Back to the front page


Agreement on federal redefinition
BELGRADE, Thursday – Agreement was reached in the early hours of this morning on a new future together for Serbia and Montenegro.

Announcing the news after yesterday’s marathon negotiating sessions Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica thanked Montenegrin President for his constructive approach to what he described as a new, original model for the joint state.

The new state, which officials say will not be called Yugoslavia, will be neither a loose federation nor a confederation, said Kostunica.

He added the details would be published after the agreement was signed later today.

The new union will continue to have a federal president and will be represented by a single seat at the United Nations.

Kostunica emphasised that the solution was envisaged as a permanent one.

Describing it as “a new beginning” he said that the agreement would have to be ratified by the parliaments of Serbia, Montenegro and Yugoslavia.

This would be followed by the drafting of a new constitution based on the agreement, with federal elections in the autumn.

The agreement came after marathon negotiating sessions yesterday involving most senior Belgrade and Podgorica politicians, brokered by EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

Three years’ probation for new joint state
13:17 BELGRADE, Thursday – Three years from today’s agreement on new federal relations between Serbia and Montenegro, both republics will have the right to review their status and withdraw from the joint state.

The new united state will be known as Serbia and Montenegro and the joint institutions will be a parliament, a council of ministers, a president and a court.

The president will be elected by the Parliament and will supervise the work of the ministerial council, whose members he will propose to the Parliament for appointment.

There will be five federal portfolios: foreign affairs, defence, international economic relations, internal economic relations and protection of human and minority rights.

Serbia and Montenegro will each retain its own currency, market and customs regime, but will be obliged to bring their internal economic systems into line with EU standards. (Beta)

New institutions for new joint state
13:44 BELGRADE, Thursday – The institutions of the new federal state of Serbia and Montenegro will be completely new, having little continuity with the institutions of the present Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

A streamlined new parliament will have only one house, which will elect the president of the joint state.

The president in turn will propose a council of ministers to the parliament and, once elected, will supervise their work in the areas of foreign affairs, defence, international economic relations, internal economic relations and protection of human and minority rights.

A single Court of Serbia and Montenegro will coordinate legislation between the two republics and also have a constitutional function. Both states will appoint judges to the court.

In other provisions of the agreement, both Serbia and Montenegro will have the right to opt out of the joint state after three years.

In the case of Montenegro leaving the union, international documents applying to Yugoslavia, particularly UN Security Council Resolution 1244 which ended the Kosovo war, would apply fully to Serbia as successor.

An act calling a referendum on independence from the union would be called by the member states taking internationally recognised democratic standards into account.

The Supreme Defence Council will, as at present, consist of the presidents of Serbia, Montenegro and the joint state. It will command the Army of Serbia and Montenegro by consensus.

Military service may be served in either state as the serviceman wishes.

A draft constitutional treaty is to be submitted to the parliaments for review by the end of June this year.

Elections will be held after the adoption of the constitutional treaty, following which the Parliament of Serbia and Montenegro would be constituted and the president of the union elected. The election of the Council of Ministers and judges of the Court of Serbia and Montenegro will follow.

Serbia and Montenegro will appoint representatives to international institutions on a rotation basis, with special models of representation to be developed for international financial institutions.

Some institutions of the joint state may be based in Podgorica.

Economic relations will be determined in accordance with the level of economic reform achieved in the individual member states.

The European Union will assist in coordinating the economic systems of the member states with its own, which will help resolve inconsistencies in trade and customs policy. The EU will regularly monitor this process.

If one member state believes the other is failing to meet its obligations in the functioning of the joint market and harmonisation of trade and customs policy, it has the right to raise the issue with the EU in order for adequate measures to be taken.

The European Union guarantees that, if other conditions and criteria for the process of stabilisation and association are met, the principle of the constitutional order agreed on would not be an obstacle to the signing of an agreement on stabilisation and association in the near future.

Zoran Bata Mirkovic's official website
All rights reserved

Click Here!