Jakov Milatović

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Jakov Milatović
Јаков Милатовић
Milatović in 2023
3rd President of Montenegro
Assumed office
20 May 2023
Prime MinisterDritan Abazović
Preceded byMilo Đukanović
Minister of Economic Development
In office
4 December 2020 – 28 April 2022
Prime MinisterZdravko Krivokapić
Preceded byDragica Sekulić
Succeeded byGoran Đurović
Additional positions
Member of the City Assembly of Podgorica
In office
12 April 2023 – 11 May 2023
Personal details
Born (1987-12-07) 7 December 1987 (age 35)
Titograd, SR Montenegro, SFR Yugoslavia
Political partyEurope Now! (2022–present)
Other political
Independent (before 2022)
SpouseMilena Milatović
  • Politician
  • economist

Jakov Milatović (Serbian Cyrillic: Јаков Милатовић, pronounced [jakoʋ mǐlatoʋitɕ]; born 7 December 1987) is a Montenegrin politician and economist who is the incumbent president of Montenegro, serving since May 2023. He previously served as the minister of economic development in the cabinet of Zdravko Krivokapić from 2020 to 2022, and as an economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London and Podgorica.[1] He is the co-founder and deputy leader of the liberal and pro-European Europe Now! party, currently the largest single political party in the Montenegrin parliament.

Taking office in a landslide presidential election at the age of 36, Milatović is the youngest person to hold the office of president in independent Montenegro, as well as the world's third-youngest state leader after Gaetano Troina of San Marino and Ibrahim Traoré of Burkina Faso, and the third President of Montenegro since the country's independence in 2006. He has made improving living standards, tackling corruption, and the accession of Montenegro to the European Union by 2025 his central issues.[2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Milatović was born on 7 December 1987[4] in Titograd, SR Montenegro, SFR Yugoslavia, where he graduated elementary and secondary school Gymnasium "Slobodan Škerović". In his yearbook page from 2005 it was stated that Milatović will become the president of Montenegro within 10 years.[5] His grandfather and great-grandfather fought in World War II as a member of the Yugoslav Partisans.[6] His great-grandfather also participated in World War I and fought in the Battle of Mojkovac in 1916.[5] His father was a unionist and one of the founders of the Socialist People's Party (SNP) in 1997.[7] Milatović claimed that his father couldn't find employment due to his opposition to the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS).[5]

He completed his undergraduate studies in the field of economics at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Montenegro. He spent one academic year at Illinois State University as US Fellow; one semester at the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Wien) as Government of Austria Fellow; one academic year at the Sapienza University of Rome (La Sapienza) as EU Fellow. Milatović completed his MPhil in economics at St John's College, Oxford. He was a British Government Chevening Scholarship Fellow. He was also a fellow of the German Konrad Adenauer Foundation.[8] Besides his native Serbo-Croatian, Milatović is fluent in English, and speaks Italian and Spanish.[9]

Economics career[edit]

Milatović worked at NLB Group Podgorica, and Deutsche Bank, Frankfurt. In 2014 he joined the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in the team for economic and political analysis. In 2019, he was promoted to the principal economist for the EU countries, including Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia, and was based at the Bank's office in Bucharest.[10]

He has published a number of articles and co-authored two books.[11]

Political career[edit]

Minister of Economic Development (2020–2022)[edit]

He served as the minister of economic development in the Krivokapić Cabinet from 4 December 2020 to 28 April 2022.[12] During his term, Milatović and finance minister Milojko Spajić presented and implemented the controversial "Europe now" economic reform program.[13] The reform program aimed to increase the minimum wage, reduce taxes and social contributions, attract foreign investment, and accelerate Montenegro’s integration into the European Union. The program was popular among the public and boosted the public approval of Milatović and Spajić.[14]

Europe Now and 2022 local elections[edit]

In 2022, Milatović and Spajić founded the Europe Now political party, with Spajić as president and Milatović as deputy president. It participated in the 2022 local elections,[15] with Milatović heading the organizations electoral list in Podgorica as its mayoral candidate.[16] The list won 21.7% of the popular vote and Milatović was expected to become the mayor of Podgorica.[17]

2023 presidential campaign[edit]

In March 2023, Milatović ran as a replacement candidate of Europe Now in the 2023 Montenegrin presidential election after Spajić's candidacy was rejected by the State Electoral Commission (DIK) as it was discovered that he is a dual citizen of Serbia and Montenegro.[18] He was elected president following his landslide victory against the incumbent president Milo Đukanović in the run-off on 2 April 2023.[19] Milatović won 58.88% of the popular vote.[20] He stated that his first foreign visit will be to Brussels.[21]

