Black Mountain' has a very long history, but Montenegro, as we know it today, is a very young Republic, founded only in 2006. Its population of not even 700,000 lives in a relatively tiny area.

Montenegro A member of the ERSTE Foundation Community from Montenegro: Rambo Amadeus, musician, poet and media manipulator, at a concert at the ERSTE Foundation Community meeting in Alpbach 2010

Regardless of its size, Montenegro attracts 1 million tourists to its stunning Adriatic coast every year. In proportion to the number of inhabitants, this figure matches that of people who travel to France.

With its independence, Montenegro has faced the two biggest challenges to young democracies: Weak governance, due to a short experience in state administration, and corruption that penetrated into different spheres of the society. With support of the European Union and international community, Montenegro has made significant progress in fighting corruption. In December 2010, the country was officially granted EU candidate status. Its citizens are overwhelmingly in favour of joining the EU, with 76.2% of the overall population for and only 9.8% against it.


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