Under the motto „We all together make Serbia“ and „Feel free to declare your nationality!“, Ministry for Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue, in cooperation with the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia, organized informative workshops for members of national councils on August 17 and 18 on the occasion of the upcoming Population Census, which will be held in the period from October 1 to 31, 2022.

The aim of the informative workshops is for the workshop participants to transfer the acquired knowledge to other members, board members of national councils, associations dealing with the preservation and protection of the rights of national minorities, as well as to as many members of their national community as possible.

Minister for Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue Ms Gordana Čomić emphasized that the aim of the informative workshops is to send clear message of the importance for members of the national minorities to declare their nationality during the Population Census, and that the collected data, which will be the basis for minority policies planning, are going to be fully protected. Ms Čomić announced additional measures to encourage members of the national minorities to participate in the upcoming Census such as preparing printed materials with information about the census process in minority languages, videos and radio jingles.

Photo: Dejan Zivadinovic for GIZ

Financial support for the implementation of the workshops was provided within the project “Support for strengthening the rule of law in the Republic of Serbia” – EU FOR FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION AND FOR FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS – financed by the EU, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemeted by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

„An individual or in a community, minority or majority – a person is a person and as such, needs to be looked after and have equal opportunities and rights. Even more so, it is the majority that needs to look after a minority – basic principle of developed, humane and democratic society. EU Delegation is here to support our partner institution in its accession negotiation process and alignment with EU best practices as well as EUROSTAT standard and methodologies and this informative workshops for members of national councils on the occasion of the upcoming Population Census are very important for the process. I am glad that Ministry for Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue has established good cooperation with national minority councils“, Mr Martin Klaucke of the EU Delegation to Serbia stated.

Ms Daniela Funke, GIZ Serbia Country Director and Mr Martin Klaucke of the EU Delegation to Serbia. Photo: Dejan Zivadinovic for GIZ

Ms Daniela Funke, GIZ Serbia Country Director, emphasized the importance of a joint initiative for the implemetation of project activities, as well as fundamental values that form the foundation of the EU. “Diversity is at the heart of the European Union and all member states. Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union states that the Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. In the implementation of this project, we are pulling EU expertise with our Serbian partners in order to be stronger together, like the official hashtag of the Team Europe Initiative which is in the very heart of the German-serbian development cooperation. Informative workshops with the representatives of the National Council of National Minorities, aim to contribute to raising the awareness of members of national minorities about the importance of the upcoming population census. We will continue to support this important topic through different activities implemented by GIZ and our partner the European Center for Minority Issues (ECMI)”, Ms Funke stated.

Bearing in mind that this year is also an election year for national councils, one of the topics of the workshop will also refer to elections for members of national councils.

Census in Serbia will be held in October 2022. Apart from the census of households, population census will take into account all citizens of Serbia, regardless of their settlement, as well as foreigners present in Serbia during census.