Presidency (2023–present)[edit]

Milatović was sworn in on 20 May 2023 in the Parliament of Montenegro in Podgorica[22] instead of the traditional inauguration place of Cetinje.[23] His inauguration was attended by numerous Balkan leaders such as Aleksandar Vučić, Zoran Milanović, Željko Komšić, Željka Cvijanović, Denis Bećirović, and Galab Donev.[22] Milatović was also congratulated by Pope Francis.[24]

Milatović and U.S representative Mike Turner in September 2023

In June 2023, Milatović stated that he expects Montenegro to join the European Union by 2027 or 2028.[25]

In August 2023, Milatović met with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Athens, stating that Montenegro "openly and strongly condemns Russia's unprovoked aggression against Ukraine."[26]

On 28 August 2023, Milatović said that the "winning energy" after his presidential election has been "shattered" by the disagreements over the new government formation, appealing to the prime minister-designate Spajič and everyone participating in the consultations on the formation of the new government to make the process "more transparent and in accordance with the electoral will".[27]

Political positions[edit]

His political positions have been described as centrist,[28][29] while some describe him as a populist.[30][31][32] Milatović voted for the independence of Montenegro at the 2006 independence referendum.[6] Prior to entering politics he voted for SNP, Democratic Montenegro and the For the Future of Montenegro (ZBCG) coalition.[7]

Foreign policy[edit]

Milatović supports the accession of Montenegro to the European Union.[33] He advocates closer relations between Montenegro and Serbia.[34][35][36] He supports sanctioning Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine, which he considers an act of aggression.[37] Milatović called the proposals of Montenegro revoking the recognition of Kosovo's independence unrealistic, stating that Kosovo is an internationally recognized country.[38] He stated that he agrees with the International Court of Justice's verdict on the Srebrenica genocide.[39] He supports the Open Balkan initiative.[5][40][36]

Personal life[edit]

Milatović is married to Milena Milatović and has three children. He is a Serbian Orthodox Christian and was baptized in the Ostrog Monastery.[35] He identifies himself as a Montenegrin by ethnicity.[41]


