Zagreb - The constitutional law on national minorities' rights from 2002 has contributed to developing minority rights in Croatia, as it was important in preservation of minorities' cultural and ethnic identity, the chairman of the Croatian Council for National Minorities, Aleksandar Tolnauer said on Monday at a conference organised on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the adoption of the law.
The constitutional law has withstood the test of time. It impacted Croatia's credibility in the world, President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic's envoy, Mate Granić, said, recalling that the first minority law was adopted in 1991 and was one of the conditions for Croatia's international recognition.
The conference, held in the national parliament in Zagreb, brought together the authors of the law, politicians, religious dignitaries, academicians and foreign diplomats.
The latest law rounded off the model for exercising rights, including, increasing the number of delegates in parliament from five to eight, participation of members of minorities in local affairs via councils and with minority representatives. It also enabled the establishment of the state-level Council as an umbrella organisation, the use of minority languages - orally and in writing as well as education in the language and script of national minorities, achieving cultural autonomy and so on, Tolnauer said.
It was not easy to adopt that law and it took a long time, however, what is important is that it was adopted by consensus, Deputy Parliament Speaker Furio Radin said.
The period when the law was adopted was turbulent, the end of one period and the start of another, the end of the 1990s marked by war and the beginning of a new area named a period of democracy, he said and added that the constitutional law contributed to developing minority rights.
One of the authors of the law, Constitutional Court Judge Mato Arlović underscored that the court considered minority rights to be a human rights and freedoms. (Hina/Press Office)