bosnia report
New Series No: 27-28 January - May 2002
'For a free and democratic referendum'

Letter of Protest and Call for International Support

Free Montenegrin Intellectuals, Citizens, and Representatives of Civil Society: For a Free and Democratic Referendum

To the European Heads of State and Government

Cc: The High Representative of the EU, Dr. Javier Solana

As Montenegrin citizens supporting European values and the European integration of our country, we are deeply dismayed that Dr Javier Solana, the High Representative of the EU, has unfortunately decided to join efforts with Greater Serbian political forces in Belgrade and Podgorica in their opposition to Montenegro's right of self-determination. The EU risks undermining and jeopardizing Montenegro's stability and security. We find it truly bizarre and incomprehensible that while Slobodan Milosevic is on trial in the Hague, the EU finds common cause with his followers in Podgorica and Belgrade. The serious deterioration of the political situation in Montenegro in January 2002 was a direct consequence of this alliance. The EU's one-sided and irresponsible policy encourages extremists to escalate the situation and strengthens the hand of those political factions which threaten the use of violence.

The EU's insistence on the preservation of the so-called FRY ignores the fact that FRY exists in name only. It was Serbia, not Montenegro, which destroyed this always problematic state through a cascade of unilateral an violent acts in the last decade. Consequently, there is almost nothing remaining between Montenegro and Serbia today that can be preserved or even broken. The pro-Yugoslav rhetoric of the EU and its allies is truly hollow. Most importantly, what will happen to our structural economic reform program recently praised by the IMF and World Bank if the pro-Federation forces take over as a result of the EU ‘mediation’ effort? What will happen if we relinquish the euro as Montenegro's currency and reintroduce the most worthless currency in Europe (the dinar) back into our country? And what will happen to our first but extremely important achievements in the domain of multi-ethnic tolerance and democracy if the so-called pro-Yugoslav forces legitimize their Greater Serbian project with the support of EU?

Fortunately, there is still a chance to prevent further negative developments. With this aim in mind, we, free intellectuals and citizens of Montenegro of all different ethnic backgrounds, representatives of civil society, and leaders of the anti- Milosevic and anti-war campaign, call for necessary international understanding, solidarity, and support. First, we call for an immediate and total end and change of the current EU realpolitik, which is deeply wrong and painful for Montenegro, and potentially damaging and dangerous for the region. After that, we call for international support for a free and democratic referendum on our country's future status. Such a referendum is the only way out of the current unsustainable political impasse. It is the duty of the European Union to press all political factions in Montenegro to participate fully in the democratic process, so that the final decision will enjoy unquestionable legitimacy.


List of Signatories

1. Milan Popovic, Director, Center for International Studies of University of Montenegro

2. Slobodan Franovic, President, Helsinkee Committee of Montenegro

3. Milka Tadic, Executive Director, Independent Weekly Monitor

4. Srdjan Darmanovic, Director, Center for Human Rights and Democracy

5. Nebojsa Medojevic, Director, Center for Transition in Montenegro

6. Miodrag Perovic, Professor, University of Montenegro, Founder of Monitor

7. Predrag Obradovic, Rector of University of Montenegro

8. Serbo Rastoder, Professor, University of Montenegro, Editor-In-Chief of Almanach, Journal for Cultural Development of Muslims-Bosniaks in Montenegro

9. Nebojsa Vucinic, Director, Center for Human Rights of the University of Montenegro

10. Nik Gashaj, President, Albanian Cultural Association

11. Anton Sbutega, Professor

12. Miodrag Vlahovic, Director, Center for Regional and Security Studies

13. Rade Bojovic, Center for Democracy and Human Rights

14. Gojko Kastratovic, Director, Montenegrin Film Library

15. Ilija Vujosevic, Professor, University of Montenegro

16. Svetozar Jovicevic, Professor, University of Montenegro

17. Ljubisa Stankovic, Professor of University of Montenegro, Member of Montenegrin Academy of Arts and Sciences (CANU)

18. Drasko Djuranovic, Director, Monitor

19. Zeljko Ivanovic, Director, Independent Radio Antena M

20. Branko Vojicic, Editor-In-Chief, Monitor

21. Stevo Vucinic, Founder, Independent TV Montena

22. Vesna Kilibarda, Provost of University of Montenegro

23. Vjera Radovic, Professor of University of Montenegro

24. Sonja Bjeletic, Professor, University of Montenegro

25. Novica Samardzic, Publicist, Editor, TV Montenegro

26. Rajko Todorovic, Painter, Professor of University of Montenegro

27. Darko Sukovic, Editor-In-Chief, Independent Radio Antena M

28. Anka Buric, Painter, Professor of University of Montenegro

29. Balsa Brkovic, Writer, Editor, Independent Daily Vijesti

30. Snezana Nikcevic, Journalist, Editor, TV Montenegro

31. Aleksandar Becanovic, Writer

          32. Andrej Nikolaidis, Writer


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