  1. ^ "Ko je Jakov Milatović kandidat za ministra za ekonomski razvoj" [Who is Jakov Milatović, the candidate for Minister of Economic Development]. Biznis CG (in Montenegrin). 5 November 2020. Archived from the original on 20 November 2020. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  2. ^ Dunai, Marton (28 May 2023). "Montenegro's young guard aims to speed up EU accession". Financial Times. Retrieved 7 July 2023.
  3. ^ Vasovic, Aleksandar (2 April 2023). "Montenegro's ex-economy minister Milatovic declares victory in presidential run-off". Reuters. Retrieved 7 July 2023.
  4. ^ "Kako je, još na maturi, predskazana budućnost ministra Jakova Milatovića" [How the future of Minister Jakov Milatović was predicted at the graduation ceremony]. 20 December 2021. Archived from the original on 21 March 2023. Retrieved 21 March 2023.
  5. ^ a b c d Dedeić, Siniša (20 March 2023). "Ko je Jakov Milatović koji tvrdi da će "Mila poslati u penziju"?" [Who is Jakov Milatović who claims that he will "send Milo into retirement"?]. Istinomer (in Serbian). Retrieved 8 April 2023.
  6. ^ a b "JAKOV MILATOVIĆ: Glasao sam za nezavisnost Crne Gore 2006. godine!" [JAKOV MILATOVIĆ: I voted for the independence of Montenegro in 2006!]. kurir.rs (in Serbian). Archived from the original on 19 March 2023. Retrieved 19 March 2023.
  7. ^ a b "GLASAO SAM DEMOKRATE: Milatović otkrio i da mu je otac jedan od osnivača SNP-a | Region" [I VOTED DEMOCRATS: Milatović also revealed that his father was one of the founders of the SNP]. Region.alo (in Serbian). 5 March 2023. Retrieved 8 April 2023.
  8. ^ "BIOGRAFIJA PREDLOŽENIH MINISTARA" [BIOGRAPHY OF PROPOSED MINISTERS]. www.dan.co.me. Archived from the original on 13 November 2020. Retrieved 14 November 2020.
  9. ^ "Jakov Milatovic". LinkedIn. Retrieved 19 June 2023.
  10. ^ "Ovo su biografije kandidata za nove ministre" [These are the biographies of the candidates for the new ministers]. vijesti.me. Archived from the original on 5 November 2020. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  11. ^ portal, D. A. N. (2 April 2023). "ДАН - Biografija Jakova Milatovića" [DAN - Biography of Jakov Milatović]. www.dan.co.me. Retrieved 10 April 2023.
  12. ^ "Izabrana 42. Vlada Crne Gore" [42nd Government of Montenegro was elected]. Archived from the original on 23 October 2022. Retrieved 23 October 2022.
  13. ^ "Spajić, Milatović: Čvrsto stojimo iza programa Evropa sad! onako kako ga je Vlada predložila" [Spajić, Milatović: We firmly stand behind the program Europe now! as proposed by the Government]. Archived from the original on 23 October 2022. Retrieved 23 October 2022.
  14. ^ Durović, Aneta (25 October 2022). "Tajna izbornog uspjeha Pokreta Evropa sad u Crnoj Gori" [The secret of the electoral success of the Europe Now Movement in Montenegro]. Radio Slobodna Evropa (in Serbo-Croatian). Retrieved 24 May 2023.
  15. ^ ""Evropa sad" izlazi na lokalne izbore, misija Pokreta: Prosječna plata 1.000 eura, minimalna penzija 450 eura, bez nezaposlenih..." ["Europe now" goes to local elections, the mission of the Movement: Average salary 1,000 euros, minimum pension 450 euros, no unemployed...]. Pobjeda. Archived from the original on 28 June 2022. Retrieved 23 October 2022.
  16. ^ "Lokalni izbori u Crnoj Gori: DPS bez apsolutne većine u Podgorici, uspon pokreta "Evropa sad"" [Local elections in Montenegro: DPS without an absolute majority in Podgorica, the rise of the "Europe Now" movement]. Glas Amerike (in Serbian). Archived from the original on 23 October 2022. Retrieved 23 October 2022.
  17. ^ Nova.rs (23 October 2022). "Objavljeni konačni rezultati izbora u Podgorici: Opozicija potukla Mila Đukanovića" [The final results of the election in Podgorica have been announced: the opposition beat Milo Đukanović]. NOVA portal (in Serbian). Archived from the original on 4 April 2023. Retrieved 4 April 2023.
  18. ^ Milićević, Nenad (23 February 2023). ""Evropa sad" umesto Spajića kandiduje Jakova Milatovića za predsednika Crne Gore" ["Europe Now" instead of Spajić is running Jakov Milatović for the President of Montenegro]. N1 (in Serbian). Archived from the original on 4 April 2023. Retrieved 4 April 2023.
  19. ^ Gedošević, Lana. "JAKOV MILATOVIĆ UBEDLJIV Obrađeno 90 odsto glasova, brojke za Mila Đukanovića NEDOSTIŽNE" [JAKOV MILATOVIĆ CONVINCING 90 percent of votes processed, numbers for Milo Đukanović UNACHIEVEABLE]. Blic.rs (in Serbian). Archived from the original on 2 April 2023. Retrieved 2 April 2023.
  20. ^ www.antenam.net. "DIK utvrdio rezultate: Milatoviću 58,88 odsto glasova, Đukanoviću 41,12 odsto" [DIK determined the results: Milatović got 58.88 percent of the votes, Đukanović got 41.12 percent]. Antena M (in Serbian). Archived from the original on 5 April 2023. Retrieved 4 April 2023.
