Bilateral relations between Switzerland and Montenegro are diversified, and supported by a number of agreements in areas of mutual interest. Switzerland, which attaches great importance to stability in Southeast Europe, appreciates the positive role Montenegro plays in this context.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Montenegro
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Diplomatic relations between the two countries are good, with regular contacts between the foreign affairs ministries. Various agreements, regarding economic questions, migration and air transport, govern relations, which also take into account the presence of a community of Montenegrins in Switzerland and the ever growing number of Swiss tourists visiting Montenegro.
Neither country has an embassy in the other’s capital. The Swiss Embassy in Belgrade is accredited to Montenegro, whereas the latter’s interests are in the care of the Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva. A Swiss Consulate General inaugurated in Podgorica in March 2011 handles consular affairs and assists Swiss companies interested in investing in Montenegro.
Switzerland and Montenegro have concluded a number of bilateral economic agreements: on trade and cooperation, the prevention of double taxation, the protection and promotion of investments. A Free Trade Agreement between EFTA and Montenegro signed on 14 November 2011 came into force in 2012.
Swiss exports, mainly of machinery and pharmaceutical products, amounted to nearly CHF 8 million in 2015, while imports from Montenegro rose to almost CHF 6 million.
The coast of Montenegro is increasingly popular with Swiss tourists.
Cooperation in the domain of education
Scholars and artists from Montenegro can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Peacebuilding and human security
The Swiss Embassy together with UNICEF supports a programme implemented by the NGO Human Rights Action. This programme aims to promote exchanges between citizens, in particular children, and the institution of the Ombudsman. Generally speaking reform of the judicial sector is important for Montenegro, notably in the context of Europe.
Swiss nationals in Montenegro
At the end of 2015 there were 102 Swiss citizens registered in Montenegro.
The history of bilateral relations
Formerly a part of the Union of Serbia and Montenegro, Montenegro proclaimed its independence on 4 June 2006 and was immediately recognised by the community of nations. Switzerland established diplomatic relations with Montenegro on 20 June of the same year. Diplomatic and consular representation is in the hands of the Swiss Embassy in Belgrade (Republic of Serbia).
The SDC, which had been present in Montenegro since 1991, concentrated on humanitarian aid. Since the country’s declaration of independence in 2006 the cooperation programme of the SDC has focused on Serbia.