Montenegro and the coronavirus: The state of the nation in the first six weeks

About publication

Authors: Daliborka Uljarević, Tamara Milaš, Damir Nikočević

Publishing year: 2020

Montenegro has been facing the novel coronavirus pandemic for six weeks now. It should be noted that the results are rather good in the area of public health protection. Some parts of the system have demonstrated an enviable capacity to successfully manage this health crisis, while Montenegrin citizens have demonstrated both responsibility and discipline in respecting measures and complying with the accompanying recommendations. This synergy has had a significant impact on the success in curbing the disease so far. This success is reflected in the relatively small number of registered infected persons and the lowest mortality rate in the region, and among the post-Yugoslav states.

Apart from the central health aspect, this situation has different implications on democratic practices and respect for human rights and freedoms, as well as on economic development. The future lives of many will be shaped by the outcome of these implications. The report Montenegro and the coronavirus: state of the nation in the first six weeks assesses the state of democracy and human rights in the country during the pandemic with the aim of pointing to the necessary balance in protecting public health and the democratic framework of society. The two cannot and should not be opposed concepts. Unfortunately, the facts, perceptions and experiences of different stakeholders raise concerns that in the complex Montenegrin socio-political milieu - also characterized by institutions with weak democratic capacity -issues that can return in the form of serious problems are easily overlooked.