NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

NATO’s relations with Montenegro

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen meets with the President of Montenegro, Filip Vujanovic

NATO Secretary General Rasmussen and President Vujanovic of Montenegro

Montenegro joined the Partnership for Peace in December 2006. The country aspires to join NATO and was invited to join the Membership Action Plan in December 2009. Democratic, institutional and defence reforms are a key focus of cooperation.

Montenegro gained independence from its state union with Serbia in June 2006. The country is working to draw closer to Euro-Atlantic standards and institutions, with the aim of joining the Alliance.

I encourage you to continue your efforts,” said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen during his visit to the country in June 2011. “It is of utmost importance to ensure that the Montenegrin security agencies and defence sector meet NATO requirements. And that further efforts are made to fight corruption and organised crime. That will bring Montenegro even closer to meeting its Euro-Atlantic aspirations.”

The Allies are committed to keeping NATO’s door open to Western Balkan partners that wish to join the Alliance, share its values and are willing and able to assume the responsibilities and obligations of membership. Euro-Atlantic integration is seen as the best way to ensure long-term, self-sustaining security and stability in the region.

The Membership Action Plan (MAP) is a NATO programme of advice, assistance and practical support tailored to the individual needs of countries wishing to join the Alliance. Participation in the MAP does not prejudge any decision by the Alliance on future membership. Montenegro began its first MAP cycle in the autumn of 2010 with the submission of its first Annual National Programme.

Beyond supporting reform, another key objective of NATO’s cooperation with Montenegro is to develop the ability of the country’s forces to work together with forces from NATO countries and other partners, especially in peacekeeping and crisis-management operations. Since 2010, the country has contributed to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. It has also indicated its willingness to participate in the post-2014 follow-on mission to train and assist Afghan security forces, after ISAF’s mission has ended.

  • Framework for cooperation

    Following independence, Montenegro is undertaking a wide-ranging programme of structural and institutional reforms. The instruments available within the Partnership for Peace (PfP) can greatly assist in this process. The country chose to strengthen  the reform focus of cooperation by developing an Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) with NATO in 2008. It moved through a successful IPAP cycle from 2008-2010, before shifting in the autumn of 2010 to an Annual National Programme within the Membership Action Plan framework. 

    Montenegro also participates in the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) since 2006.  The role of the PARP is to provide a structured basis for identifying forces and capabilities that could be available to the Alliance for multinational training, exercises and operations. It also serves as the principal mechanism used to guide and measure defence and military reform progress. A biennial process, the PARP is open to all partners on a voluntary basis.

    To facilitate cooperation, Montenegro has established a mission to NATO as well as a liaison office at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE).

  • Key areas of cooperation

    Security cooperation

    In support of NATO's efforts to equip and train the Afghan National Army, Montenegro offered a donation which included 1,600 weapons and 250,000 rounds of ammunition. In February 2010, Montenegro decided to contribute troops to ISAF in Afghanistan. As of July 2013, 27 military personnel were deployed there together with a Croatian unit.

    Montenegro has indicated its willingness to participate in the post-2014 NATO-led mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan forces, which will be deployed once the transition to Afghan security lead has been completed and ISAF’s operation is terminated. The government has also pledged financial support for the future development of the Afghan National Security Forces.

    Participation in joint planning, training and military exercises is a significant element of cooperation within the PfP.

    Defence and security sector reform

    Defence and security sector reforms continue to be key elements of cooperation. The Alliance as a whole and individual Allies have considerable expertise that the country can draw upon in this area. A further priority is working together to further enhance democratic control of the armed forces. The Allies also support the wider democratic, institutional and judicial reform process underway in Montenegro.

    In 2013, Montenegro conducted a new Strategic Defence Review and is currently developing a long-term development plan for its army. These documents will provide a basis for a comprehensive reform of the country’s defence system.

    The country’s participation in the PARP helps to develop forces that will be fully capable of conducting peacekeeping and relief operations with NATO and partner forces.

