During our traditional “Eastville 2016”, on June 17th 2016, at Bor Municipality, NGO Village organized round table discussion on the subject: “How to improve representation of National Minorities at state and local level administrations and role of kin countries in supporting it”. Event was realized with the support and participation of representatives of OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities’ team (Ms. Natascha Andonova-Carter and Ms. Tihana Leko) who were moderating the event, and participation of representatives of Suisse Embassy (H.E. Ms. Pauline Menthonnex Gacaferri, Deputy Head of Mission), Romanian Consulate (Mr. Iulian Nitu, Consul General), representative of OSCE Mission in Serbia (Ms. Milica Rodic), representative of Serbian Government’s Office for EU Integrations (Ms. Vasilija Stanic) as well as representatives of 27 different minorities organizations from all over Serbia and institutions representing minorities (Vlach’s, Romanian, Macedonian and Slovenian National Councils). Bor Municipality was represented by Mr. Sasa Vukadinovic, Deputy Meyor.
After two and a half hours of intense discussion, several repeating issues were recapped as conclusions of the round table. Those include:
• a general dissatisfaction regarding the participation of national minorities at all levels of governance;
• the need for more roundtables on issues affecting national minorities with representatives of central and local government;
• the dissatisfaction with the perceived politicization of the national minority councils;
• the dissatisfaction with the electoral legislation;
• the need to address the inter-church issues through dialogue;
• National minorities’ representatives should participate in public discussions on changes to legislation and action plans done under Chapter 23, within the process of Serbia’s approximation to the EU; and
•Dialogue is the most important method to solve issues in the interest of common good, however any discussion on identity should bear in mind that self-identification is the principle recognized as an international standard.
Summary of the discussion/conclusions will be submitted to Serbian Government and local administrations in order to be, if possible, considered during incoming legislation changes regarding national minorities and national councils of national minorities.
Full list of participants can be found here: