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Accord on principles in relations between Serbia and Montenegro

Belgrade, March 14, 2002 - The following is the unofficial translation by the Serbian government official web site, of the original text of the Accord on Principles in relations between Serbia and Montenegro in the common state, signed today in Belgrade by high officials of the federal state and the two republics. Below is the unofficial translation of the Accord:


The Accord on Principles in relations between Serbia and Montenegro is signed by participants in the talks: the Yugoslav President, Yugoslav deputy prime minister, Montenegrin president, Montenegrin and Serbian prime ministers and EU foreign policy chief as mediator.

The document is forwarded for debate in the parliaments of the member-states and the Yugoslav Parliament.

CONSTITUTIONAL CHARTER. On the basis of conclusions given in the parliamentary debate, i.e. parliamentary resolutions, the constitutional commission whose members are appointed by Parliaments of Serbia, Montenegro and Yugoslavia initiate the creation of the Constitutional Charter, the highest legal act of the joint state of Serbia and Montenegro. The text of the act is first adopted by the parliaments of the two republics, and is then sent to the Federal Parliament. The elements of independence of Serbia and Montenegro, which arise from the current state of affairs and historic rights of the two member-states are thus satisfied.

ACT ON REDEFINITION. After a three-year period, member-states have the right to initiate procedures for changing state status, or leaving the common state. In the event Montenegro leaves the common state, international documents pertaining to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, in particular United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244, would be valid and pertain to Serbia entirely, as the successor.

A member state which excercises this right does not inherit the right of international and legal subjectivity, and all issues in dispute are regulated between the successor state and the newly formed state. In the event that the both state-members chose to change their state status (independence) by referendum, in the process of succession all issues in dispute are regulated as was the case with former Yugoslavia.

Laws on referendum are brought by member-states, taking into consideration international established democratic standards.

NAME OF THE COMMON STATE. Serbia and Montenegro.

INSTITUTIONS OF SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO. Parliament, President, Council of ministers and Court.

PARLIAMENT. Unicameral parliament with certain positive discrimination to deputies from Montenegro. Laws on appointment of deputies in the Parliament of Serbia and Montenegro are brought by the member-states in accordance with principles established by the Constitutional Charter.

Existence of a protective mechanism of out-voting is envisaged.

PRESIDENT OF SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO. The President, chosen by the Parliament of Serbia and Montenegro, proposes the makeup of the Council of ministers and presides over its work.

COUNCIL OF MINISTERS. The Council of ministers has five sections: foreign affairs, defense, international economic affairs, internal economic affairs and protection of human and minority rights. The work of the ministries would be precisely defined following.

COURT OF SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO. The Court has a constitutional-court and judicial function and deals with bringing the judiciary systems into accord. The constitutional-court function refers to judicial acts of the ministries of the Council of ministers. The Court takes legal stands and opinions which refer to harmonising legal practice.

The court does not have trial authority and has equal number of judges from both member-states.

THE ARMY. The Army of Serbia and Montenegro is commanded by a Supreme Defense Council composed of three presidents. The council reaches its decisions by consensus. Recruits may perform their military service on the territory of their member-state, with the possibility to serve in the other-member state if they so choose.

ELECTIONS AND APPOINTMENTS. After the Constitutional Charter has been adopted in line with the appropriate procedure, elections will be held and the Parliament of Serbia and Montenegro will be formed, the President of Serbia and Montenegro and members of the Council of Ministers will be appointed, as well as judges of the Court of Serbia and Montenegro. Both member-states will be equally represented in the organs of legal and executive authorities. It will be possible to foresee changes during a mandate. (In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence the minister and his assistant from different member-states are changed after half of the mandate has expired)

The member-states will have representatives in international organisations (UN, OSCE, EU, Council of Europe) which will be rotated, and special models of representation will be established for international financial organisations. In the foreign diplomatic and consular premises of Serbia and Montenegro a special agreement will be reached on the proportion of the representation of the member-states.

The Constitutional Charter will be submitted to the parliaments for debate by the end of June 2002 at the latest.

RELOCATION OF FEDERAL INSTITUTIONS. Some federal institutions may have headquarters in Podgorica.

CONSTITUTIONAL RECONSTRUCTION OF THE MEMBER-STATES. As part of the activities dealing with passage of the Constitutional Charter of Serbia and Montenegro, the member-states will modify their constitutions in line with the Constitutional Charter of Serbia and Montenegro or adopt new constitutions by the end of 2002 at the latest.

ECONOMIC SPHERE. The achieved level of economic reforms in the member- states is a basis for the regulation of mutual economic relations.

The member-states are responsible for the unimpeded functioning of a common market, including free movement of people, goods, services and capital.

Harmonisation of economic systems of the member-states with that of the EU will enable present differences to be overcome, especially in the field of trade and customs policies.

In both cases the economic reforms that have already been carried out in the member-states will be taken into account, and solutions leading most quickly to integration into the EU will be accepted. Transitional solutions in the regulation of trade and customs policies will take into account the interests of the member states.

The European Union will assist in the realisation of these goals and regularly supervise the process.

Modalities for the realisation of these goals will be worked out in parallel with the Constitutional Charter.

If one of the member-states deems that the other member-state is not fulfilling the obligations outlined in the Accord concerning functioning of the common market and harmonisation of trade and customs policies, it reserves the right to raise the issue with the EU in the context of the process of stabilisation and association, with the aim of taking appropriate measures.

The EU gives guarantees such that in the event that other conditions and criteria are fulfilled for the stabilisation and association process, agreed principles of the constitutional structure will not represent an obstacle for a rapid completion of the Agreement on Stabilisation and Association.

President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Vojislav Kostunica
Yugoslav Deputy Prime Minister Miroljub Labus
President of the Republic of Montenegro Milo Djukanovic
Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic
Montenegrin Prime Minister Filip Vujanovic
In the presence of European Union High Representative for Foreign Policy Javier Solana

In Belgrade on March 14, 2002"

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