International Conference: Settlement of Open Issues between Succesor States of SFR Yugoslavia
International scientific conference “Settlement of Open Issues between Succesor States of SFR Yugoslavia” took place on 29-30 November 2012 at the Institute of International Politics and Economics (IIPE). This is one of the series of conferences which the IIPE has been organizing for two years in cooperation with the German foundation “Hanns Seidel”. The conference was held under the auspices of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Serbia.
This conference established itself as a major event in discussing the link between the academic activities and the actual practice of former Yugoslav member states in relation to its succession issues. The related themes included general and specific legal, political and economic aspects of the open issues concerning succession. The conference was attended by 45 participants from all the former republics of Yugoslavia, but also from other countries, some of which have directly experienced state succession in their recent past, such as Russia or Slovakia, or have been subjected to it during the course of their turbulent history, such as Austria, or are interested in the topic for purely academic reasons, such as Italy. Participants came from prominent academic institutions, ranging from the Russian Academy of Science from Moscow to European University Institute in Florence.
The opening speeches at the ceremony, held on the 29th November, were given by
Duško Dimitrijević, Ph.D., Director of Institute of International Politics and Economics,
Svetlana Borovica Arsenić, Adviser in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia,
Snežana Pajović, Assistant Minister for Education and Science of the Republic of Serbia,
Tibor Varady, member of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences and professor at the Central European University in Budapest and
Uglješa Mrdić, Adviser in the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Serbia.
The conference program was composed of three panel sessions. Each session featured presentations given by speakers, in total, thirty five academic papers were presented.
First session, chaired by Dr Duško Dimitrijević, director of the IIPE, dealt with legal and economic aspects of settlement of open issues of succession. Among the presentations, several important topics were opened for discussion, questions of public and private international law; comparative studies of Russian and Czecho-Slovak dissolution; exceptional status of the Yugoslav case; problems connected with state enterprises, vested rights and immovable state property abroad; restitution and state archives; and finally succession in international treaties.
Second session, chaired by IIPE Research Fellow Dr Dragan Đukanović, covered more specifically political topics. Those were questions of EU integration of the whole region; historical overview of the negotiations leading to the breakup of Yugoslavia; common Yugoslavian iconography — to name but few.
Third session, chaired by IIPE Professorial Fellow Dr Dragoljub Todić, concentrated upon specific political and legal aspects, such as border issues, in particular border dispute between Croatia and Serbia on the Danube River; citizenship and statelessness; police, security and justice issues.
Many presentations from all the panels concentrated on the question of the Agreement on Succession (2001), as the main legal document which frames the process of settlement of open issues. These speeches were a highlight of the Conference, many questions of interest were generated by these presentations.
The Conference was closed after the oral debate between the participants. The debate concluded with the notion that there exist open issues among former Yugoslavia successor states on the questions of the distribution of remaining state property, financial assets and liability, archives and debts. Unresolved issues were also stated in relation to the protection of vested rights of the individuals and minorities, citizenship and delimitation of state borders. It was especially underlined that problems exist concerning the flagrant infringement of former Serbian state companies’ ownership rights and rights of the refugees from Croatia and other Yugoslav republics. In that view, concrete suggestions were made for the initiation of the Parliament discussion on the opening of the Agreement on Succession Anex G’s implementation and the undertaking of legal protective measures in front of international adjudicatory bodies.