Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Tenth Sitting of the Committee on Serbs Living Outside Serbia

At the sitting held on 6 October, the members of the Committee on Serbs Living Outside Serbia discussed in principle the Bill on the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region, submitted by the Government of the Republic of Serbia.


At the sitting held on 6 October, the members of the Committee on Serbs Living Outside Serbia discussed in principle the Bill on the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region, submitted by the Government of the Republic of Serbia.

The Bill was presented by the Minister of the Diaspora Srdjan Sreckovic. In his address, he stressed that this was the first Bill to address the diaspora issue and was the result of a broad public debate and cooperation between the Ministry of the Diaspora, Committee on Serbs Living Outside Serbia and representatives of the diaspora. This Bill sets the institutional framework for a long-term state policy towards the dispora. The dispora’s insufficiently utilised political and economic potential makes the Bill additionally important. Between three and four million Serbs live outside the mother country and in the last twenty years they have invested about five billion USD into Serbia. The Minister added that the Bill defines the concept of diaspora and Serbs in the region for the first time, it establishes an Assembly of the Diaspora, Council for relations with Serbs outside Serbia and a budgetary fund for the disapora.

The discussion on the Bill gave voice to different opinions regarding the quality of some of the solutions, the manner in which the basic concepts had been defined, and the specific solutions regarding the election of delegates for the Assembly of the Diaspora. Answering the deputies’ questions, Minister Sreckovic stated that the Ministry was ready to accept all constructive amendments submitted to the Bill.

After the discussion, the Committee members endorsed the Bill on the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region in principle, with nine reserved opinions.

The sitting was chaired by Branimir Djokic, Committee Chairman.



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