HNS Political Adademy - Strengthen the Rights of All Minorities9. April 2012 - 10:13 — Dejan Georgievski
The Political Adademy of the Croatian People’s Party (HNS) announced last Friday, April 6, a series of round-table discussions to be organized by the Academy over the next several months, on the topics of asylum, rights and challenges of discrimination of LGBT community, education system, in response to the need to strengthen the rights of all minorities in Croatian – national, gender or sexual – asylum seekers and foreigners.
"Croatia finds herself in a position of being an extremely closed and rather homogenous community which will find and construct its own, so-called “others and foreigners, faced with the challenges of the global “otherness”. Those ‘foreigners’, alas, will likely grow into some sort of new enemy”, said minister of culture Andrea Zlatar-Violić, member of the Council of the Public Affairs Department of the Political Adacemy, and noted the importance of the need to make Croatian society “more propulsive to transformation”.
Siniša Rodin from Zagreb’s Faculty of Law said that he believes the accession to the EU will contribute to liberalisation of social life in many areas, adding that many of the problems faced in Croatia result from the lacking implementation of liberal ideas in the country. Davor Gjenero, the coordinator of the Council, said that there is too little discussion of the issue of discrimination of minorities in Croatia.
After the conference for the press to present the newly created Council of the Public Affairs Department of the HNS Political Academy, a round-table discussion “Rights of National Minorities” was held, which discussed the institutions charged with protection of minorities in Croatia, European anti-discrimination legislation and anti-discrimination measures implemented in Croatia.
Speaking of minority policies in Croatia in the last decade, Antonija Petričušić from Zagreb University Department of Sociology, warned that the European Commission, as the body that oversees the implementation of EU accession criteria, continued with the conditioning policies implemented in the countries of Eastern Europe.
“In the case of Croatia and other countries of our region, the EC actually extended that policy of conditioning and, in addition to normative and institutional criteria for minority protection, presented us with additional conditions – return of refugees, post-conflict reconciliation, cooperation with the countries of the region and EU member-states, and processing of war crimes”, Petričušić said.
Davor Gjenero noted the three pillars of minority representation – parliamentary, in the bodies of the local self-government, and through the national minority councils at the level of local and regional self-government. He also reminded the participants the Croatia is subject to monitoring of implementation of obligations accepted in the pre-accession negotiations with the EU and that the failure to meet those obligations could postpone the ratification of accession agreement and block Croatian membership in the EU.
Tena Šimonović-Einwalter from the Office of the Ombudsman said that anti-discrimination policies were based on international, European and national law and the Constitution, with discrimination being based on racial or ethnic origin, colour of skin, national or social background. She added that full 40 percent of all submissions to the Office of the Ombudsman refers to discrimination on basis of national background. (Source: Zamirzine/Hina)
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