Accession of Montenegro to NATO

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The accession of Montenegro to NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is in the negotiations stage as of 2010. In December 2009, Montenegro was granted a Membership Action Plan, the final step in an application for membership in the organization.[1] A formal invitation was issued by the alliance on 2 December 2015,[2] with accession negotiations concluded with the signature of an accession protocol in May 2016.[3]

Background[edit]

The State Union of Serbia and Montenegro applied to NATO's Partnership for Peace (PfP) program in June 2003.[4] Montenegro declared independence on 3 June 2006 and soon after opened a Permanent Mission to NATO in Brussels.[5] The new country subsequently joined PfP at the 2006 Riga summit. In November 2007, Montenegro signed a transit agreement with NATO, allowing the alliance's troops to move across the country.[6] Montenegro then signed an agreement with the United States, in which Montenegro would destroy its outdated weaponry as a precondition for NATO membership.[7] In late 2007, Montenegro's Defense Minister Boro Vučinić said that Montenegro would intensify its accession to the alliance after the 2008 Bucharest summit.[8] Montenegro adopted an Individual Partnership Action Plan in June 2008 and was invited to join the Adriatic Charter of NATO aspirants on 25 September 2008.[9][10]

Montenegro has begun to contribute its national armed forces to NATO foreign military operations. The country plans to deploy 40 soldiers, a three-member military medical team, and two officers under German command to Afghanistan in 2010. Montenegrin peacekeepers will also be deployed to Liberia and Somalia.[11]

Montenegro has received support for its membership bid from several NATO countries, including Romania, Turkey, Germany and the United States.[12][13][14][15]

In December 2013, Dnevne Novine reported that NATO had decided that Montenegro would join NATO at the same time as Macedonia, whose membership has been vetoed by Greece over the Macedonia naming dispute, making accession unlikely in 2014.[16]

In March 2014, Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Đukanović stated the desire for Montenegro to join NATO,[17] and in May 2014 expressed the hopes an invitation to join the organization will be favoured at the 2014 NATO summit in September. Russian MP Mikhail Degtyarev of the nationalist LDPR warned that NATO membership would make Montenegro "a legitimate target of Russian missiles."[18]

On 29 May 2014, the Slovenian and Croatian foreign and defense ministers sent a letter to the Secretary General of NATO, stressing the importance of inviting Montenegro into NATO. The Slovene defense minister also stated that he expects Montenegro to receive a NATO invitiation during NATO's 2014 Summit in Wales.[19] However, later that year NATO announced that it would not be offering any new countries membership into the organization that year. Analysts confirmed this as a sign that NATO members are becoming skeptical about further Eastern expansion following Russia's annexation of Crimea, due to worries about Russian retaliation to new security guarantees to countries so close to is borders.[20]

However, NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced in late June 2014 that Montenegro would not get an invitation to join the NATO summit in September thereby also dismissing the possibility of Montenegro's entry into NATO the same year. Further assessment of Montenegro's progress was expected by the end of 2015.[21]

A formal invitation was issued by the alliance on 2 December 2015, beginning the final accession talks.[2][22] In February 2016, final accession talks began,[23] and concluded in May, allowing Montenegro to take an "observer" status pending ratification by the governments of the other members, as well as by Montenegro's own parliament.[24] Ratification by each member state is expected to be completed by spring 2017.[3]

Political views[edit]

The ruling Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro and Social Democratic Party of Montenegro maintain a strong desire for Montenegro to become a NATO member state. In early 2009 they launched a two-year campaign with the aim of promoting accession to NATO, which is handled by the MAPA media agency under theatrical director Radmila Vojvodić.[25] The ruling coalition of PM Milo Đukanović claims Montenegro cannot afford to remain neutral and identifies NATO and the EU as a common process of Euro-Atlantic integrations.[26] According to a demographic breakdown of polling, citizens of pro-Serbian or pro-Russian political orientation, Eastern Orthodox Christian conservatives, women and the undereducated are the main groups that do not support NATO membership. The campaign has been somewhat successful, but received criticism from the Nansen Dialogue Centre for significant financial investment in a biased and propagandist campaign during a recession.[27] As a direct response, the establishment of the Serb National List (sr) group launched the "No to NATO!" campaign, on a much smaller scale.[28]







