Twenty students from the Department of International Relations and European Studies traveled to Montenegro for a three-day study visit to learn more about the socio-political situation, as well as cultural and historical heritage, in our neighboring country, including specifically regional cooperation, EU integrations, and NATO membership in the context of its foreign policy.
Students visited the Regional School of Public Administration (ReSPA), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro, the Parliament of Montenegro, and the Atlantic Council of Montenegro, as well as King Nikola’s Museum in Cetinje, the royal capital of Montenegro, and the medieval town of Kotor on the Adriatic Sea.
At ReSPA, students discussed the role of public administration reform in all six Western Balkans states, as well as their EU integration processes, as mutually reinforcing processes that support each other in providing quality services to citizens, – essentially the purpose of both public administration reform and EU integrations processes.
Furthermore, students met with senior civil servants at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss current international events and issues around the world, including the war in Ukraine, the Open Balkans, and the migration crisis. Notably, they concluded that, despite their small size, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro can and should pursue proactive foreign policies.
Students also spoke with the general secretary of the Parliament of Montenegro and the management of the services for parliamentary committees on international affairs and EU integrations about the role of the Parliament in promoting EU integrations and EU values in Montenegrin society but also the role of parliamentary oversight over foreign policy in Montenegro.
Researchers at the Atlantic Council of Montenegro, the preeminent non-governmental organization in the region dealing with security-related issues, discussed the threat of disinformation to democratic societies and the unique nature of the fight against disinformation required in this region, due to linguistic similarities between Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, and Serbia.
Afterward, students visited King Nikola’s Museum at Cetinje, the royal capital of Montenegro, which is the uniquely preserved residence of the first and last king of Montenegro to learn about the regal history of Montenegro, followed by a visit to Kotor, which hosts over half of Montenegro’s cultural heritage.