  21. ^ portal, D. A. N. (3 April 2023). "ДАН - Milatović: Cilj je pomirena Crna Gora, prvo ću posjetiti Brisel, nema saradnje sa DPS-om" [DAN - Milatović: The goal is a reconciled Montenegro, I will visit Brussels first, there is no cooperation with DPS]. www.dan.co.me. Retrieved 7 April 2023.
  22. ^ a b "Milatović polaže zakletvu u podne: Vučić stigao u Podgoricu" [Milatović takes the oath at noon: Vučić arrived in Podgorica]. vijesti.me (in Serbian). Retrieved 20 May 2023.
  23. ^ Vijesti (15 April 2023). "Presedan zbog ugrožene bezbednosti: Milatović se umesto na Cetinju zaklinje u ovom gradu" [Precedent due to threatened security: Milatović swears in this city instead of in Cetinje]. NOVA portal (in Serbian). Retrieved 20 May 2023.
  24. ^ "Papa Franjo čestitao Milatoviću početak mandata" [Pope Francis congratulated Milatović on the beginning of his mandate]. RTCG - Radio Televizija Crne Gore - Nacionalni javni servis. Retrieved 20 May 2023.
  25. ^ "Milatović: Potrebni novi izbori na severu Kosova i uspostavljanje ZSO" [Milatović: New elections are needed in the north of Kosovo and the establishment of the ZSO]. Kosovo Online. Retrieved 11 June 2023.
  26. ^ "Milatović poručio Zelenskom: Ukrajina će u Crnoj Gori uvek imati prijatelja" [Milatović told Zelenskyy: Ukraine will always have a friend in Montenegro]. Tanjug. Retrieved 22 August 2023.
  27. ^ "Milatović: Pobjednička energija se razbila" [Milatović: The winning energy has been shattered]. vijesti.me (in Serbian). Retrieved 30 August 2023.
  28. ^ "Montenegro elections: Long-standing leader Milo Djukanovic suffers defeat". BBC News. 3 April 2023. Archived from the original on 3 April 2023. Retrieved 3 April 2023.
  29. ^ "RTS :: Region :: Đukanović ili Milatović – da li će dijaspora odlučiti izbore" [RTS :: Region :: Đukanović or Milatović - will the diaspora decide the elections]. rts.rs. Archived from the original on 3 April 2023. Retrieved 3 April 2023.
  30. ^ Standard (20 March 2023). "Gjenero: Milatović nije bezazlen i pristojan, već populista kojeg je stvorila SPC" [Gjenero: Milatović is not harmless and decent, but a populist created by the SPC]. Standard (in Bosnian). Retrieved 20 April 2023.
  31. ^ "Litijaš i desni populista Jakov Milatović nije građanski, nego u osnovi većinski kandidat kleronacionalista" [Litijaš and right-wing populist Jakov Milatović is not a citizen, but basically the majority candidate of the clero-nationalists]. Portal Analitika. Retrieved 20 April 2023.
  32. ^ Aktuelno (2 April 2023). "OTVORENA VRATA SRPSKOG SVETA: Populista Jakov Milatović novi je predsjednik Crne Gore" [OPEN DOORS OF THE "SERBIAN WORLD": Populist Jakov Milatović is the new president of Montenegro]. Aktuelno (in Bosnian). Retrieved 20 April 2023.
  33. ^ "Milatović: Uvešću Crnu Goru u EU, a sjever Crne Gore preporoditi" [Milatović: I will bring Montenegro into the EU, and the north of Montenegro will be reborn]. vijesti.me (in Serbian). Archived from the original on 19 March 2023. Retrieved 19 March 2023.
  34. ^ Đurić, Novica. "Srbija je za Crnu Goru više od ekonomije" [For Montenegro, Serbia is more than the economy]. Politika Online. Archived from the original on 19 March 2023. Retrieved 19 March 2023.
  35. ^ a b "Milatović: Decu sam krstio u SPC | Politika" [Milatović: I baptized my children in SPC]. Direktno (in Serbian). Archived from the original on 24 March 2023. Retrieved 24 March 2023.
  36. ^ a b Pašić, Danijela (20 April 2023). "Milatović: Prijateljski sa Vučićem, bolje u Otvoreni, nego u zatvoreni Balkan" [Milatović: Friendly with Vučić, better in the Open than in the closed Balkans]. N1 (in Serbian). Retrieved 20 April 2023.
  37. ^ "Jakov Milatović: Rusija je izvršila agresiju na Ukrajinu, Crna Gora će se u potpunosti držati političkog kursa EU" [Jakov Milatović: Russia has committed aggression against Ukraine, Montenegro will fully adhere to the political course of the EU]. Politika Online. Retrieved 7 April 2023.
  38. ^ Nikolić, Mirjana (5 April 2023). "Milatović: Crna Gora još snažnije prema EU, Kosovo je završena priča" [Milatović: Montenegro even more strongly towards the EU, Kosovo is the end of the story]. N1 (in Serbian). Retrieved 7 April 2023.
  39. ^ "Milatović o Srebrenici: Moja pozicija je vrlo jasna" [Milatović on Srebrenica: My position is very clear]. Aljazeera. 7 April 2023. Retrieved 7 April 2023.
  40. ^ "Milatović: Mislim da bi Crna Gora trebalo da bude dio Otvorenog Balkana" [Milatović: I think that Montenegro should be part of Open Balkan]. cdm. Retrieved 16 April 2023.
  41. ^ "OVO JE NOVI PREDSEDNIK CRNE GORE Jakov Milatović je pobedio Mila Đukanovića: Crnogorac i pravoslavac, otac TROJE DECE" [THIS IS THE NEW PRESIDENT OF MONTENEGRO Jakov Milatović defeated Milo Đukanović: Montenegrin and Orthodox, father of THREE CHILDREN]. Blic.rs (in Serbian). Archived from the original on 2 April 2023. Retrieved 2 April 2023.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Economic Development
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of Montenegro