Montenegro is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast, Kosovo to the east and Albania to the southeast. Its capital and largest city is Podgorica, while Cetinje is designated as the Prijestonica, meaning the former Royal Capital City.
The history of Montenegro dates back from 9th century with the emergence of Duklja, a vassal state of Byzantium. In those formative years, Duklja was ruled by the Vojislavljevic dynasty. In 1042, at the end of his 25-year rule, King Vojislav won a decisive battle near Bar against Byzantium, and Duklja became independent. Duklja's power and prosperity reached their zenith under King Vojislav's son, King Mihailo (1046–81), and his son King Bodin (1081–1101). From the 11th century, it started to be referred to as Zeta. It ended with its incorporation into Raska, and beginning with the Crnojevic dynasty, Zeta was more often referred to as Crna Gora or by the Venetian term monte negro. A sovereign principality since the Late Middle Ages, Montenegro saw its independence from the Ottoman Empire formally recognized in 1878. From 1918, it was a part of various incarnations of Yugoslavia. On the basis of a referendum held on 21 May 2006, Montenegro declared independence on 3 June of that year.
Montenegro is a member of the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Council of Europe, the Central European Free Trade Agreement and a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean. Montenegro has a high Human Development Index, and is marked as the only moderate country on Balkans along with most of EU countries. Montenegro is also a potential candidate for membership in the European Union; the country presented its official application in 2008, hoping to gain EU candidate status in 2010. Additionally, Montenegro is an official candidate for membership in NATO, having been offered a Membership Action Plan (MAP) by the alliance in 2009.