Subject: New ECMI publication on Minorities in FRY, by Matthias König
The Situation of Minorities in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Towards an Implementation of the Framework Convention for the
Protection of National Minorities, by Matthias König
ECMI Working Paper #11, June 2001
On 11 May 2001 the Federal republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) acceded to the
Council of Europe's Framework Convention for the Protection of
National Minorities (FCNM). The new government in Belgrade, in power
since the democratic revolution in October 2000, has thereby declared
its political intention to improve the situation of minorities by
revising its legislation in accordance with the normative standards of
the FCNM. By identifying general patterns of minority treatment in
both legal standard-setting and factual practice in the FRY over the
past decade, this study contributes to an analysis of primary concerns
to be considered in the implementation of the FCNM. The first section
provides historical background information for understanding the
general patterns of minority treatment in the FRY. In particular, it
examines the systemic factors which led to the violent dissolution of
the former Yugoslavia and have contributed to the deterioration of the
situation of minorities in that region. The second section reviews the
constitutional and legislative provisions pertaining to minorities in
the FRY and analyses to what extent these are implemented in practice.
While addressing some of the recent developments in Kosovo, where the
situation of human rights deteriorated dramatically with the
escalation of armed conflict, the focus here is on the situation of
minorities in the FRY and, particularly, in the Republic of Serbia.
The third section evaluates both domestic legal provisions and factual
practices from the perspective of the standards contained in the FCNM.
The paper concludes with a summary of priorities for a constructive
and critical dialogue of the Council of Europe with the FRY on the
protection of minorities.