UDC 327:323(497.11)
Biblid: 0543-3657, 68 (2017)
Vol. 68, No 1168, pp. 62-85
DOI:

Original scientific paper
Received: 25 Sep 2017
Accepted: 25 Oct 2017

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE ISSUE OF NATIONAL MINORITIES IN THE SERBIAN FOREIGN POLICY

Radenković Dr Dragomir (Autor je bivši diplomata, član Srpskog spoljnopolitičkog kruga), dragomir.radenkovic@yahoo.com

The paper analyzes the problems of national minorities and considers a place that it has in the foreign policy of Serbia. The author postulates the thesis that respect for minority rights, as national minorities in Serbia and Serbs in the region, is of importance to bilateral relations with neighboring countries and underlines the significance of minority issues in the process of integration of Serbia into the EU, primarily through the implementation of the Action Plan for the realization of the rights of national minorities in the context of the chapter 23 (judiciary and security) in negotiations with the European Union. The paper summarized the normative framework of respect for minority rights in Serbia, with reference to the basic international documents relating to the legal status of national minorities and presented the thesis on the need for its further improvement. The author points to the key problems of minority communities in Serbia and their main requirements, as well as the unresolved issues of Serbs in the region. The paper highlights the commitment of Serbia to the effective respect for the rights of national minorities and the further improvement of the situation of the Serbian community in the region, with emphasis on recognition of the Serbian minority in Slovenia, the conclusion of a bilateral agreement on the protection of national minorities with Albania, defining the status of Serbs in Montenegro, etc. In addition, the minority problem should be solved in a bilateral framework and dialogue, while an important role has the respect of bilateral agreements on protection of national minorities that Serbia has signed with Hungary, Romania, Croatia and Macedonia, and regular maintenance of the intergovernmental mixed commission with those countries. Bearing in mind that the resolution of minority issues is relevant to the improvement of bilateral relations with neighboring countries and for the process of integration of Serbia into the European Union, as our foreign policy priorities, the author underlines the importance that the issue of national minorities has in the foreign policy of Serbia, concluding that it could be considered one of its determinants.

Keywords: Ethnic minorities, Serbs in the region, minority rights, bilateral relations, bilateral agreements on the protection of minorities, the process of Serbia’s European integration, foreign policy of Serbia