The Forum for Ethnic Relations organized a Regional Conference on Bilateral Relations and the Status of National Minorities, with the support of the British Embassy Belgrade and the Open Society Foundation Serbia.
The event was held on 13 January 2017 at the premises of Aeroklub in Belgrade.
Over forty experts and representatives of national minorities from Serbia and the region, Croatia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, as well as the representatives of the diplomatic corps, actively participated in the work of the conference.
A basis for discussion is the Draft Policy Paper National Minorities and Serbia’s Relations with its Neighbors (enclosed to this letter), prepared as a result of the work of an international expert team of the Forum for Ethnic Relations, within the Status of National Minorities in Serbia and EU Integrations Project.
The authors of the paper are: Dušan Janjić, PhD; Snežana Filipović, PhD; Dejan Jović, PhD; Tamas Korhec, PhD; Anna Krasetva, PhD; Eniko Lacziko, Zoran Milivojević, PhD; Jovica Pavlović; Dragomir Radenković, PhD; Adriana Petraru, PhD; Nenad Radojčić, legal expert; Nada Raduški, PhD; Jelena Savić, Balash Vizi, PhD and Nenad Đurđević.
The paper aims to discuss the relations and policy of the Republic of Serbia towards its national minorities whose kin-states are neighbors of the Republic of Serbia and also the EU member states, namely: Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia. The influence of the Republic of Serbia’s minority policy on the relationship with these countries is examined with a view to its accession to the EU. The paper also considers the policies of neighboring countries towards the Serbian national minority on their territory. Moreover, it gives the analysis of the role of minority policy and national minorities in the context of bilateral and regional relations of the Republic of Serbia with its neighbors – the EU member states.
The conference focused on the following topics:
- The current state of play and prospects for bilateral relations between Serbia and its neighbors – member states of the European Union (EU): Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia;
- The relevance of the status and rights of national minorities in the said bilateral relations, and
- The impact of bilateral and regional cooperation and the Acquis Communautaire on the status of national minorities.