2013. 09. 17.
‘It is only through the alleviation of political pressure that we can achieve the consolidation of the autonomy of Vojvodina, as this issue is better left out of everyday political fights’ – affirmed István Pásztor, President of the Assembly of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina. In his speech he pointed out that the issue of financing of the province is still unresolved, as a solution has not yet been agreed upon in the Serbian National Assembly, despite the fact that the deadline was 2008. ’The only way to resolve the lingering issues concerning the status of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina is through inter-institutional dialogue’ – said István Pásztor. Andor Deli, Provincial Secretary for Education, Administration and National Communities drew the attention to the province’s extraordinary educational map. Out of the 250 primary schools province-wide, 95 are bilingual and 2 are trilingual. Branislav Bugarski, Provincial Secretary for Regionalism and Local Councils in his speech laid out the main pillars of the province of Vojvodina: society, territory, production and the level of institutionalisation.
László Surján MEP (EPP) has voiced his belief that autonomy is not an institution fuelling separatism, but one that is seeking to prevent it. ’It is crucial to dissolve those common misconceptions that autonomy would be harmful for some. Vojvodina’s autonomy is in the interest of all its citizens, regardless of nationality’ – stated László Surján, Vice Chair of the EP. He also welcomed the efforts made by the province pursuant to multi-language education although he warned that providing education in one’s mother tongue may not be enough to peaceful co-existence. ’Based on the Franco-German example, we need to encourage the compilation of common school textbooks, as if young people learn the same things of their shared past, it promotes reconciliation between different national groups’ – stated László Surján. He added that the EU’s role in conflict resolution, bringing about stability and long-lasting peace in this province, is undeniable.
‘The province of Vojvodina can play a key part in Serbia’s bid for EU accession, as it can hasten and strengthen it. On the other hand, tensions can only harm the prospects of Serbia’s EU accession. This is the reason for which it is crucial to provide strong mandate for the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina.’ – said Kinga Gál MEP in her speech. The politician from EPP has drawn the attention to the fundamentally positive role played by national minority councils in the upholding of minority rights and through it their crucial part in the everyday life of Hungarians living in Vojvodina. ‘That is why it is important that the competences of national councils are not curtailed, and in the future we must see that the legislative framework is fulfilled and that existing rights and competences are not cut back in any ways’. Kinga Gál MEP pointed out that national councils are a positive development of the EU accession process and during that process she will continue to monitor the maintaining of their broad level of competences already in place.
There are more than 25 ethnic groups living in the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina and there are 6 official languages – this reflects the colourful ethnic and lingual mosaic of the province and its rich cultural heritage. The province of Vojvodina was granted a broad-range autonomy in 1974, which was revoked by Serbia in 1988. Its current autonomous status was officially introduced in 2009, which was the date when the Serb National Assembly ratified the Statute of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina.