Internet platform for studying Xenophobia, Radicalism and Problems of Intercultural communication.

Treatment of Minorities

Treatment of Minorities Every year on August 4-5, when Croats celebrate the victory over the Serbs in the Yugoslav war, the Serbs of the city of Knin, once a majority here, prefer to leave the city.

According to surveys conducted in April-July 2013 maximum negativity residents of Croatia express towards Roma, followed by Serbs and Bosnians. There is also a high level of migrantophobia regarding migrants, who are unlikely to get to Croatia (Chinese). A clear example of migrantophobia - neighbors of a Zagreb shelter for refugees in 2013 filed petitions filled with xenophobic attacks to move the center further away from them.

According to a public opinion poll conducted by the Center for Peace Studies (CMS) in Zagreb in May and June 2013, 20% of respondents experienced feelings of hostility towards all non-Croats, 44% - towards Roma, 38% - towards Serbs, 32% - towards Chinese and 27% towards the Arabs. 14% of respondents have a negative attitude towards immigrants from Western Europe 63% of respondents have a negative attitude towards migrants in general.

About a third of the respondents expressed a negative attitude toward Islam, suggesting that Muslims are a threat to the security of Croatian citizens and their property. 17-18% expressed xenophobic feelings towards atheists.

The country has a high level of homophobia. 66% of referendum (held on December 1st to permit same-sex marriage) participants voted against it. In accordance with the result of the referendum a more clear definition of marriage as the union between man and woman will be made in the Constitution.

On December 16th representatives of the “Defence Staff of Vukovar” movement passed more than 680 thousand signatures to the parliament regarding the restriction of the use of minority native languages for official purposes They propose to leave this right only to areas where minorities make up at least 50% of the population, significantly raising the threshold set by the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (currently the threshold is 33%, and in addition there is a clause that bilingualism can be administered by international agreement).

Currently five minority languages are in official use in 27 cities and municipalities. In the case of an amendment, this number will be reduced to 17.

In early July, 2014, an association of citizens “Defence Headquarters of the Croatian Vukovar” gathered more than half a million signatures in support of the referendum, which would limit the Serb minority in using the Cyrillic alphabet, giving the opportunity to do it only in places where the number of Serbs reaches 50%, rather than 30% as it is now However, the referendum was not held after the decision of the Constitutional Court.

The “anti-Cyrillic referendum” project, which gathered the signatures of 15-20% of the adult population, indicates that significant number of people are hostile to “others” and want to convert them to their way of life.

Election results indicate that Croatian society is driving towards the right wing, with around 7% of the electorate expressing support for the radical nationalists.

The Croatian Democratic Union received 41.42% in the 2014 European elections, while the nationalist Alliance for Croatia (uniting several far right parties) received 6.88% In the first round of presidential elections in December 2014, leader of the Croatian Dawn (Alliance for Croatia) Milan Kujundzic got 6.3% of votes, while his rival from the CDU Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic received 37.22%. In the second round in January 2015, Grabar-Kitarovic received 50.74% of votes.

In total, about 329,000 Croats belong to ethnic minorities out of a population of 4.3 million. Ethnic Serbs make up the largest group, accounting for 4 percent, according to the latest census. Protection of the rights of minorities was one of the conditions for the country's accession to the European Union in 2013.

According to an opinion poll conducted by the sociological service Pew Research in 2018, 57% of Croats are positive about accepting Muslims into their family. At the same time, 67% are ready to intermarry with Jews. However, 58% consider only Christians to be "true Croats". 64% of Croats have a negative attitude towards LGBT people. At the same time, 61% of young people are categorically against same-sex marriage.

Typically, in 2018, Croatian conservatives, who are in favor of changing the electoral law, submitted enough signatures to parliament to hold a referendum on limiting the legislative rights of ethnic minorities. A group of MPs said the proposal would reduce the number of MPs in Parliament from 150 to a maximum of 120. This would also reduce the number of MPs representing minorities and prevent them from voting on critical issues such as government formation and the budget.

“Now we are in a situation where… minorities can decide whether the government falls or survives… therefore we believe that they should only deal with issues related to religion, culture or identity,” said MP Dominik Knezovich, spokesman for the People decides." Nevertheless, the parliamentary majority did not support the initiative.

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