    Montenegro is also working with NATO to promote the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, which recognises the disproportionate impact that war and conflicts have on women and children. UNSCR 1325 calls for full and equal participation of women at all levels in issues ranging from early conflict prevention to post-conflict reconstruction, peace and security.

    Montenegro is also working to strengthen good governance in the defence and security sector through participation in the Building Integrity programme. This programme seeks to raise awareness, promote good practice and provide practical tools to help nations enhance integrity and reduce risks of corruption in the security sector by strengthening transparency and accountability.

    Redundant and obsolete armaments and ammunition remain a significant problem for Montenegro in terms of both security and environmental concerns. Previously, NATO Allies have supported a NATO/PfP Trust Fund project in both Serbia and Montenegro to remove anti-personnel landmines.  Further Trust Fund activities with Montenegro are also being considered.

    Civil emergency planning

    In cooperation with the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC), Montenegro intends to take the necessary steps to establish a national early warning system, build a national crisis situation centre and develop its emergency response capabilities.

    Science and environment

    Montenegro has been actively engaged within the framework of the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme since 2006. The SPS Programme enables close collaboration on issues of common interest to enhance the security of NATO and partner nations. By facilitating international efforts, in particular with a regional focus, the Programme seeks to address emerging security challenges, support NATO-led operations and advance early warning and forecast for the prevention of disasters and crises.

    Today, scientists and experts from Montenegro are working to address a wide range of security issues, notably in the fields of environmental security and disaster forecast and prevention of natural catastrophes. Future areas for concrete cooperation were discussed by national government officials, scientists and experts at an SPS ‘Information Day’ that took place in Podgorica in January 2013.

    Public information

    Montenegro’s participation in the Membership Action Plan (MAP) requires good public access to information on the benefits of cooperation and membership with NATO. NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division cooperates actively with the Montenegrin authorities as well as with a wide range of civil society partners, media representatives, members of parliament, local municipalities, etc. Public diplomacy programmes, such as visits to NATO Headquarters, seminars, speaking tours and educational youth programmes, aim to raise public awareness about NATO and the membership process.

    In every partner country an embassy of one of the NATO member states serves as a contact point and operates as a channel for disseminating information about the role and policies of the Alliance. The current NATO Contact Point Embassy in Montenegro is the embassy of Slovenia.

  • Milestones in the evolution of relations

    The NATO Allies recognised Montenegro’s independence very shortly after it was declared in June 2006 and invited the country to join the Partnership for Peace (PfP) at the November 2006 Riga Summit. The country formally joined the Partnership in December of that same year and soon increased the focus on reform by developing an Individual Partnership Action Plan in 2008.

    In April 2008, the country was invited by NATO to begin an Intensified Dialogue on the full range of political, military, financial, and security issues relating to its aspirations to membership. Montenegro received an invitation from the Allies to join the Membership Action Plan (MAP) in December 2009. NATO Allies are committed to supporting the country on its path to Euro-Atlantic integration.  However, the key reforms and political decisions needed to achieve the standards of NATO membership must be taken by the leaders of Montenegro themselves.

    Key milestones

    The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is replaced by a looser state union named Serbia and Montenegro


    Montenegro votes for independence on 21 May and the parliament formally declares independence on 3 June.


    The country joins the Partnership for Peace in December.


    In support of NATO's efforts to equip and train the Afghan National Army, Montenegro donates weapons and ammunition


    NATO Heads of State and Government agree to start an Intensified Dialogue with Montenegro on its membership aspirations and related reforms. Montenegro starts working with NATO on its Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) agreed with NATO in July 2008


    First IPAP assessment


    In December, NATO foreign ministers invite Montenegro to join the Membership Action Plan.


    In February, Montenegro decides to contribute to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.


    Summer 2010, Montenegro leaves the IPAP process.


    Autumn 2010 Montenegro submits its first Annual National Programme, under the Membership Action Plan.


    In June, the NATO Secretary General attends an Adriatic Charter meeting and delivers a major speech “NATO and the Western Balkans” in Montenegro.


    Prime Minister Luksic addressed the North Atlantic Council on 21 March.

Last updated: 14-Oct-2013 11:58

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