Montenegro decided on Wednesday to legalize same-sex civil partnership.

This makes Montenegro the first European country outside of Western Europe and the EU to legally recognize same-sex couples.

President Milo Djukanovic said it was a confirmation that Montenegrin society "is maturing." Djukanovic described the moment as "one step closer to joining the most developed world democracies."

Montenegro is considered a predominantly conservative and male-dominated society, where the LGBT+ community has often faced rejection and harassment.
However, the government is currently undergoing advanced negotiations to join the EU. Boosting the rights of minority groups has been seen as necessary for the EU integration process.