Vladimir Barbul on Mon, 05 Jul 1999 19:22:26 +0200

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Re: Syndicate: Re: Re:About Coalition Vojvodina

This is "notorious seccesionist manifesto"
and my contribution to this meaningless debate "About Coalition
(serbo-croat version you can find on http://www.lsv.org.yu)


                              The path of peace, development and

             There isn't any community on the territory of the European
             that is more complex and composite than the one found in
Vojvodina. It
             is difficult to find even one similar region where, through
             national, economic and state interest were mixed to such an
extent, as
             it is the case with contemporary Vojvodina bordered with
rivers and
             national states.

             Migrations on the territory of Vojvodina have made it and
they are still
             making it the community that possesses all European and
             traditions. The quality of life is defined in clear legal
and civilisation
             frameworks without any traces of clan and tribe relations.

             Vojvodina is not only multinational, or only
multiconfessional community.
             It is, among other things, such a community as well, but it
is also
             multihomeland community. This specific characteristic
contained in the
             fact that people who are representatives of the same nation
and religion,
             but of different homeland origin, culture and customs live
here, makes
             Vojvodina even more complex and national communities even
             diverse and wealthier within themselves.

             Therefore, we are of the opinion that Vojvodina cannot be
considered as
             an anonymous part of this or that national, or a state
based on national
             principle, neither it can be singled out of the total
heritage of all
             different national and other communities that live on its

             Constitutional-legal solutions of the status of Vojvodina
have to take into
             consideration all the above mentioned specific
characteristics and express
             its complexity.

             Vojvodina is at its turning point today. Its past is not
finished yet, and
             its future did not start yet.

             The past of Vojvodina is burdened with the remainings of
the unsolved
             status of the federal unit and the autonomous province in
the Socialist
             Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The traces of the Trianon
Agreement from
             1918 are still present today. The current position of
Vojvodina is the one
             characterised by the non-existence of any subjectivity
within the illegal
             and illegitimate Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. This state
exists for seven
             years already and faced with numerous contradictions and
conflicts not
             only that it didn't solve any of its problems, but it also
does not even
             have defined borders.

             Post-communist, national-socialist political concept
constantly avoids to
             set up the long-term basis for political functioning of
these territories.
             It is responsible for the fact that seven (out of eight)
federal units of
             former Yugoslavia became the battlefields of, more or less,
             conflicts of centralistic oriented quasi-representatives of
certain national
             groups. These conflicts were not, as it was presented, any
form of
             "national liberation", "protection of national interests"
or anything alike,
             but they were only the struggles for reconstruction of
balance of
             strength, power and influence over resources. The
catastrophe in Bosnia
             is the result of the primary goal - transformation of
nationally and
             religiously diverse territory into three national states -
which caused
             severe mutilations of the possibility to develop Bosnia on
             and multicultural basis.

             In contrast to all other federal units of former SFRY such
a form of
             "solving" the provoked national conflicts is not possible
in Vojvodina.

             Vojvodina does not have clear national enclaves. Ethnic
mixture of
             population is not the exclusive characteristic of the
cities, but also of
             95% of the rural settlements (villages) the population of
which has mixed
             national structure. It is wrong, superficial and most often
malicious to
             compare the problem of Vojvodina with any other that has
been opened
             on the territory of former Yugoslavia up to now.

             New and different solutions have to be sought for


             Vojvodina has to have the legal framework made on the basis
of absolute respect for the principle, that
             is to be considered as the highest, of the right of an
individual to be different. This right is to be limited
             only and exclusively by the right of other individual to be

             Complete equality, physical, proprietary and legal security
has to be
             guaranteed to all citizens of Vojvodina, no matter of
national, religious,
             homeland, race or sex affiliation. Neither the individual
nor the group
             can acquire their position on the basis of unwilling
differences, namely
             those differences that are not the consequence of a free

             The citizens of Vojvodina have to be granted the right and
freedom of
             making links with others aiming to be organised in order to
             and protect the collective rights and enjoy collective
freedoms. Only
             rights and freedoms of other groups limit rights and
freedoms of the

             That is why Vojvodina should have its representation
legislative body, the
             Parliament with two Houses - The House of Citizens and
House of

             The House of Citizens would be elected by direct, free and
secret voting
             at periodical elections. The elected members of Parliament
             represent the will of the citizens of Vojvodina in bringing
all the laws
             that are of significance for the life and functioning of
Vojvodina as a
             whole. The rights to elect and be elected have all adults
(of the legal
             age) who are the citizens of Vojvodina.

             The House of Nations would be the representation body that
would be
             made of representatives of the Serbs, Hungarians, Croats,
             Romanians, Ruthenians and other organised national,
religious and other
             groups. This House would decide on matters related to
culture, education
             and information necessary to maintain and cherish the
lingual, national,
             religious, homeland and other specific collective
characteristics. The
             decisions would be brought unanimously.

