On 24th March 2013 Deputy Ombudswoman Jagoda Novak received the students of the Amsterdam University, Department for European Studies, who work on the Country Report Studies of the Eastern Europe countries which recently joined the EU. These studies are being conducted within the „European public policies“ program focused on the European governance models and practices.

Themes of a semi-structured interview with the Deputy were: fulfilling the benchmarks for closing the Chapter 23 of the EU accession negotiations, the state of human rights during the negotiation process and after joining the EU as well as the impact of economic crisis on fulfilment of the criteria under the above mentioned chapter

Special emphasis was given to the rights of the Serbian and Roma national minority; implementation of the Constitutional Act on the Rights of National Minorities, return of displaced citizens, implementation of the Action plans concerning these minorities, the Office’s work and findings in 2013; the issue of two referendum initiatives (Constitutional definition of marriage, and the use of Cyrillic inscription) and their impact on the status of minority groups and democratic process and the role of institutions for protection of human rights with this respect.