On 27 December 2019 the parliament of Montenegro passed a new Law on Religious Freedom. This law replaces an older law regarding the same topic from 1977. There is a broad consensus that the old law is outdated and needs to be revised. However, the new one is (among other aspects) mainly criticized for its articles 62-64, which refer to the ownership of holy assets.
This conclusion poses a number of questions related to policy issues and the censuses in the post-Yugoslav states. It is argued that censuses are always more than just a technical counting exercise. Census discussions in Western Europe tend to focus on regional funding, infrastructure support and long-term policy planning, and can be as contested and heated as questions over identity, religion and mother tongue in the post-Yugoslav states. However, identity-related questions in an area in which identity is still in flux and in which fundamental demographic changes have taken place recently, prevent any focus on more policy-oriented discussions.
Montenegro’s recent political history has been extremely turbulent. Within less than a century, this country lost and regained internationally recognized state independence. Moreover, it was a part of three rather different “Yugoslav” state projects. At the same time, albeit without significant demographic shifts, the declared ethnic/national composition of the Montenegrin population changed radically. The focus of this paper is on the interaction between Montenegro’s dynamic political development and the constant reconfiguration of its ethnic/national structure. It concludes that the varying outcomes of the population censuses in Montenegro have actually mirrored political changes which the country has undergone throughout the observed period.
Since 1991, every country in the former Yugoslavia has either held, or has at-tempted to hold, a census. The most recent efforts occurred in or around 2011, reflecting both the interest of harmonizing with the European Union’s (EU) own 2011 census round, as well as the need for accurate data in a region that has experienced significant population flux in the past generation. Macedonia’s 2011 census was cancelled during the enumeration period due to objections related to the counting procedure, but grounded in politics related to the Macedonian and Albanian populations, and representation provisions in the Ohrid Framework Agreement that ended the violent conflict in the country in 2001. Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) collected data for the first time since the war in 2013, but as of this writing (October 2015) the results have not been finalised.
This paper focuses on the importance of judiciary reform as a key segment of rule of law enforcement for the EU accession of Western Balkan countries as a process mainly driven by EU assistance. The Western Balkan (WB) countries, namely Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia are considered 'potential candidates' for European Union (EU) membership. In the EU accession process of these countries, strengthening the rule of law is considered to be of vital importance. Although the concept of the rule of law is much broader, when it comes to the rule of law requirement, judiciary reform represents the most significant component for reform in the EU accession of Western Balkan countries. Judiciary reform is so crucial to the rule of law reform that it is at times interchangeably used as having the same meaning.