The Croatia-Hungary Intergovernmental Committee for the implementation of the agreement on the protection of the rights of the respective ethnic minorities met in Zagreb on Thursday after a four-year hiatus.
The 13th meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee “is a clear indicator of progress in relations between our respective states,” said Zvonko Milas, state secretary at the State Office for Croats Abroad and co-chairman of the Intergovernmental Committee.
The purpose of the Intergovernmental Committee is to monitor the implementation of the agreement on the protection of the rights of the Hungarian minority in Croatia and the Croatian minority in Hungary.
The Croatian minority in Hungary and the Hungarian minority in Croatia enjoy a high level of minority rights in accordance with all ratified international conventions, and hardly a better example of protection of minority rights can be found in Europe, Milas said.
He expressed hope that the good cooperation would continue through cultural, cross-border cooperation and infrastructure development projects.
Hungarian co-chairman Ferenc Kalmar, who serves as a commissioner at the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said that the Committee had not been in a position to meet in the last four years “owing to the political environment in Croatia at the time”, but added that despite that contacts between the two sides had been maintained.
Kalmar said that he was a member of six more committees of this kind in Hungary and this one cooperated best. “I wish to emphasise that there are ideas in Europe suggesting that the issue of autochthonous minorities and migrants now coming to Europe should be managed at the same level. We believe that that is not right and that they should not be equated,” he said.
The conclusions of the meeting will be addressed to the two governments to be used for further improvement of relations between Croatia and Hungary, Milas said./IBNA