Circle frame.svg

"Should Montenegro join NATO?"[29]

  Yes (47%)
  No (39%)
  Undecided (14%)

The leading opposition political party, the Socialist People's Party of Montenegro, has remained ambiguous on the question of NATO membership. Although strong supporters of European integration, they maintain that EU and NATO integrations are completely separate paths and endorse holding a referendum. SNP CG has generally avoided giving a direct answer, but it is indirectly opposed to NATO membership.[citation needed] The New Serb Democracy is an outspoken opponent of NATO membership, supporting a referendum and convinced there would be a negative outcome.[30] The Movement for Changes is completely neutral and supports holding a referendum, and acknowledging its result.[31] According to Strategic Marketing's poll on the question as to whether to schedule a referendum, 72% of respondents support holding it. CATI's poll from 11–15 December 2009 on the question of its result yielded the following: 44% would vote against it, 40% would vote in favor, while 8% is unsure. According to a poll released in October 2009, 31.2% of Montenegro's populace supported NATO membership, while 44% opposed it.[32] A poll by Ipsos in March 2014 found that 46% supported membership versus 42% who were opposed.[33] A December 2015 poll found support at 47%, opposition at 39%, with the remaining 14% undecided.[34]

Opposition parties, including Socialist People's Party of Montenegro, have argued that membership should be approved in a national referendum.[34] NATO membership is expected to be an issue of debate during the next Montenegrin election which will be held on 16 October 2016.

A political crisis followed the government's announcement of intention to join NATO; large protests were held in Podgorica in mid-October 2015 that culminated in a riot in the capital on 24 October.[citation needed] A split in the ruling coalition followed in January 2016.[citation needed]

Opinion polls[edit]

Date Polling Firm/Source For NATO membership Against NATO membership Lead
26 Jun 2016 DAMAR 54.2 45.8 8.4
24 Jun 2016 CEDEM 50.5 49.5 1
28 May-5 Jun 2016 NSPM 39.9 60.1 20.2
16-20 May 2016 DAMAR 54.6 45.4 9.2
22 Feb 2016 DAMAR 55.6 44.4 11
Feb 2016 Ipsos 50.5 49.5 1
Nov 2015 CEDEM 49.8 50.2 0.4
08-16 Oct 2015 Ipsos 56 44 10
11-18 Sep 2015 Ipsos 52 48 4
28 July 2015 CEDEM 49.5 50.5 1
08-14 Jun 2015 DAMAR 51.2 48.8 2.4
04-11 Jun 2015 Ipsos 53.4 46.6 6.8
Oct 2014 CEDEM 43.75 56.25 12.5
Mar 2014 Ipsos 52.2 47.8 4.4
11 Aug 2013 Ipsos 50.6 49.4 1.2
Mar 2013 CEDEM 37.3 62.7 25.4
Sep 2012 CEDEM 49 51 2
July 2012 CEDEM 46.8 53.2 6.4
Dec 2011 CEDEM 51.5 48.5 3
Sep 2011 CEDEM 43.9 56.1 12.2
Oct 2010 CEDEM 45.1 54.9 9.8
Oct 2009 CEDEM 41.5 58.5 17
24 Jun 2009 CEDEM 40.92 59.08 18.16
Nov 2008 CEDEM 36.45 63.55 27.1

Negotiation progress[edit]

Event Date
Partnership for Peace 2006-12-14
Individual Partnership Action Plan 2008-06-20
Intensified Dialogue 2008-04-03
Membership Action Plan 2009-12-04
Invitation to join 2015-12-02
Accession protocol 2016-05-19
Ratification by:
Albania 2016-06-23
Belgium
Bulgaria 2016-06-30
Canada
Croatia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary 2016-06-13
Iceland 2016-06-08
Italy
Latvia
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Montenegro
Netherlands
Norway
Poland 2016-07-06
Portugal
Romania
Slovakia 2016-06-14
Slovenia 2016-06-08
Spain
Turkey 2016-09-09
United Kingdom
United States
Full membership

