Analysis 16 Dec 16

Blockade on Serbia’s EU Talks Splits Croat Minority

Serbia’s small Croatian community is divided over whether Zagreb should have made their educational grievances the reason for halting Serbia’s EU membership talks.

Maja Zivanovic
BIRN
Novi Sad
The northern Serbian town of Subotica is a home to many Serbia's Croats. Photo: Backpacking The Balkans/Flickr

Serbia’s small Croatian community are not used to being in the spotlight.

But after Croatia on Monday formally blocked Serbia from opening Chapter 26 its EU accession negotiations - citing their grievances about education – the community appears divided on whether Zagreb should have pulled off such a contentious move.

The Zagreb government has blocked the opening of Chapter 26 in Serbia’s EU talks, on education and culture, saying issues related to the Croat minority in Serbia must form part of the negotiations, starting with education in the Croatian language.

Serbia’s Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vucic, left Brussels angrily after news of this development, December 12 saying that he had “had enough of Croatia's behaviour”.

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