             The Constitution of Vojvodina that would be brought by the
             Assembly of Vojvodina would regulate the work of Vojvodina
             This would be the only task of this Assembly, after the
free elections.

             The Constitution would define, apart from the
             principles, the connections with the Serbian state, or with
a wider state
             community within which Vojvodina would find itself. It
would also regulate
             the matter of utilisation of soldiers from Vojvodina
outside its territory.

             Vojvodina has to be the constitutive element of any federal
community it
             may be the part of.


             Strategic economic branches are agro-industry,
petrochemical complex and traffic.

             Vojvodina Parliament would have to be the highest body
which would
             determine the routes of economic development directed
towards the
             closest possible co-operation with all neighbours, but
based on market
             principles that would prevent the outflow of natural and
newly acquired
             wealth from the territory of Vojvodina which used to be the
case during
             the course of the whole 20th century.

             Market principles would also include the links with
countries of the
             European Unity and they would favour those economic
branches and
             activities that could be complementary to European economic
             and potentials, all in accordance with the highest
standards of
             environmental protection.


             The relations with the Republic of Serbia would have to be
regulated on the basis of principle of
             equality and upon necessary change of its internal

             Centralistic, quasi-national strategy from Belgrade split
the Socialist
             Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia and Serbia
             itself - through exclusion of Kosovo out of its
             organisation. It is not the partner of Vojvodina.

             We see Serbia as a democratic federal state composed of
federal units
             having a higher or lower level of autonomy. The
responsibility for the
             fate of this state would be taken over by federal units of
             approximatly same size with about 2.000.000 inhabitants
each and with
             the defined economic, political and historical interests.

             This is how Serbia could be stabilised in the political,
economic and
             national sense and constituted as a modern European state.
It is our
             opinion that federal units should be Vojvodina, Sumadija,
Southeast Serbia,
             Belgrade with its surroundings, Sandzak (the region of
Raska) and Kosovo.

             Democratic federal Serbia would have its Parliament with
two Houses -
             The House of Citizens and House of Federal Units. The House
             Presidents would represent the state.

             Federal units would express their interests through the
House of Federal
             Units that would decide on strategic, political and
development goals of

             The Government of the state of Serbia would decide on
matters of
             national defence, foreign policy, monetary policy and it
would propose
             basic principles of macro-economic programme. The House of
             would vote on these proposals.

             The House of Citizens would also have the function to
monitor the
             functioning of state bodies of federal units and control
             constitutionality of their work.

             Vojvodina has to have the status of a republic within such
federal state.

             This is what historical experiences lead to, as well as the
fact that the
             autonomous province proved as a solution that is not stable
enough and
             that does not give the adequate guarantee for the stability
             constitutional organisation. This could be seen after the
putsch in 1988
             and anti-constitutional abolition of autonomy in Vojvodina.

             Within state organisation defined in such a way Vojvodina
would have, in
             the sphere of foreign policy, the sovereign right to
             trans-regional relations with other European regions. In
case that Serbia
             enters wider integration, the decision about that would
have to be
             brought by consensus reached in theHouse of Federal Units,
with the
             clearly defined status of Vojvodina within new

             Federalisation of Serbia and Republic of Vojvodina would be
a large step
             towards stabilisation of the Serbian state and they would
cut in the very
             foundation all separatistic aspirations on the territory of

             Republic of Vojvodina would also be the framework for
expression of
             specific characteristics of all national and other
communities in Vojvodina
             and it would be the warrantor of a long-term democracy in
Serbia. The
             return of Vojvodina to the status defined by the
Constitution from 1974
             does not satisfy these demands. Constitution from 1974 was
             within different circumstances - in one-party system and
while the
             Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia existed as a
warrantor of its

             Republic administration of Vojvodina would cost far less
than the current
             "provincial" administration. The existing infrastructure
would be used and
             economic power of Vojvodina would be significantly
increased. Republic of
             Vojvodina would also have to be decentralised by lowering
             responsibility for economic development onto all three
             Vojvodina regions (districts) - Srem, Banat and Backa, then
             Vojvodina cities and all up to the level of municipalities.

             Republic of Vojvodina would guarantee the right of
citizenship to all its
             citizens, no matter of their national, religious or
homeland affiliation, as
             well as the dual citizenship, if the need for it occurs.

             Republic of Vojvodina would have its flag, anthem and coat
of arms. They
             would be put in public in accordance with Vojvodina laws,
together with
             the flag, anthem and coat of arms of the state of Serbia.

              League of Social-democrats of Vojvodina

             March, 1999
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