A commentary to the Law on National Councils of National Minorities is a valuable tool for competent line Ministries that have a role to play in the field of promotion and safeguarding the rights of the national minorities in Serbia, as well as for all other state institutions that have competence in the areas in which National Councils exercise their legal powers. This was one of the key messages at the official presentation of the Commentary to the Law on National Councils of National Minorities, supported through the joint European Union and Council of Europe action “Promotion of diversity and equality in Serbia”, held today in Belgrade.
“In the past three years, the goal of the action “Promotion of diversity and equality in Serbia” was to strengthen the capacity of national and local stakeholders to better address issues related to protection of the rights of national minorities, in line with the standards and recommendations set by the Council of Europe – especially those of the Advisory Committee of the Framework Convention on National Minorities and the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. To this end, the action provided technical assistance and backstopping to the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue in preparing the Commentary to the Law on National Councils of National Minorities,” said Tobias Flessenkemper, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Belgrade.
“Council of Europe, together with the European Union as its main partner, will continue to support Serbian authorities in their quest for incorporating the European and minority standards into the domestic legislation and policy, thus support the efforts of all our beneficiary institutions to create a more inclusive and better place for members of the various national minority groups in Serbia,” he added.
The Commentary provides a systematic interpretation of the provisions of the Law on National Councils of National Minorities, refers legal institutes to the relevant regulations and court practice, points out the standards of European law and solutions in comparative law, and presents doctrinal understandings and appropriate literature. In addition to the interpretation of legal provisions, the Commentary also contains the views of the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue on certain issues, as well as the Ministry’s practical considerations in the implementation of the Law.
Dr Rejhan Kurtovic, State Secretary at the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue, stated: “The presentation of the Commentary to the Law on National Councils of National Minorities is the last joint activity that was planned as part of this action. At the same time, new activities that will contribute to the further improvement of the rights and position of members of national minorities are planned under next phase of the programme. During the implementation of the third phase of this programme, which will begin in January 2023, the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue will continue to actively co-operate with the Council of Europe and the European Union, as well as other relevant ministries. Our Ministry will remain a reliable partner in the implementation of all activities aimed at implementing regulations in the field of human and minority rights, and further work on improving human and minority rights in the Republic of Serbia’’.
The activity was implemented within the action “Promotion of diversity and equality in Serbia”, that is part of the joint European Union and Council of Europe programme "Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022". This programme supports key local actors and beneficiary institutions in Serbia and the Western Balkans in the fight against discrimination, hate speech and hate crimes directed against minorities, LGBTI people and other vulnerable groups of the Serbian society.