At the sitting held on 12 June, the members of the Committee on Human and Minority Rights and Gender Equality considered, in principle, the Bill amending and modifying the Law on Official Use of Languages and Scripts, Bill amending and modifying the Law on Protection of Rights and Freedoms of National Minorities and the Bill amending and modifying the Law on National Councils of National Minorities.
The Committee accepted the proposal of Committee member Milanka Jevtovic Vukojicic to complete a joint debate on all three bills.
The bills were presented by State Secretary at the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government Ivan Bosnjak who said that they are essential for the modernization of the constitutional framework in line with democratic development. Pursuant to the Action Plan for Chapter 23, the Ministry assumed the obligation to prepare amendments and modification to the abovementioned laws in cooperation with all the stakeholders, but chiefly the national councils of national minorities.
The Bill amending and modifying the Law on Official Use of Languages and Scripts has been adjusted to the other two bills and the two main items it introduces are the use of minority languages at the National Assembly and parts of local self-government unit territories.
The Bill amending and modifying the Law on Protection of Rights and Freedoms of National Minorities concerns the part relating to the use and declaration of national affiliation in public registers. According to the Bill any declaration of national affiliation is to be recorded and the information is to be used in an affirmative manner.
The Bill amending and modifying the Law on National Councils of National Minorities is the umbrella law on national councils. It needs to be passed to adapt the 2009 Law to the 2014 court rulings and to adjust the characterization of the councils, employment, disposal of funds and depoliticization of the councils.
Following a debate the Committee members accepted all three bills in principle and appointed Committee member Ljiljana Malusic its rapporteur to the National Assembly session.
The Committee went on to unanimously accept the amendment to the Decision to organize a public hearing previously set for Friday, 15 June 2018. The public hearing is to be postponed to a date the Committee will vote on subsequently. The topic of the public hearing will be “Combating Elder Abuse”
The sitting was chaired by Committee Deputy Chairperson Maja Videnovic and attended by the following Committee members and deputy members: Natasa St. Jovanovic, Milanka Jevtovic Vukojicic, Ljibuska Lakatos, Ljiljana Malusic, Olivera Ognjanovic, Marjana Maras, Olena Papuga, Vesna Ivkovic, Elvira Kovacs, Milena Turk, Ruzica Nikolic, Jasmina Karanac and Marija Janjusevic.