Croats in Serbia Welcome EU Resolution on Minimum Standards for Minorities

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ZAGREB, November 18, 2018 – The Croatian National Council (HNV) in Serbia welcomed on Saturday a European Parliament resolution on minimum standards for minorities, passed on November 13, saying that it “will contribute to enhancing protection of the Croat minority in Serbia as part of the country’s EU entry talks.”

The European Parliament’s conclusion, which has no legal force, calls on the European Commission to start drawing up a plan to define minimum common standards for the protection of ethnic minorities that would incorporate the best practices in EU countries and be based on the principle of subsidiarity and proportionality, the media have reported, adding that the plan should result in an EU directive.

“We welcome the initiative which should primarily be implemented in countries of belated transition such as Serbia, where international agreements are still not sufficiently honoured, due to which the Croat community is not satisfied with its status. We hope that during the pre-accession process the country will have to change certain laws, as well as certain practices, and that it will be obliged to implement what it has signed with Croatia, an EU member,” HNV international secretary Darko Bastovanovic told the local Croat media in Vojvodina.

He said that he was referring to an agreement on the mutual protection of the Croat and Serb minorities in Serbia and Croatia, in the part that concerns ensuring representation for members of the Croat community in Serbia’s parliaments and state institutions.

Different countries treat the issue of minorities differently, he said, “and while Romania has regulated the matter by its constitution, Serbia has more than 50 laws that regulate the issue of minorities, which has resulted in major confusion.”

The EP resolution was supported by 10 of the 11 Croatian members of the European Parliament while one voted against.

For more on the status of Croats in Serbia, click here.


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