Despite its relatively small territory and size of population, Montenegro is highly exposed and vulnerable to natural hazards. The country has to address primarily earthquakes, wild fires and hydro-meteorological phenomena such as floods, droughts, heat waves, and heavy snowfall. Of particular concern are the frequent landslides and rock falls linked to the country’s mountainous terrain.
As most of the other former Yugoslavia countries, Montenegro’s authorities have been developing the national civil protection system since 2006 on what remained from the federal institutions, applying modern global and European practices and standards. Gradually, the civil protection mechanism has moved away from the former “civil defence.” In result, the country’s framework on civil protection and disaster relief is not contained in a single formal document. However, in terms of legal arrangements and policy statements, the harmonisation with international norms and standards is relatively successful.
At the policy level, the National Strategy for Emergency Situations defines the risks and responsibilities of different state, local, and private authorities to deal with such. Directorate for Emergency Management has been established to implement mechanisms for prevention, preparedness and response. The Law on Rescue and Protection is the core legal act, supplemented by the Environment Law (1996), Law on Waters of (1995), Law on Protection against Natural Disasters (1992), Law on Protection of Air against Pollution (1980), and others. The principal political-managerial body on civil protection is the National Coordination, headed by the Prime Minister and the ministers are remaining members. The core administration of civil protection is provided by the Ministry of Interior and Administration (MoI).
Introduction of emergency regime is a right and obligation of the Parliament.
The civil protection concept is comprehensive and relatively well balanced among the state, the municipalities (21 in numbers), business, and private citizens.
By way of comparison with best practices, the country’s civil protection framework does not require development of hazard-specific contingency plans.
Montenegro is engaged in the Southeastern European international co-operation for risk reduction and disaster response.