Garčević Ponders Future of Montenegro Post-Election

In an interview with Radio Free Europe (RFE), Ambassador Vesko Garčević, Professor of the Practice of International Relations at Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, discussed the implications of Montenegro’s presidential elections and the expected changes from the new government and president, Jakov Milatović.

Garčević discussed in detail Milatović’s political ideology and platform, both of which are backed by the EuropeNow! movement that was formed shortly before the presidential elections. Largely, the party’s core leadership is focused on cultivating nationalism within Montenegro, supporting the Euro-Atlantic agenda, and strengthening ties to the Serbian Orthodox Church. In fact, Garčević expects that “the influence of the Serbian Orthodox Church on political life in Montenegro is set to become [only] more evident as the parties…[come to power]…in June.”

Garčević also discussed the reason behind EuropeNow!’s sudden success: their appeal to deep-seated grievances the Montenegrin public has with the government. He believes that the party was able to tap into this resentment, campaigning on it to their success. An excerpt on EuropeNow!’s platform:

“It resounded with the Montenegrin public, tapping into common frustrations with the political system and the long-standing government, promising a better life while avoiding divisive topics. When they come to power after the elections in June, which is likely to happen, such a policy is no longer possible.”

Ambassador Vesko Garčević dealt with issues pertinent to European security and NATO for almost 14 years during his diplomatic career. In 2004, he was posted in Vienna to serve as Ambassador to Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He was Montenegro’s Ambassador to NATO from 2010 until 2014 and served as Montenegro’s National Coordinator for NATO from 2015 until he joined the faculty at the Pardee School. Learn more about Ambassador Garčević on his faculty profile.