Serb National Council

The Serb National Council (Serbian: Српско народно вијеће, СНВ, Croatian: Srpsko narodno vijeće or SNV) is an elected political, consulting and coordinating body which acts as a form of self-government and autonomous cultural institution of the Serbs of Croatia in matters regarding civil rights and cultural identity.[2][3] The council's main focuses are human, civil and national rights, as well the issues of Serbs of Croatia identity, participation and integration in the Croatian society.[3]

Serb National Council
Croatian: Srpsko narodno vijeće
Serbian: Српско народно вијеће
Serb National Council Logo.gif
SNV logo
Typeumbrella organization
Legal statuselected political, advisory and coordinating umbrella organization
Purposeprotection of interests of and rights of Serbs in Croatia
Region served
Croatia Croatia
Serb Democratic Forum
Serbian Community of Rijeka
Serbian Community of Istria
Joint Council of Municipalities
Independent Democratic Serb Party
Baranja Democratic Forum
Association of Serbian Refugees and Expellees from Croatia
Some of parishes of Serbian Orthodox Church in Croatia
MPs and prominent individuals
Official language
Croatian, Serbian
Branko Jurišić

The body was established as the national coordination of Serb community in Croatia in 1997, in the aftermath of the Croatian War of Independence and defeat of the self-proclaimed Republic of Serbian Krajina. The legal basis for its establishment was extracted from the international Erdut Agreement signed in 1995 which ended the conflict in the Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Syrmia by granting rights on cultural autonomy in exchange for peaceful reintegration. Serb National Council network consists of 94 regional and local (municipal or town) councils with the total of 1581 councilors.[4] They are elected every four years at the National Minorities Councils and Representatives Elections with the most recent one being organized in 2019.


History of Serb Cultural Autonomy in CroatiaEdit

World War II Yugoslav Partisans casualties on a municipal level.

Contemporary Serb National Council postulate its cultural tradition in historical precedence of non-segregationist and non-territorial bodies of Serb cultural autonomy in the territory of modern day Croatia. Section Four (4) of the Article One (1) of the Statute[5] of the Serb National Council explicitly enumerate following historical foundations of Serb cultural autonomy based on which the body function:

Dissolution of YugoslaviaEdit

The first multi-party elections in the Socialist Republic of Croatia in 1990 took place during the political crisis within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the disintegration of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, and growing ethnic tensions between Croats and Serbs. Majority of Croatian Serbs voted for the reformed League of Communists of Croatia yet it surprisingly ended up only second in the elections. Significant part of the numerous Serb community in Croatia feared that the new government led by then nationalist Croatian Democratic Union may permit or initiate some of the oppressive policies experienced during the World War II Genocide of Serbs in the Independent State of Croatia. Those fears were instrumentalized to the advantage of nationalist Serb Democratic Party which established control over most of the Serb majority communities in an effort to complete ethnic separation. Nationalist Serb leadership goals was facilitated by the involvement of the Yugoslav People's Army, particularly in multicultural eastern parts of Slavonia (Podunavlje) which will form SAO Eastern Slavonia, region where Serbs were not majority and the Serb Democratic Party did not even exist at the time of 1990 elections.[6]

On 8 December 1991 Serb Democratic Forum was established in Lipik (only two days after the government forces took control of the town) in an effort to prevent the further escalation of the Croatian War of Independence and to seek peaceful resolution of the conflict. At that time initial phase of the war was already finished which led to effective separation of Serbs and Croats. Serbs in areas controlled by the Croatian Government and Croats in Republic of Serbian Krajina were exposed to persecution and expulsion. In 1992 Serbs in the areas controlled by Croatian Government started their first initiatives to establish cultural coordination body.[7] The group intended to establish the Serb National Sabor on the model of historical bodies existing in Austrian Empire from XVII till XIX century.[7] The initiative was condemned by the members of Croatian Parliament and Croatian Government as an effort to create parallel Parliament of Croatia and the following negative media campaign accused the initiative of being more dangerous and perfidious than the separatist actions of Serbs in self-proclaimed Republic of Serbian Krajina.[7] This led to the failure of the initiative and absence of any new initiative until the late 1995 and early 1996.[7]

