European Western Balkans

Montenegro gets new government with Milojko Spajić as prime minister

Photo: Flickr/Government of Montenegro

PODGORICA – The Parliament of Montenegro, after a session that laster all night, has elected the government led by Prime Minister Milojko Spajić from the “Europe Now” Movement (PES). Spajić’s government replaced the technical mandate of the previous government led by Dritan Abazović, which faced a vote of no confidence in August 2022.

The new ruling majority represents PES, parties gathered around Coalition “Together for the future of Montenegro” – ZBCG (formerly the Democratic Front), the Democrats, the Socialist People’s Party (SNP), and Albanian national-minority parties.

The first decision of Spajić’s government is to postpone the census scheduled for 1 November, due to significant political polarisation and announced boycott by opposition Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS). Census is postponed for one month.

Following his election, new PM Spajić stated that the “Europe Now 2” reform programme will be fully implemented as promised in the election campaign.

“We cannot wait to achieve results for our country”, he said.

The focus of Milojko Spajić’s campaign was a promise to increase the average salary in the country to 1000 euros, raise the minimum wage to 700 euros, increase minimum pensions to 450 euros, and shorten the eight-hour workday.

Spajić entered politics after the 2020 elections when he was appointed as the Minister of Finance in Zdravko Krivokapić’s government. During his tenure as minister, Spajić implemented the “Europe Now 1” program, which involved increasing salaries by removing healthcare contributions from employees’ earnings. After the downfall of that government in February of last year, Spajić and Milatović founded the “Movement Europe Now” party, capitalising on the popularity of the salary increase programme.

In his exposé, Spajić stated that Montenegro would pursue its foreign policy in line with its strategic national interests, focusing on four main priorities: full EU membership, active and credible NATO membership, good neighbourly relations and strengthening the country’s role in multilateral organisations.

Regarding European integration, Spajić underlined that Montenegro is currently in a crucial phase of EU accession negotiations, aiming to fulfill the remaining interim criteria in chapters related to the rule of law.

Spajić emphasised the need to complete ongoing reforms in the judiciary, consolidate the achievements in combating corruption and organized crime, enhance the overall media environment with resolving attacks on journalists.

He assessed that EU membership is now more realistic than ever, and Montenegro’s citizens have the opportunity to experience the benefits of the unique European market even before accession, through the announced Growth Plan for the Western Balkans.

“Europe Now” to form the new Montenegrin government, stable majority remains uncertain

In yesterday’s session, MPs elected the new Speaker of the Parliament, Andrija Mandić from the Coalition ZBCG. The foreign policy priorities of Mandić’s party include lifting the sanctions against Russia, withdrawing recognition of Kosovo’s independence, and opposing membership of Montenegro in NATO.

Mandić’s foreign policy stances were subject of criticism from the biggest opposition party Democratic Party of Socialist (DPS). However, Mandić expressed that his goal is reconciliation and emphasised the need for dialogue within the Montenegro society.

“No one is more important than the citizens and the country. That’s why we need dialogue. We must start trusting each other”, Mandić said after his election as Speaker of the Parliament.



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