Lively debate about a Sorbian self-governing corporation
On 23.11., the Legal Committee of the Serbski Sejm, together with Prof. Stefan Oeter from the University of Hamburg, organised an online seminar entitled „Cyrkwinsko-statne zrěčenja jako přikład za serbske samopostajowanje a samorjadowanje?“ („Church-State Treaties as a Model for Sorbian/Wendish Self-Determination and Self-Government?“).
Prof. Oeter is a constitutional law expert and deals, among other things, with the legal foundations of personal autonomy and self-administration of national minorities and autochthonous groups in Europe, e.g. the current developments with the Carinthian Slovenes. During the event, which lasted almost three hours, he explained that the creation of a self-governing body under public law with an internal democratic constitution would represent the best solution and was politically correct in order to enable the Sorbian/Wendish people within the Federal Republic to have adequate self-determination. The existing law already provides the necessary basis. However, he estimated that the prospects for its early realisation were difficult at present, especially since there was no agreement on the Sorbian side and the inner-Sorbian dialogue was currently blocked. He pointed out that the church-state treaties mentioned in the title of the event are in a special historical context and can therefore only serve as a template for the regulation of a Sorbian/Wendish self-administration in an adapted form.
Among the more than 20 participants were members of parliament and committee members of the Serbski Sejm as well as representatives from academia, the press and regional and local politics. In the lively discussion it became clear that the ongoing and complex debate about Sorbian political representation by Domowina e.V. and the Serbski Sejm is holding up further development. Joint constructive discussions on the creation of Sorbian/Wendish self-determination are thus made more difficult - also due to the adherence to the status quo on the part of the state authorities. Prof. Oeter considers a general representation of the Sorbian/Wendish people to be necessary that reflects the plurality within the people, conducts a critical discourse and includes both reform-oriented and structurally conservative currents. For Prof. Oeter, the existence of the Serbski Sejm shows the need for this discourse.
The Serbski Sejm sees itself strengthened in the goal of creating a self-governing corporation under public law and has received important impulses for the path to realisation. The work will be continued in the Legal Committee and in the plenum in a public and consensus-oriented manner. Further discussion events are planned, in particular the panel discussion, which was unfortunately postponed due to the lockdown, will be held as soon as possible together with the Saxon State Centre for Political Education, Domowina e.V. and legal experts.