Croatian-Serbian relations: Identity and economy – Golubić 2017

The tenth jubilee international scientific meeting in Golubić was held from 24 until the 28th August 2017 years. The organizers of the meeting, as in previous years, were the Center for History, Democracy and Reconciliation from Novi Sad (Serbia) and the Association for History, Cooperation and Reconciliation from Obrovac (Croatia).

"Croatian-Serbian relations, identity and economy"

At the Tenth International Scientific Meeting “Croatian-Serbian Relations, Identity and Economy” which was held in Golubić (Obrovac) from 24 until the 28th August 2017 scientists and politicians from Serbia and Croatia participated.

On that occasion, a unanimous assessment was made that Serbian-Croatian relations are at their lowest level since the beginning of the 21st century. century.

The necessity of improving relations was suggested through improving the position of the Serbian and Croatian communities in the two countries, as well as through an initiative to launch scientific and economic interstate projects that would contribute to the development of the region.

Also, the importance of establishing better relations between the two countries was highlighted, which would lead to the realization of the policy of regional stability and reconciliation .

Statements of participants 10. scientific meeting "Serbian-Croatian relations"

Prof. Dr. Darko Gavrilović , Center for History, Democracy and Reconciliation: Serbian-Croatian relations have fallen to the lowest levels since the beginning of the 21st century. century. Our countries still live in the past. They are led by politicians who are not capable of developing the economy and enabling people to live better. Since they are not capable of building, they approach destruction by using the war-torn past as a weapon. This is how they destroy our inner peace by introducing disturbances that bring with them national, religious or racial hatred. Therefore, do not allow yourself to become their weapon. You are not the noise of other people’s political passions, your lives are your own. Focus on those who value peace and love.

Associate Professor Davor Pauković , Association for the History of Cooperation and Reconciliation , University of Dubrovnik: Political elites have set us back. I am not optimistic about the new generations. Croatian-Serbian relations serve exclusively to maintain enmity in the region. What we historians can do is to commemorate the past in as objective a way as possible, and not that commemoration serves us only to see a partial history that serves to spread hatred.

Tomislav Žigmanov , president of the DSHV : The issue of Croats in Vojvodina is obscured, and the lack of interest is constant. The dominant narrative is that the issue of national minorities has been resolved. Anything contrary to that is considered an act of hostile action, so Croats in Vojvodina are seen as enemies of the state, which is not true, because the Croat population in Vojvodina is a loyal citizen of their state. Accordingly, they expect the state to respond to them in an adequate way. This means, among other things, that the state should have an adequate political and humane response to the violence that was perpetrated on the Croats of Vojvodina during the civil war. Otherwise, we face a future in which there will be no room for optimism.

Boris Milošević , president of the representative group SDSS : The trend of improving relations since the beginning of the 21st century. century experienced a decline. Expectations that Croatia’s entry into the EU will improve the legal standard of minorities have not been fulfilled. On the contrary, there was a standstill. Right-wing elements are gaining strength, fueling narratives that create an anti-Serb mood, and thus the hatred directed against Serbs is growing stronger. Cyrillic has become the Great Serbian script, which is not only not true, but is a means of provocation and causing a new anti-Serbian atmosphere. This summer, for that purpose, false accusations are being made against the Serbs of burning forests, and these accusations have no evidence whatsoever. That is why the political representation of Serbs in the Parliament is important, because it is the guarantor of the representation and security of Serbs in Croatia. This is how the Serbian voice is heard and preserved in our homeland.

Saša Milošević , Serbian National Council : A cynic would say about Serbian-Croatian relations: “It will surely get better, because it cannot get worse.” Politicians and the media have worked persistently and diligently to incite hatred for years. She did not stay at the level of high politics. It is supported by representatives of churches, sports, and various associations. Evil is fueled by myths, here in Croatia of the “homeland war” and in Serbia of “eternal Serbian victims”. Such myths help them to cloud our vision, to stay in power, and to tell lies that are easier to tell than to stick to the truth. This is helped by the fact that these countries do not have a true left.

The condition for repairing relations is the victory of internal demons, and that means becoming a fully democratic society. Defeat a heist called conversion. There are no trials for war crimes. We have no economy. And the media are servants of the government. Another condition for change is the realization that we have problems and that we face them with pain. This will mean mutual concessions that will be painful because many will lose their war gains. We must get an important institution that will deal with reconciliation between Croatia and Serbia, and not leave it to parallel institutions, and let experts handle that work. France and Germany could serve us as a positive example of reconciliation.

Prof. Janko Veselinović, Ph.D. , Movement for Overturn : We started these conversations ten years ago. Before that, we conducted the talks abroad, and since then we have placed the talks among the people of the Dalmatian Zagora, who do not need hatred or national hatred, but peaceful coexistence. The witness to that peace is ten years of excellent cooperation between Serbs and Croats in the Obrovac area, but also the fact that they have been helping our gatherings for so long with a sense of the importance of this issue. It is a sad fact that politicians continue to promote the Storm. Croats are celebrating and Serbs are mourning. And no one mentions the Erdut Agreement, which made it possible to avoid a war in Baranja, for the Serbs to peacefully integrate into Croatia, for their homes not to be destroyed, for them to be expelled, and for the Croats not to suffer at the same time.

It is also a sad fact that there are Eurodictators in our region. These are the leaders who stoke political fires, spread hatred in the region, and at the same time blindly fulfill what Brussels asks of them. Brussels returns their blind obedience by allowing them to do whatever they want in their backyard. I would just point out that, unlike politicians, relations between ordinary people are far better. People are becoming less and less sensitive to the hatred fueled by political leaders.

Vesna Ivanović , Ph.D. , Center for History, Democracy and Reconciliation: My lesson on refugees says that I experienced refugeehood, because I was a Croatian refugee from Sarajevo. I was therefore a person that everyone avoided. I felt marginality, humiliation, humiliation and impoverishment. And above all, the power of manipulation displayed by politicians towards the refugee population.

Ivica Vrkić , mayor of Osijek: Croatia needs stability in order to deal with real problems and not incite hatred. The stabilization of the government enables a peaceful and advanced Croatia. As a co-signatory of the Erdust Agreement, I made a contribution at the national level, and from the perspective of the mayor of Osijek, I will say that in this situation I introduced street names with Serbian names such as Milutin Milanković and renovated Serbian places of worship as well as Catholic ones. I have worked hard to create such a political climate that allows every citizen of my city to live a peaceful and prosperous life. It is work for my homeland and not for parties, not for politicians who protest more than act programmatically.

Prof. Dr. Vjeran Pavlaković , University of Rijeka: Scientific monitoring of commemorations in terms of political speeches also serves us to follow the development of the daily political situation in the region. Getting tough on the political stage also means toughening the speech at commemorations. Along with commemorations from the Second World War, the Homeland War is also commemorated. Unfortunately, nationalistic discourse in Croatia is dominated by commemorations. They show that every one of them that is not nationalistically intoned has right-wing demonstrations. Because of all this, it is necessary to reduce tensions and develop a culture of dialogue that will contribute to greater understanding.

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