Montenegrin citizenship en route to the EU

Citizenship in Montenegro is defined exclusively as the legal link between the individual and the state, and it does not entail any ethnic affiliation.

The 2008 Montenegrin Citizenship Act, which has been amended first in 2010 and twice in 2011, posits this country’s citizenship policy, which is – compared to the neighbouring countries – a rather restrictive one. This restrictiveness is a direct outcome of Montenegro’s political history after the fall of Yugoslavia. While it is a prerogative of the sovereign state to regulate the matter of inclusion and exclusion, there are a number of counts on which the legal and implementation aspects of the 2008 Montenegrin Citizenship Act could be improved.

Some of the points, presented in this analysis, may be required in the context of broader human rights standards required in the process of accession to the European Union. Other points, and especially the facilitated access to citizenship to the socially vulnerable or marginalised groups should be considered by the Montenegrin authorities on humanitarian and/or compassionate grounds.

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