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Study of minorities of Serbia

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The Nation and the state are not always delimited. The ethno-cultural affiliation does not necessarily delimit its frontiers. A State may partially cover a portion of a neighboring nation, which itself is not necessarily understood by a single state. This raises the question of minorities. Minorities were major players on the European scene in the twentieth century. Since the 1920s, they have played a very important role in the concerns of diplomats and intellectual circles in Europe. In pan-European organizations such as the European Congress, minorities have played a role and worked closely with the League of Nations. However, in the 1930s, Fascist and authoritarian forces captured the majority of European states and used their minorities ?for irredentist, or simply imperialist warmongers' as stressed by Yves Plasseraud. For example, the Nazis were funded and used by the existing minority nationalist movements against the United States.

After the Second World War, following the Holocaust, losses due to the conflict and massive displacement, the number of minorities in central Europe fell by ten million. Between 1945 and 1948, most states of Central and Eastern Europe had to adopt the concepts of the USSR. No state has been authorized to create or encourage the slightest hint of autonomy within the socialist camp. The early 1990s marked the end of communism and the turning point for European minorities of Western and Eastern Europe. Conflicts increased among nation-states as between Croatia and Serbia and also, within these states (Serbia and Kosovo in the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina).

In 1993, Czechs and Slovaks compromised to resolve their differences. Most minorities in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe had been tempted by the solution of territorial autonomy. Today, the issue of minorities in Central and Eastern Europe, particularly in the Balkans, is still burning. The concept of minority is still a debated notion. Even if the outlines are blurred, the concept must be clarified for better national and international protection of minorities. We also study two cases in Serbia: the Albanian Kosovars from Serbia and Serbs of Kosovo and Vojvodina Hungarians. The concept of minority causes much debate in the absence of a design approved by the States. For some, the disagreement usually comes from the difficulty of integrating the diverse groups. For F. Rigaux, a definition is impossible.

While the concept has been around for centuries, the recognition of the need to protect these groups is recent. The conflicts have given rise to the need to protect minorities. The concern of minorities in public international law appeared after the First World War along with the creation of new states, the revision of borders and the need to create a principle of nationality in order to preserve the identity of the nation. This idea was developed later with the Second World War, especially after the Cold War, with the dismantling of the former USSR. This development was concomitant with the development of relations between states, the emergence of minority issues that could disrupt a lasting peace. The minority is a block composed of heterogeneous elements, since it includes racial, linguistic, religious and ethnic minorities.

Tags: ethno-cultural affiliation, Vojvodina Hungarians, Albanian Kosovars

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