May 19, 2018 - There are many diaspora movements of Montenegrins in the countries of the region, thousands of Montenegrins live in Turkey, and already the fourth generation of Montenegrin descendants live in South America.
Until the restoration of Montenegrin independence in 2006, explains Mitrović, there were almost no institutional frameworks and mechanisms for establishing the cooperation between the native state and the emigrants from Montenegro.
"For a long time, the relations between emigration and the native land have been based on a personal level, until Montenegro recognized the need for normalizing relations to be determined. It is indisputable that in the countries of the region we have a large number of diaspora, bearing in mind that Montenegro was almost in Yugoslav state institutions for 70 years, hence the number of our diaspora in those countries, which are usually mostly exposed to assimilation," he said.
Montenegrins can also be found in many European countries, primarily in Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the Netherlands, but also in the United States.
"When we talk about the number of offspring of our emigrants, I will mention South America and Turkey, where we have thousands of people who originated from Montenegro," says the Director of Diaspora management. Given the dispersal of emigration, and its complex national and religious structure, he emphasizes that we can only approximately know the number of emigrants around the world.
"The Diaspora Directorate is at the end of realizing a web application program, and data entry software for immigrants and persons who originated from Montenegro. Also, to achieve the closest cooperation and to link the matrix of Montenegro and its emigration, in March this year, the procedure of issuing the legitimacy-emigrant booklet began. We expect that the mentioned activities of the Diaspora Management will give a much better perception in the forthcoming period regarding the number of Montenegrin emigrants," Mitrović announced.
According to the records from the registry, there are 150 associations of Montenegrin emigrants around the world. "The number of our immigrant associations per countries is different, and their number does not have to be a parameter when it comes to activities within a country or the activity of the association itself. The largest number of emigrant associations are in those countries where the first and second generations of our emigrants are present, which also confirms their program activities in the previous period, " added Mitrović.
He states that the Council for the Cooperation with Immigrants, as the advisory body of the Government of Montenegro, amongst others, has 40 members from different countries, which, he says, all point to the significant presence and vitality of the Montenegrin Diaspora. Montenegro, he recalls, during most of its history, has been an emigration country, and this can be notably recognized from the beginning of the 19th century until the end of the 20th century.
"Bearing this in mind, we now use terminology 'old' and 'new' emigration depending on when the migration of the population from Montenegro took place. That is why we have not only the first and second, but also the third, and in South America, even the fourth generation of descendants of Montenegrin immigrants," said Mitrovic. He also recalled the beginning of emigration from Montenegro and emphasized that the processes that have happened in this area have been continuously recorded since the Middle Ages and most people left due to economic reasons.
"The greatest wave of emigration, which was documented, is the one that started from the second half of the 20th century. After all, this generation of immigrants gave an undoubted contribution to the overall development of the Montenegrin society, as well as the restoration of the Montenegrin independence," concluded Mitrović.
Text by Zana Novovic, on May 19th, 2018, read more at CdM