Erdut Agreement and the UNTAES transitional authorityEdit

Castle of Adamovich-Cseh, Place where there Erdut Agreement was signed in 1995 ending the war in Croatia


The Serb National Council constituent assembly was held in 1997 in Zagreb at the incentive of the Alliance of Serbian Organizations and its members Prosvjeta, Serb Democratic Forum, Serbian Community of Rijeka and Istria and the Joint Council of Municipalities of eastern Slavonia, Baranja and western Syrmia.[4] In addition, founding members were also Independent Democratic Serb Party, Baranja Democratic Forum, Association of Serbian Refugees and Expellees from Croatia, representatives of some church parishes of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Members of Parliament of Serbian ethnicity and respectable individuals.[4]


The Serb National Council’s Statute consists of 29 articles.[5] According to Statute Article 2, legal bases for establishment of Council are:


Milorad Pupovac, who served as the president of the Serb National Council for 22 years until 2019.

The Serb National Council structure consist of Assembly, Presidency, The Supervisory Board, President, Deputy President and Vice Presidents. Permanent working bodies of Presidency are: 1) Committee for the selection, appointment and organization, 2) Committee for Human Rights in the constitutional and legal position of the Serbs, 3) Committee on education and youth, 4) Committee for return, reconstruction and socio-economic position of Serbs, 5) Committee on Information, publishing and documentation and 6) Committee for Cooperation with the Serbs in other countries.[5]

Regional and local councilsEdit

County City or municipality
Vukovar-Syrmia County
Koprivnica-Križevci County
Varaždin County
Sisak-Moslavina County
Split-Dalmatia County
Dubrovnik-Neretva County
Lika-Senj County
Bjelovar-Bilogora County
Primorje-Gorski Kotar County
Šibenik-Knin County
Požega-Slavonia County
Brod-Posavina County
Zadar County
Istria County
Virovitica-Podravina County
Zagreb County
Karlovac County
Osijek-Baranja County
Međimurje County


The Council is the target of criticism from Croatian far-right parties and groups such as Croatian Party of Rights[8] and Croatian Party of Rights dr. Ante Starčević.[9]

In 2012, the Council was criticized by the Serbian Democratic Forum for alleged non-transparent and illegal management of funds allocated by the Croatian Government for the development and work of Serb organisations and institutions in Croatia.[10]



There are other organisations in the ex-Yugoslav region with the same name, notably the Serbian National Council of Kosovo and Metohija (SNV KiM).


  1. ^ "Srpsko narodno vijeće-o nama". Serb National Council. Retrieved 2014-03-19.
  2. ^ "About SNV". Serb National Council. Retrieved 2014-03-19.
  3. ^ a b "Serbian National Council". UNHCR. Archived from the original on 2014-07-03. Retrieved 2014-03-19.
  4. ^ a b c "Serb National Council-Српскo нaрoднo виjeћe". Federal Union of European Nationalities. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d "Statut Srpskog narodnog vijeća" (PDF). Serb National Council. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  6. ^ Hayball, Harry Jack (2015). Serbia and the Serbian rebellion in Croatia (1990-1991) (Thesis (Ph.D.)). Goldsmiths College. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d Pupovac, Milorad (20 August 2011). "Usud Srpskog narodnog vijeća" [Destiny of the Serb National Council] (in Serbian). Zagreb: Novosti (Croatia).
  8. ^ "HSP: Srpsko narodno vijeće provocira hrvatsku javnost". Retrieved 2014-03-19.
  9. ^ "Srpsko narodno vijeće potiče huškačke i radikalne poteze". Dalmacija News. 7 January 2011. Retrieved 2014-03-19.
  10. ^ (2012-07-24). "SDF urges gov't to stop non-transparent financing of SNV". T-portal. Retrieved 2014-03-19.
  11. ^ "Boris Milošević umesto Pupovca na čelu SNV". N1 Srbija (in Serbian). Retrieved 2020-07-26.
  12. ^ Serbia, RTS, Radio televizija Srbije, Radio Television of. "Boris Milošević nije više predsednik SNV-a". Retrieved 2020-07-26.

External linksEdit