Statement No. 4 – On the unacceptable statement by M. Brkić
At a press conference held in the HDZ (CDU) headquarters on May 8, the Vice President of the Croatian Parliament and Deputy President of the Croatian Democratic Union, Milijan Brkić, stated:
“…But nor will Mr. Pupovac nor the national minorities determine the composition of the Government. I would like to remind you that this is the Croatian State, and that along with Croats there are minorities living in Croatia who as a fact have their secured constitutional rights, but Croatians are the ones who vote, for this is our country and no one else’s.”
The Executive Committee of the Croatian Helsinki Committee (ECCHC) warns that such a statement by Milijan Brkić contradicts civilised speech in democratic societies. Not only that, Mr. Brkić’s statement is in opposition to Article 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, which reads:
“The Republic of Croatia is a unitary and indivisible democratic welfare state.
Power in the Republic of Croatia derives from the people and rests with the people as a community of free and equal citizens.
The people exercise this power through the election of representatives and through direct decision-making.
It is true that the founding grounds of the Croatian Constitution states: “…the Republic of Croatia is hereby established as the nation state of the Croatian nation and the state of the members of its national minorities: Serbs, Czechs, Slovaks, Italians, Hungarians, Jews, Germans, Austrians, Ukrainians, Rusyns, Bosniaks, Slovenians, Montenegrins, Macedonians, Russians, Bulgarians, Poles, Roma, Romanians, Turks, Vlachs, Albanians and others who are its citizens and who are guaranteed equality with citizens of Croatian nationality and the exercise of their national rights in compliance with the democratic norms of the United Nations and the countries of the free world.”
However, authority in the Republic of Croatia “derives from the people and rests with the people as a community of free and equal citizens.” People, plebs, or the populace, are all covered under the concept of equal citizens. They are not divided by national affiliation nor on bearers of authority based on national affiliation. Mr. Brkić most likely once again plagiarised someone else’s ill-considered ideas, as he obviously does not comprehend the relationship between the bearer of sovereignty and the bearer of authority in the Republic of Croatia. Mr. Brkić is therefore erroneous when he says that “national minorities in the Croatian state will not decide on governmental authority, only Croats will.”
The ECCHC warns Mr. Brkić and those like him that in Croatia at elections for local government units all EU citizens have the right to vote, and not only as active voters, but also as elected representatives at all ranks ranging from county to municipality positions.
Over 300 thousand citizens who have declared themselves as members of national minorities live in the Republic of Croatia. In this sense we view Mr. Brkić’s statement that national minorities will not determine the composition of the Government as a denial of the constitutional law of the Republic of Croatia, but what makes this statement particularly harmful and dangerous under the constitutional law of the Republic of Croatia is the fact that the statement comes from the mouth of the Vice President of the Croatian Parliament.
It is even graver is that Mr. Brkić advocates and promotes the discarded concept of an ethnic state and an ethnocentric society that falls under history and does not correspond with modernity.
The EC CHC therefore calls upon the Croatian Democratic Union and its President Andrej Plenković to comment on this statement and declare whether Mr. Brkić’s statement is his own personal political point of view or the official stance of the CDU. Equally so, we expect a comment from the Presidency of the Croatian Parliament and President of Parliament, Mr. Gordan Jandroković, as this would contribute to the quality of political purity in the CDU and the Republic of Croatia as a whole.
Finally, Mr. Brkić’s statement does not coincide with the truth. Representatives of national minorities in Parliament, though not extensively, still do determine the composition of the executive and legislative authority of the CDU. Such authority in Croatia at this moment depends on the votes of national minorities, just as that same authority depended on the votes of national minorities during the mandate of the CDU and MOST under Premier Tihomir Orešković.
For the Croatian Helsinki Committee
Ivan Zvonimir Čičak