Tuesday, 3 July 2018

12th Sitting of the Committee on the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region

At the sitting held on 3 July, the members of the Committee on the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region deliberated on the status of Serbs in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a special focus on property rights.


The sitting was attended by Radovan Grajic, Assistant Minister for Refugees and Displaced Persons in the Government of the Republic of Srpska and coordinator of project Protection of Serbian Property in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mladjen Cicovic, Director of the Republic of Srpska Representative Office in Serbia, representatives of the Alliance of Serb Associations “Zavicaj” and representatives of the Alliance of Municipal Associations of Refugees and Displaced Persons of the Republic of Srpska.

The Chairman of the Committee on the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region Miodrag Linta said that the position of Serbs in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is not good and in the period between two censuses, 1991 to 2013, 500,000 Serbs were expelled or forced to leave the territory of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Linta said that Serbs are being systematically discriminated against when it comes to education and employment in the public sector, judiciary, education, health and allocation of budgetary funds of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Linta said that a great many exiled Serbs cannot recover their property.

Speaking of the position and problems of the Serb population in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Assistant Minister for Refugees and Displaced Persons in the Government of the Republic of Srpska Radovan Grajic said that the Law on Land Books discriminates against Serbs when it comes to registration of real estate. He informed the Committee members about the opening of offices in Bijeljina, Zvornik, Nevesinje, East New Sarajevo, Mrkonjic Grad and Banja Luka to offer legal support for the protection of property rights of Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Following a debate the Committee adopted the following conclusions:

  • The Committee on the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia fully supports the activities of the Ministry for Refugees and Displaced Persons of the Republic of Srpska, Alliance of Serb Associations “Zavicaj” and the Alliance of Municipal Associations of Refugees and Displaced Persons of the Republic of Srpska relating to the preservation of Serbian property and return of usurped Serbian property;

  • The Committee on the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region will inform the Office for Cooperation with the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region and the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration, as the relevant bodies of the executive power of the Republic of Serbia, about the content of this sitting;

  • The Committee on the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region urges the exiled Serbs and other Serbian citizens descended from the territory of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to register by 24 July to vote outside of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the general election to be held in Bosnia and Herzegovina on 7 October;

  • The Ministry for Refugees and Displaced Persons of the Republic of Srpska will inform the Committee on the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region about the activity report of the six offices opened on the territory of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to protect the property rights of Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina;

  • By the end of the year the Committee on the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region will hold another sitting on the status of Serbs in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to which it will invite representatives of the Office for Cooperation with the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region and the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration, newly-elected Serb representatives at the level of canton and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church from the eparchies operating on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina and representatives of homeland associations active in Serbia;

  • The Committee on the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region will organize a meeting with the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration, to which it will also invite representatives of the Ministry for Refugees and Displaced Persons of the Republic of Srpska, to review the possibilities to open an office in Belgrade to provide legal support in the protection of property rights of citizens of the Republic of Serbia originating from the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The sitting was chaired by Committee Chairman Miodrag Linta and attended by the following Committee members: Mirjana Dragas, Aleksandar Markovic, Blaza Knezevic, Jadranka Jovanovic, Vlado Babic, Goran Nikolic, Marjana Maras, Ivan Kostic, Dragan Veljkovic, Vladimir Djuric, Ivan Bauer, Aleksandar Cotric, as well ac and deputy member Miladin Sevarlic.


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