The Serbian Cultural Association “Prosvjeta” (Zagreb) and the Academic Network for Cooperation in SEE have prepared a conversation on the topic “Regional Cooperation and Protection of National Minorities”. Representatives of the academic community, public authorities and independent bodies from Croatia and Serbia took part in the conversation. Among them were representatives of ANCSEE: prof. Ruzica Jakesevic PhD, prof. Sinisa Tatalovic PhD and dr Goran Basic.
Multilateral agreements and bilateral cooperation are contributing to the regulation of the position and respect for the rights of national minorities, but the regional approach is very important because ethnic ties in Southeast and Central Europe are very complex and operate on the principle of merged blood vessels. Ethnic tensions and crises in one area are often causing similar crises in other areas. The protection of the identity of national minorities, their social integration and zero tolerance of discrimination should be the basis of any minority policy. Unfortunately, the region has been burdened with ethnic tensions for a quarter of a century, since the application of modern international standards for the protection of minorities, and resolving them requires careful and open cooperation and action. It should always be borne in mind that in addition to the security and political aspects of minority integration, cultural and social aspects are also very important, as well as the potential offered by the richness of traditions, languages and customs in the region that transcend national borders.