Head of the Center for Studies of Contemporary Balkan Crisis,
RAN Institute of Slavic Studies,
The first Yugoslav state was established in 1918. It was a unitary and centralized kingdom and the resolution of the national issue in it did not suit many of the nations in the country. The Yugoslav Communist Party had to address the national issue in its documents during World War II due to both the multiethnic character of the country and the need to unite various groups of the population in the antifascist struggle. Josip Broz Tito wrote that the new Yugoslav state was to be established on federalist foundations providing for absolutely equal rights of Serbs, Croats, Slovenians, Macedonians, and Montenegrins. The people of Bosnia-Herzegovina were not mentioned in this list because they were considered Serbs or Croats of various religious denominations. Until 1943 it remained an autonomous province
of Serbia. Tito decided to grant Bosnia-Herzegovina the status of a republic only after World War II on the request of Bosnian communists. Correspondingly, it was planned to establish six republics - Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Autonomies were not discussed at that time, but equal rights were guaranteed to ethnic minorities.
Speaking at the constitutional assembly of the Communist Party of Serbia on May 12, 1945 Tito outlined his concept of a federation where internationalism and a "love to a monolith Yugoslavia" were to prevail. In his opinion, the Federation was to be cemented by "the idea of the unity and fraternity of the peoples of Yugoslavia". Subsequently, this evolved into the key thesis of the interethnic relations ideology in the Yugoslavian Federation.
The Federation was created following the national principle -the number of federative subjects was equal to the number of nations (with the exception of Bosnia-Herzegovina ... Read more