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Serbia encouraged to pursue its efforts to protect the rights of traditional national minorities

“I encourage the Serbian authorities to pursue their efforts for the protection of the rights of traditional national minorities and to ensure the implementation and harmonisation of the existing legislative framework,” said Ferenc Kalmár (Hungary, EPP/CD), rapporteur on “The situation and rights of traditional national minorities in Europe” ending a fact-finding visit to Serbia (11-13 December 2013).

In Belgrade, Mr Kalmár met with Tomislav Jovanović, Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development, Gordana Stamenić, State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice and Public Administration, members of parliament and Zoran Stanković, President of the Co-ordination Body for Municipalities of Preševo, Bujanovac and Medveđa. He also met with Suzana Paunović, Director of the Office of Human and Minority Rights, senior police advisors at the Police Directorate of the Ministry of Interior and civil society representatives.

In Novi Sad, the rapporteur met with Deli Andor, Provincial Secretary for Education, Administration and National Communities, Anikó Muskinja Heinrich, Ombudsman of Vojvodina, representatives of national minority councils and non-governmental organisations.

The rapporteur will report on his visit to the committee at its next meeting in January 2014. He previously went to Italy (9-10 May 2013) and Finland (6-7 November 2013) in preparation of his report, scheduled for debate in plenary in April 2014.