Today’s discussion in that eastern Croatian city was organised by the Vukovar European House and the German Friedrich Ebert Foundation.
Presenting the results of the research on integration processes in mixed ethnic communities, Dinka Čorkalo Biruški from the University of Zagreb Faculty of Philosophy said that the Integra Norm survey showed that inter-ethnic attitudes by children and parents in Vukovar are worse than in other ethnically mixed communities.
She called for talks on what can be done to integrate children more because the results of the survey in Vukovar show that Serb and Croatian children do not need each other.
“Two-thirds of friendships (71%) do not have even one friend from the other ethnic group, and this refers to three best friends,” said the professor Čorkalo Biruški.
She also said that Vukovar residents mostly agree on the Model B – bilingual education for children.
Siniša Tatalović from the Faculty of Political Sciences said that the right to an education in the mother tongue and script for ethnic minorities is a right in contemporary and democratic countries which are exercised throughout Europe.
“The thing that needs to be said with regard to Croatia is that national minority rights are inbuilt in the foundations of our state,” he said and recalled that Croatia has a constitutional law on the protection of human rights and of national minorities which regulates the right of ethnic minorities to an education.
Deputy Prime Minister Boris Milošević told the panel discussion that ethnic minorities in Croatia were integrative and inclusive which was an added value for Croatia’s richness.
“I wouldn’t observe or speak about Vukovar as a problem. If certain challenges exist, they need to be discussed and left to the experts and parents and if any changes need to be made they should be made in agreement with the minority community,” he said.
According to Milošević, Croatia has a good legal framework with regard to minority rights to education.