Education in Line with Religious Beliefs Erased from Family Law Draft

Total Croatia News

The controversial provision has been excluded due to pressure from more liberal coalition partners.

The Minister for Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy, Nada Murganić, presented to the HDZ Presidency a new draft of the Family Law, whose earlier versions caused controversy among members of the public. The law will soon finally be sent to a public consultation process, reports Večernji List on May 4, 2018.

The minister presented the draft at a recent party presidency meetings, and it seems that the law will not contain a provision according to which parents would have the right to have their children provided with education in accordance with their religious and philosophical views.

HDZ’a coalition partner HNS insisted on the removal, especially after the conservative HRAST party left the ruling coalition after the ratification of the Istanbul Convention. However, despite the removal of the provision from the law, it is an integral part of a series of international treaties which Croatia has ratified, including the European Convention on the Protection of Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms. This means that it must be respected, whether it is part of the Family Law or not.

“Since this definition is already contained in other international treaties, nothing will change by the fact that it will not be part of the Family Law,” commented one member of the HDZ Presidency. He added that the message from the presidency is that this will be the only concession to left-liberal critics who demanded several changes to the previous draft.

In the earlier draft, the greatest controversy was caused by the definition of family which meant that spouses without children were not considered to be a family. The definition was promptly excluded from the law, Prime Minister Plenković withdrew the proposal from the public consultation procedure, and Minister Murganić apologised.

However, the latest draft of the Family Law has not yet been presented to HDZ’s coalition partners from HNS, who had a number of objections to earlier versions. “HDZ wanted to include in the law a provision that parents could make decisions about the education of their children in accordance with their religious and philosophical beliefs. We have prevented this, but the law is still stuck at the prime minister’s office, and he is delaying sending it further to the legislative procedure,” said an HNS source. All proposals have first to be approved by the PM’s office. “Plenković should considerably accelerate his activities,” added the source.

HDZ say they are aware that the Family Law will continue to be contentious and that leftwing parties will continue to have objections, but they allegedly are not ready for any more concessions. However, the law will have to be agreed beforehand with HNS because without their votes it will not be adopted in parliament.

Translated from Večernji List (reported by Iva Puljić-Šego).


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