Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Fourteenth Sitting of the Committee on Relations with Serbs Living Outside Serbia

At the sitting held on 16 March, the members of the Committee on Relations with Serbs Living Outside Serbia talked to the members of the delegation of the Serbian National Council in Montenegro who informed them on the position of the Serbian people in Montenegro.



At the sitting held on 16 March, the members of the Committee on Relations with Serbs Living Outside Serbia talked to the members of the delegation of the Serbian National Council in Montenegro who informed them on the position of the Serbian people in Montenegro.

The delegation was headed by the Council Chairman Momcilo Vuksanovic and comprised Councilmen Nikola Minic and Vladimir Vukovic. The representatives of the Council informed the Committee members on the results of the organisation’s efforts in the previous year, noting that the situation and position of the Serbian community in Montenegro has not improved. They stated that the Council was implementing various activities that lead to identity preservation in order to prevent the assimilation of the Serbian people. Moreover, the Serbian community was estimated unequal with other ethnic communities in Montenegro. The Council aims to preserve the tradition and culture of Serbs living on the territory of Montenegro and has therefore launched an initiative to create a Society of Serbs in Montenegro. The Council representatives requested the Committee’s endorsement of the initiative, as well as support to create a group of experts to estimate the status of the Serbian people in Montenegro.

Talking to the members of the Serbian National Council delegation the Committee members present commended the Council’s work in the previous year, but were dissatisfied that no representatives of the competent ministry were in attendance. They estimated that it is the state’s constitutional and legal duty to support the diaspora and that little has been done in that sense regarding the dispora in Montenegro. It was also recommended that the Serbian community should not create a rift in relation to other communities in Montenegro and the Council’s work on promoting Serbian culture received a very positive mark.

The Committee went on to consider the Serbian Emigrant Society’s request to resolve the problem of its financing.

This part of the sitting was attended by representatives of the Ministry of the Diaspora and the Serbian Emigrant Society.

The Serbian Emigrant Society addressed the Committee on Relations with Serbs Living Outside Serbia asking for its support to receive funds from the Budget of the Republic of Serbia, as well as the drafting of a legal solution that would regulate the organisation’s status. The representatives of the Serbian Emigrant Society stressed that the organisation’s survival was at stake, adding that passing a law on the Society would be a lasting solution to the organisation’s financing issues as well as other open questions.

Debating this item on the agenda, the officials exchanged opinions on how to finance the organisation and the initiative to draft a legal solution. The Emigrant Society and competent ministry’s views on the organisation’s funding conflicted, but their representatives agreed on launching the initiative to legally regulate the Society’s status. Following the debate, at the proposal of deputies Janko Veselinovic and Radovan Radovanovic, the Committee concluded that it endorsed the Serbian Emigrant Society’s initiative to pass a law on the Society; to create a Task Group for the drafting of the law comprising three members of the Committee on Relations with Serbs Living Outside Serbia (deputies Aleksandar Cotric, Milorad Buha and Janko Veselinovic), three representatives of the Ministry of the Diaspora and one representative of the Serbian Emigrant Society, which would prepare a draft of the legal document by the beginning of June this year.

For the remainder of the sitting, the Committee members also considered the Framework Plan for the Committee members’ visits to the diaspora in the first half of 2010. The Committee decided to submit a request to the National Assembly Speaker and Foreign Affairs Committee for the visits to be realised in April, May and June 2010. The Committee also decided that the delegations would be created by the Committee Chairman and Deputy Chairman, as is their duty, and that the visits planned for February and March 2010 would be realised by the end of the year in line with the National Assembly’s work.

The sitting was chaired by Branimir Djokic, Committee Chairman.


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