At the round table in Sombor, novelties were presented relating to the official use of minority languages and scripts in local self-governments, and it was pointed out that it was necessary to work on making minority languages more visible and accepted in the society.

Rights of persons belonging to national minorities as regards the official use of minority languages and scripts were addressed by the Assistant Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government, Ivana Antić, and the State Secretary in the Ministry, Ivan Bošnjak.

Ivana Antić pointed out that the cooperation between citizens, national councils and national minorities and local self-government units, primarily those with a significant number of persons belonging to national minorities, and state authorities, was crucial for the enforcement of the law.

“I call upon you to undertake joint measures to make minority languages more visible and accepted in the society in the next period, which is one of the main characteristics of a democratic society, which Serbia is”, said Ivana Antić.

State Secretary Ivan Bošnjak pointed out Sombor as a good example that ethnic origin and participation in public life are not incompatible, but in a harmonious relationship, which contributes to the better quality of life of each individual.

Speakers at the meeting included Dušanka Golubović, the Mayor of Sombor, and Tobias Flessenkemper, Head of the Belgrade Office of the Council of Europe, representatives of the Republic Secretariat for Legislation and the Protector of Citizens.

Event organizers are the Council of Europe Office in Belgrade and the City of Sombor, and this is the first of the five planned round tables. Within the framework of the joint project of EU and Council of Europe “Strengthening of the Protection of National Minorities in Serbia”, round tables are to be also organized in Bosilegrad, Bujanovac, Medveđa and Vranje.