The Determinants of Party Consensus on European Integration in Montenegro

Original scientific paper

Ivan Vuković ; University of Montenegro

Fulltext: english, pdf (366 KB) pages 74-98 cite

Abstracts
This article aims to contribute to a better understanding of the process of political competition during the European integration process in Montenegro. While unanimously endorsing the process of its EU accession, political parties in the country are at odds with each other regarding almost all other issues of substantial importance for its past and future, including Montenegro’s state independence. This article intends to show what is in the European Union that brings divided Montenegrin political parties together, and asks if it is the EU at all? The article argues that because of the late political transition resulting from the process of dissolution of the former Yugoslavia, the main determinants of party contestation on EU integration in Montenegro differ from those in most Western and East/Central European countries. The article demonstrates that neither the ideological profile of Montenegrin political parties nor the EU’s leverage on the country’s political elite during the transition period can serve as adequate explanations of this process. Instead, it posits that embracing the pro-EU stance was the easiest and arguably the most effective way for the parties under observation to establish some discontinuity with their Miloševićera shady political past, providing them with a new source of the previously lost political legitimacy.

Keywords
Party Competition; EU Integration; Montenegro; Independence; Political Transition