Serbia and Montenegro Union: Background and Pending Dissolution

RS21568 -- Serbia and Montenegro Union: Background and Pending Dissolution

Updated May 24, 2006


On May 21, 2006, Montenegro held a long-awaited referendum on independence; 55.5% of the electorate voted in favor of independence, slightly over the 55% threshold established by the European Union (EU), and turnout exceeded 86%. Serbia and Montenegro were the last remnants of the former Yugoslavia to exist in a common state. They formed a new, highly decentralized state union under an agreement brokered by the EU in 2002-2003, which allowed for either republic to hold a referendum after three years. Serbia's political leaders supported continuation of the union but recognized the referendum outcome. The impending dissolution of the Serbia and Montenegro union comes at the same time as the international community is conducting talks on the future status of Kosovo, a disputed province in Serbia. This report may be updated as events warrant. For additional information, see CRS Report RL30371, Serbia and Montenegro: Current Situation and U.S. Policy, by [author name scrubbed].