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Crna Gora u predvorju NATO-a
  2. ^ a b Montenegro invited to join Nato, BBC, 2 December 2015, Retrieved 2015-12-2.
  3. ^ a b "Montenegro: Protokoll zu Nato-Beitritt wird im Mai unterzeichnet". Der Standard. 2016-04-13. Retrieved 2016-04-13. 
  4. ^ Jelena Dzankic, Montenegrin NATO Membership Aspirations After the Referendum onIndependence
  5. ^ Montenegro's Missions in the World
  6. ^ Xuequan, Mu (November 27, 2007). "Montenegro, NATO sign transit arrangement". Xinhua. ChinaView. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  7. ^ "Turkey's Gul meets with Pakistani leaders". Southeast European Times. April 12, 2007. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  8. ^ "Montenegro moving towards NATO membership". B92. December 26, 2007. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  9. ^ "NATO's relations with Montenegro". NATO. July 3, 2008. Archived from the original on 10 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  10. ^ Avaz, Dnevni (September 26, 2008). "BiH, Montenegro invited to join Adriatic Charter of NATO aspirants". Southeast European Times. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  11. ^ http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/features/setimes/features/2009/07/30/featue-02
  12. ^ "Romania wants Macedonia, Albania and Croatia to join NATO". MakFax. January 11, 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-05-06. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  13. ^ "Ankara lends support to Montenegro's bids for membership in NATO, EU". Today's Zaman. January 19, 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-06-19. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  14. ^ "Berlin: Germany supports Montenegro's further progress in EU and NATO integration". Natomontenegro.me (source: Government of Montenegro). April 3, 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-19. 
  15. ^ "US to support Montenegro's membership in NATO". Neurope.eu. April 13, 2014. Retrieved 2010-05-19. 
  16. ^ "Montenegro to enter NATO together with Macedonia: Vecer". 2013-12-17. Retrieved 2013-12-17. 
  17. ^ Tigner, Brooks (25 March 2014). "Ukraine crisis won't halt NATO expansion". Jane's Defense Weekly. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  18. ^ Rousek, Leos (16 May 2014). "Montenegro Seeks Security With NATO Membership". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  19. ^ "Slovenia and Croatia Pushing for Montenegro's NATO Membership". The Slovenia Times. 7 June 2014. Retrieved 7 June 2014. 
  20. ^ "NATO rules out admitting new members anytime soon". Fox news. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  21. ^ "NATO Rejects Montenegro Membership in 2014". Balkan Insight. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  22. ^ Emmott, Robin; Siebold, Sabine (2 December 2015). "NATO invites Montenegro to join alliance, defying Russia". Reuters. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  23. ^ Delauney, Guy (15 February 2016). "Montenegro and Nato: Foes to friends?". BBC News. Retrieved 15 February 2016. 
  24. ^ Dahlburg, John-Thor; Lee, Matthew (19 May 2016). "NATO formally invites Montenegro as 29th member". Associated Press. Retrieved 19 May 2016. 
  25. ^ "Kampanjom Za Veću Podršku Učlanjenju U Nato - E-Novine". Naslovi.net. Retrieved 2016-05-19. 
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 7, 2011. Retrieved June 17, 2010. 
  27. ^ "Vijesti Crna Gora | Srbija | Srpska | Rusija | Hronika | Politika". In4s.net. 2016-05-03. Retrieved 2016-05-19. 
  28. ^ [1][dead link]
  29. ^ http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/montenegrins-vote-online-to-keep-military-neutrality-04-12-2016
  30. ^ Predrag Tomović (2009-12-04). "Crna Gora neće gubiti vrijeme". Slobodnaevropa.org. Retrieved 2016-05-19. 
  31. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 27, 2011. Retrieved June 17, 2010. 
  32. ^ "Political Public Opinion in Montenegro" (PDF). Foundation Open Society Institute. October 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  33. ^ "NATO Membership Council's Communication Team: 46% of citizens support Montenegro's accession to NATO". Government of Montenegro. 2014-03-29. Retrieved 2014-04-04. 
  34. ^ a b "Montenegrins Vote Online to Stay out of NATO". Balkan Insight. 2016-04-13. Retrieved 2016-04-13. 

External links[edit]