Serbian Parliament recently adopted the so-called Cultural Heritage Act, in which it openly appropriates literature from Dubrovnik. The controversial law was sponsored by Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture and Information, Maja Gojković, one of the founders of the Serbian Radical Party and a former deputy prime minister during the regime of Slobodan Milošević.
Croatian Member of European Parliament Karlo Ressler (HDZ/EPP) has called on the European Commission to react to the new "Law on Cultural Heritage" of the Republic of Serbia, in which Serbia appropriates Croatian cultural heritage, specifically literature from the City of Dubrovnik, claiming that it "belongs to Serbian and Croatian culture equally."
In a statement released to the press on Wednesday, Ressler noted that Serbian authorities have been “perfidiously implementing a hybrid version of the policy Serbia had adopted towards its neighbours in the 1990s.” He added that if Serbia does not free itself and its people of “such poisonous reflexes,” it will distance itself more and more from the European Union and European civilization.
Ressler says he has already informed the EU's Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi and the Commissioner for Culture Mariya Gabriel of the situation. In his call to the commission to protect the cultural heritage of member states, he also requested that the commission review whether Serbia meets all of its obligations in it EU accession negotiations pertaining to the negotiating chapter 26 on education and culture, which has been provisionally closed.
Serbia is currently in negotiations with the European Union in a bid to achieve EU membership. And while it is scheduled to complete its negotiations by the end of 2024, which would allow it to join the bloc by 2025, all current member states must first approve its accession.
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