The background to Orban’s visit to Belgrade

Centre for Development of Civil Society (CDCS), on the occasion of the visit of Viktor Orban to Belgrade, believes that it is quite evident that a cordial political alliance between the Serbian Progressive Party and the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians, based on a very close relationship the governments in Budapest and Belgrade, means the consistent implementation of minority rights in regions where the Hungarian minority has the majority and the rapid assimilation of the Hungarian minority where most of the ethnic population is Serbian.

This behavior of the governments in Belgrade and Budapest, as well as the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians and the Serbian Progressive Party, is the road towards the realization of the Bosnian scenario of destruction of the modern civil state at the ethnic seams.

The situation of the Hungarian minority in Serbia is very good. It is the largest national minority in Serbia. The strongest Hungarian minority party, the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians, is represented in the Government of Serbia with five state secretaries; its leader, the President of the Assembly of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina; on 14 August 2016, the strongest party in Serbia, the Serbian Progressive Party, concluded a special agreement with the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians.

The number of Hungarian pupils listening to classes in their mother tongue does not fall below 80% at the primary level; it also remains very high on the level of secondary education.

In northern Bačka and Potisje, in Temerin and Senta, despite the decline in the total number of Hungarians this year, the number of students in classes in the Hungarian language increased. The same is true for a number of other places inhabited by ethnic Hungarians in northern Bačka: on the session held on 26 August, the highest organ of the Hungarian government, the Hungarian National Council, supported the opening of 29 departments in Hungarian settlements which lacks a sufficient number of students (15) mandatory for the opening of the classes in the minority language.

On the other hand, it is obvious that this is a division of territorial spheres of influence after the Bosnian model: the body of the Hungarian national government and the Government of Serbia neglect exercise of the rights of persons belonging to the Hungarian national minority outside the areas where ethnic Hungarians make up the majority. All the attention is focused on the North Bačka and North Banat Administrative Districts. Ethnic Hungarians populated in the south of these two districts are left for accelerated assimilation.

In the West-Bačka Administrative District, the central and the most important city of Sombor, in which classes are conducted in Hungarian in four secondary schools, none of the children were enrolled in the classes in the Hungarian language in elementary school. At the same time, in the villages of Sombor municipality, ten librarian jobs were terminated, half of them in places where there are a large number of ethnic Hungarians. In Sombor, at the local level, the government consists of the coalition of Serbian Progressive Party, Šešelj’s Radicals and the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians.

The president of the Hungarian National Council, Mr Jene Hajnal, very lukewarmly protested against the abolition of jobs for librarians in villages inhabited by ethnic Hungarians in Sombor area.

Abolition of rural libraries in minority areas is an important threat to the right to the preservation of national culture and leads to assimilation. As the lack of classes in primary schools in the Hungarian language in Sombor leads towards an identity disappearance of Hungarians in Sombor and in the whole West Bačka Administrative District.

CDCS believes that is quite evident that the cordial political alliance of the Serbian Progressive Party and the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians, is based on a very close relationship of the government in Budapest and Belgrade, it means the implementation of minority rights in regions where an ethnic group has a majority and accelerated assimilation of ethnic minorities where the majority consists of the ethnic Serb population.

CDCS concludes that this behavior of governments in Belgrade and Budapest, as well as the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians and the Serbian Progressive Party, is the road leading towards the achievement of the Bosnian scenario of destruction of modern civil state at the ethnic seams.

These political processes inevitably affect the position of a number of other national minorities in Serbia. This was written in the CDCS analysis “The Minority Policy of Serbia in the Light of the Strategic Alliance between Serbia and Hungary,” on 27 April 2016.