Currency in Montenegro

The small Balkan state of Montenegro with its estimated 630,000 inhabitants does not have its own currency. The euro has been the official means of payment here since its introduction. This is surprising insofar as Montenegro is not yet an EU member, but there are historical reasons.

Currency history

Until the beginning of World War I, Montenegro was an independent kingdom, most recently under the rule of King Nikola I.

In 1914 it was occupied by the Austro-Hungarian army.

At the end of the war in 1918, the Montenegrin king was overthrown and the country became part of the then Kingdom of Yugoslavia by decision of the National Assembly.

During the Second World War this state was occupied by German and Italian troops and Yugoslavia dissolved.

Montenegro gained independence for the first time, but only remained so for 5 years until the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia, consisting of Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro, was founded after World War II.

This state association also disintegrated more and more after 1992 with the formation of central republics.

In 2003 there was only one remaining state, Yugoslavia, consisting of Serbia and Montenegro, until Montenegro declared its independence again in 2006. Until then, the national currency of Serbia / Montenegro was the dinar.

After independence, which happened to coincide with the introduction of the euro in large parts of the European Union, the new government of Montenegro decided to also use the euro as the official currency and to gradually abolish the dinar.

Although, according to the statutes of the EU, the euro can only be used as a currency by EU members, the European Central Bank has not prevented this step. And this despite the fact that the unilateral introduction of the euro was not coordinated with the country and, 11 years after the introduction of the euro, Montenegro is still not an EU member but only a candidate for membership.

The small size of the country, the low population density and the fact that the country has so many tourists from euro countries seems to have moved the ECB to leave Montenegro the euro as the national currency. The neighboring country, the Republic of Kosovo, also has the euro as its official currency, but for different reasons.

Note: As a non-EU country, Montenegro is not allowed to mint its own euro coins with national motifs and must do everything in its power to ensure that it tries to comply with the EU fiscal rules and lowers the very high national debt.