ZAGREB, October 18, 2019 – The Serb National Council (SNV) on Thursday announced the start of a campaign aimed at removing the stigma from the Cyrillic and send the message that using this script privately or publicly does not endanger anyone in Croatia, notably the Croatian majority.
Speaking at a press conference announcing the “Let’s understand each other better” campaign, SNV president Boris Milošević said it would promote dignity, freedom, equality and non-discrimination.
The Cyrillic is an important part of the Serb cultural identity and language diversity is one of the foundations of the European Union, so every member state has the duty to promote the use of minority languages and scripts.
“Since the state has not worked on the promotion of a minority language, we decided on this campaign. We want respect for the constitution, Constitutional Court decisions and the conventions Croatia has committed to, as well as the application of the law on national minorities,” Milosevic said.
The campaign will last until January 1, when Croatia takes over the Council of the EU presidency.
He said the motive for the campaign was a session of the Vukovar City Council scheduled to discuss the degree of understanding in the town and the use of the Cyrillic, which prompted the SNV to print the city statute in Cyrillic and the Serbian language.
The message is that the SNV wants dialogue and better understanding, regardless of the language and script in use, and that an unrealised legal right is not a right. “We believe that the Cyrillic has its place across Croatia, notably in places with a significant Serb population, including Vukovar,” Milošević said.
Vukovar city councillor Srđan Kolar said the Cyrillic could not be and was not an aggressor script which, he added, was something that could very frequently be heard in Vukovar. If the stigma was removed from it, people in Vukovar would live “more peacefully, better.”
Independent Democratic Serb Party president Milorad Pupovac said the Cyrillic, as one of the EU scripts after Bulgaria’s accession, should not be banned and restricted anywhere in Europe.
This campaign calls for dialogue, the goal being to avoid misunderstandings and start a dialogue on all issues, “including those which can be painful,” he said.
“Some want the Cyrillic to be a script of non-freedom in Croatia. For us, it was, is and will be a script of freedom just as any other script. Freedom is to write in it, to read and see it where it should be seen, and for everyone to be free of the bad feelings connected with those who made wrong political and military decisions,” Pupovac said.
More news about status of Serbs in Croatia can be found in the Politics section.