The Serbs are a national group which has been disliked by the Croats for hundreds of years. Even before Croatia became a part of Yugoslavia, the country wanted its independence. However, before and after the break up of Yugoslavia, there was a strong nationalism in the country which led to hatred towards the Serbs and the Serb minorities in Croatia. Studies have shown that minorities often are disfavoured by the majority decisions. This leads to a disadvantageous position for the minorities in the relation to the majority. The problem is how a state should compensate these groups for their disadvantageous position to be able to ensure justice and equality for all citizens within the country.
The aim of this thesis is to compare Croatia’s formal national minority rights with the actual national minority rights of the Serbs and to see whether they coincide with each other. The research questions are:
• What formal minority rights do Croatian Serbs have in Croatia?
• What minority rights do Croatian Serbs have in reality?
The method used in this study is the qualitative text analysis.
The conclusion of this thesis is that Croatia has a positive attitude towards minority rights and the Serb minority, as Croatia has allocated group-differentiated rights to its national minorities. The Croatian view upon national minority rights coincides to a large extent with Will Kymlicka´s theory. Furthermore, the formal rights and the virtual rights regarding education, language, culture and proportional representation coincides to a great extent if not precisely.