Saturday, 23 April 2022

Croatia's Support Important, Vojvodina Croats Reps Say

ZAGREB, 23 April 2022 - Croatia's cooperation and support are important for Vojvodina Croats' efforts and for strengthening their identity, representatives of three of their institutions said in Novi Vinodolski on Saturday.

Croatian National Council president Jasna Vojnić, the director of the Vojvodina Croats Culture Institute, Tomislav Žigmanov, and the director of the Hrvatska Riječ publisher, Ladislav Suknović were received by Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butković and local officials.

Žigmanov said they came to talk about the challenges awaiting them this year and that the biggest one would be a population census in October.

He is also the president of the Democratic Alliance of Croats in Vojvodina, which won a seat in the Serbian parliament in a recent election.

Asked if there was a possibility of his entering the Serbian government and what that would mean for Croats, Žigmanov said they were willing to talk about the new government's political and overall profile.

We wish to participate in policies which will lead Serbia to European integration, develop democracy in Serbia, strengthen the rule of law and the work of independent institutions, build policies for national minorities and integrate the Croatian minority in Serbian society, he said, adding that they also wish to participate in the normalisation and development of Croatian-Serbian relations.

Speaking of Vojvodina Croats' problems, Žigmanov said they were excluded from decision making, underrepresented in the public sector, and prevented from achieving certain interests and articulating their rights.

He said most of Serbia's society had a most negative opinion of Croats, and also mentioned social and economic problems as well as the identity of Bunjevci Croats.

Minister Butković said Žigmanov's election to the Serbian parliament was a big deal and good for the future status of Croats in Serbia. His becoming a member of the government would also mean a lot for them and bi a big step forward, he added.

He also said that Croatia's cooperation with Vojvodina Croats was very good.

For more, check out our politics section.

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

Grlić Radman, Žigmanov Advocate Better Status for Croat Minority in Serbia

ZAGREB, 8 March 2022 - Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Gordan Grlić Radman on Tuesday spoke with the leader of the Democratic Alliance of Vojvodina Croats, Tomislav Žigmanov, and the two discussed improving the status of the Croat minority in Serbia, the Foreign and European Affairs Ministry said in a press release.

"Considering that Serbia is still not implementing the provisions of the bilateral agreement on the mutual protection of rights of the Croat minority in Serbia and the Serb minority in Croatia, the talks underscored the importance of continuing to work on improving the status of the Croat minority in Serbia," the press release said.

The two officials talked about the current social and political circumstances in Serbia, with emphasis on the ethnic Croat community and activities by its key institutions.

They underscored that Croats in Serbia still live in an unfavourable social and political climate while Grlić Radman said that Croatia would continue to actively participate in protecting their cultural and identity interests as well as take the necessary steps in that regard, both in bilateral relations but also within the relevant international organisations.

As regards the coming election in Serbia, Grlić Radman and Žigmanov agreed that it was necessary to invest joint political efforts for ethnic Croats to obtain legitimate political representatives in Serbia's political institutions.