The Chairman of the Committee on the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Miodrag Linta attended the international conference on the obligations assumed under Annex G to the Vienna Agreement on Succession Issues in Belgrade yesterday.
The Agreement was signed in Vienna in 2001 by representatives of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia and Slovenia and came into force in June 2004, following ratification by said countries’ national parliaments. The Vienna Agreement on Succession Issues contains seven annexes, Annex G “Private property and acquired rights” being among the most important. Said Annex specifies that the rights to which citizens or other legal persons were entitled on 31 December 1990 shall be recognised, protected and restored, and all contracts concluded during the war under pressure or threat will be declared null and void. According to international law and the constitutions of the successor states of former Yugoslavia, international agreements ratified by the parliament supersede national legislation.
In his address, among other things, Linta said that Annex G is a dead letter law in terms of restitution of property and acquired rights of Serbs from Croatia and restoration of property of Serbian firms in Croatia. According to him, more than 15 years since the Vienna Agreement on Succession Issues came into force, Croatia refuses to resolve the property and acquired rights of Serbian returnees, exiles and other injured parties and is therefore systematically obstructing the implementation of Annex G. Linta listed the many facts proving that Croatia is violating the essential European values of equality, minority rights, anti-discrimination based on national affiliation and the rule of law. He added that in Croatia Serbs and Serbian firms cannot reclaim and protect their property rights through the courts so the legal state obviously does not function in Croatia and the European Union should suspend its membership. Linta believes that the Government should form a team of experts to analyse the unresolved problems concerning Annex G and propose diplomatic political and legal actions to resolve them.
The international conference on the obligations assumed under Annex G to the Vienna Agreement on Succession Issues was organized by the Association of Jurists of Serbia, Institute of Comparative Law and the Association of injured legal persons “Seized Property”. Among the attending were the president of the Association of Jurists of Serbia Prof. Dr Miodrag Orlic, president of Association “Seized Property”, former US Ambassador to Serbia and Croatia William Montgomery, president of the Commercial Appellate Court Jasminka Obucina, judge of the Supreme Court of Serbia Ljubodrag Pljakic, former judge of the Supreme Court of cassation Predrag Trifunovic, Prof. Dr Radovan Vukadinovic, former high officer of the Government and Parliament of Croatia Sulejman Tabakovic and others.