23 Jul 2007

Decentralisation of Serbia: The Minority Dimension

Beata Huszka

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This policy brief argues that the decentralisation of Serbia through delegating more authority to municipalities could benefit minority groups that constitute a local majority. Although there are three such minority communities living in Serbia, the Bosniaks in Sandzak, the Albanians in Presevo Valley and the Hungarians in Vojvodina, the paper focuses on the first two groups, because their problems could potentially destabilise Serbia and the wider region. Thus, addressing the root causes of tensions in these two regions is an urgent task. Moreover, not only would minorities gain from sound decentralisation – so too would all municipalities regardless of ethnicity. Ultimately, decentralisation would be an essential step in Serbia’s democratisation process following the example of other Central and Eastern European countries.