Italian, Croatian MPs visit Istria for talks on national minorities

2011-VISIT-Istria-Migliori-Picula-BattelliRicardo Migliori (Italy), Tonino Picula (Croatia) and Roberto Battelli (Slovenia) visit Croatia's Istrian Peninsula, 6 May 2011.COPENHAGEN, 6 May 2011 – Leaders of the Italian and Croatian delegations to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly today concluded a two-day meeting with local officials on Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula aimed at strengthening cooperation on issues related to national minorities.

OSCE PA Vice-President Riccardo Migliori (Italy) and political-security affairs committee rapporteur Tonino Picula (Croatia) headed the delegations visiting the Croatian cities of Fiume (Rijeka), Pola (Pula) and Rovigno (Rovinj), all of which have historic Italian minority populations.

“This visit reinforces the friendly bridge between our two delegations and two countries, Italy and Croatia,” Senator Migliori said. “While in the past both countries suffered from divisions and tensions, we now have a record of collaboration towards a common European destiny.”

 Members met Thursday with local officials, including County President Zlatko Komadina of Primorsko-Goranska and Fiume Mayor Vojko Obersnel. They also visited the Italian High School, the Italian Union, the Italian newspaper ‘Edit,’ and the Centre for historical research.

Friday’s agenda included meetings with Istria County President Ivan Jakovcic and Mayor of Pola Boris Miletic. Italians have always lived in this region of modern-day Croatia. While they have been afforded extensive rights to speak their language, in some past instances they struggled for other rights as a national minority. The 2001-2002 census counted five percent of Pola’s population and 11 percent of Rovigno’s population as Italian mother tongue.

This visit prepares for the upcoming seminar “The protection of National Minorities: the Bolzano Reccomandations and the OSCE policy,” to occur in Bolzano, Italy, 20 May.

“The progress made in the Croatian region of Istria is a model for how local and national governments can play an important role ensuring equitable treatment of minorities,” said Mr. Picula, rapporteur of the OSCE PA committee on political affairs and security.

“The protection of national minorities’ rights is an issue of increasing importance in the OSCE area and in the EU. Only with the development of strong international cooperation on this issue can the resurgence of nationalistic approaches be counteracted in Europe,” said Matteo Mecacci (Italy), rapporteur of the OSCE PA human rights committee.

The Italian delegation consisted of Migliori, Mecacci, Guglielmo Picchi, and Senator Mauro Del Vecchio, while the Croatian delegation included Picula, Mario Zubović, Romana Jerković and Furio Radin. OSCE PA Special Representative for South-East Europe Roberto Battelli, Italian Ambassador to Croatia Alessandro Pignatti Morano Di Custoza, and Croatian Ambassador to Italy Tomislav Vidošević, also participated in the visit. 



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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