Due to the lack of programs which would educate activists and thus empower Serbian institutions and organizations in which they operate, the Serb National Council launched the Political Academy in 2008. It is a program of additional education for the younger generation of ethnic Serb community, designed to motivate and prepare them to participate in all processes (participation in decision making, negotiation, presentation, etc.) at the level of local and regional self-governments, and thus encourage the development of local communities. Our program is also intended for those individuals who want to act publicly - in academia, the media and general social public – in order to research, promote and raise awareness of the issues of special interest for the Serbian community. Particular emphasis is placed on young people since the demographic picture of the Serbian community has been significantly altered in the post-war period, and today predominantly consists of members of the middle and older generation. This fact has affected the Serbian organizations as well, thus making their gradual generational rejuvenation one of the objectives of the Political Academy.

The program of Political Academy is designed to cover different areas, and the lecturers are relevant experts from the region. The program includes the following topics:

  • The political and legal status of Serbs in Croatia
  • The identity and history of Serbs in Croatia
  • The elections, representation and participation in institutions
  • The activity within the community
  • Serbs and European institutions

Our education program also includes discussions and workshops through which we aim to encourage critical thinking and provide a social component that is necessary for active participation in public life. Political Academy of the SNC is designed as a place where participants from different parts of Croatia and the region can meet and network with each other. In view of the success of this program, a program of the Regional Academy entitled Minority integration network (MINTEGNET) has been launched in collaboration with colleagues from Novi Sad (Novi Sad School of Journalism). Our model has been applied to this Academy as well, intended primarily for education and training of the representatives from the area of former Yugoslavia. In this case, these are the representatives of the Croat ethnic minority in Serbia (Vojvodina) and Serb ethnic minority in Croatia.

Representatives of the Serb ethnic minority in the Executive bodies at local and regional levels are included in the program. By participating in advanced education programs, minority representatives get the opportunity for further education and training.

Since its beginning, four generations of students have attended the SNC Academy. As part of the program, more than 60 students have been trained so far. Some of them are active in political life at all levels of regional and local self-governments – from counties and municipalities to county, municipal and city councils of the Serb ethnic minority.