Breaking up of former 6 Yugoslav republics into 7 independent
Yugoslavia was a union of several small Balkan states, grouped along
ethnic and religious lines. There is a lot of confusion and misconception in the world about what really went on in
Yugoslavia, during the recent Balkan wars in the 1990s. Also, what are the actual relations between the former
country of Yugoslavia and the newly created, independent countries in its place.
While this website does not concern itself with those wars or
politics, it's important to clarify some fundamental facts about the former country of Yugoslavia, to make it
easier for an outsider to have a somewhat better, if only basic, understanding about the local
Without wanting to delve into any historical origins, here are some
basic facts about former Yugoslavia and its republics.
Tito and the Non-Aligned Movement
Even though the country's origins date back to the turn of the 19th
century, the so-called modern Yugoslavia was created after the WWII. Its President from 1945 to 1980 was Tito, a
well know political figure in the world circles, who together with the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal
Nehru and the Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser instigated the Non-Aligned Movement. The first official
non-aligned movement summit in Belgrade in 1961, which included 25 countries. Initially this political movement
represented a credible political alternative during the Cold War era, but it lost its credibility in the 1970s,
especialy after Tito's death in 1980. Today the movement still counts 114 countries. [See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-Aligned_Movement for more info.]
Josip Broz Tito (his full name) was Yugoslavia's dictatorial
President until his death in 1980. While he adhered to communist Soviet philosophy, he nonetheless also held good
relations between Yugoslavia and the West, playing the balancing act with the both political blocs. His world
reputation was evident in 1980, when his funeral was attended by over 140 countries' heads of state or their
representatives. [See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josip_Broz_Tito for
more info about Tito.]
The above map shows
the 6 Republics of former Yugoslavia, all of which are now independent countries, including Kosovo
and Montenegro that were in late 90s
still in unison with Serbia - click on image to enlarge - opens in new window.
Map courtesy of:
Break-up of Yugoslavia
The country of Yugoslavia consisted of 6 republics, as they were
called. Those republics were (starting from the north west): Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia,
Montenegro and Macedonia. Serbia also incorporated two so-called autonomous enclaves, Vojvodina (up north near
Hungary and Romania) and now well-known Kosovo (bordering with Albania and Macedonia).
Following the bloody wars in the 1990s, Slovenia and Croatia became
independent countries and achieved international dimplomatic recognition. Macedonia managed to do the same,
breaking away from what was left of Yugoslavia, largely unscathed by the war. The Bosnia and Herzegovina was split
into 3 ethnic enclaves, Bosnian (Muslim), Serbian, and Croatian, all of which are still under international UN
Serbia and Montenegro remained together in an entity now known as
SiCG or SCG - meaning Serbia and 'Crna Gora' (Montenegro). Following national referendum in 2006, Montenegro also
became an independent country, thus making Serbia also an independent country by default. The break-up of
Yugoslavia was then complete.
Former Yugoslavia Countries
There are now 7 countries that make up the former Yugoslavia are.
These are (in alphabet order):
- Bosnia and
Herzegovina - still under UN
protectorate; population 3,981,000
- Croatia - soon to join the EU; population 4,491,000
- Kosovo - achieved independence in 2008; population 2,126,000
- Macedonia - still in dispute with Greece over its name; population 2,061,000
- Montengro - the smallest of former Yugoslavia countries; population 678,000
- Serbia - the largest of former Yugoslavia countries; population 7,395,000
- Slovenia - member of the EU; population 2,053,000
Slovenia has in the meantime joined the European Union and on the 1st
January 2007 has changed over to using Euro as its official currency. Croatia was officially invited in October
2005, to join the EU and after undergoing negotiations and a lengthy process of 'screening', the country
officially became the 28th member of the European Union in July 2013.