OSCE publishes two reports on language rights
24 November 2018
On the occasion of the European Day of Languages, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Mission in Kosovo (OSCE) has published two reports: "Bilingual Legislation in Kosovo" and "Language Compliance in the Kosovo Police". The Language Commissioner, Slavisa Mladenovic during his presentation stated that language rights shall be protected by presenting value to Kosovo society as a whole. He also underlined that bilingual legislation in Kosovo shall be applied more.
"We have highlighted this problem and also mentioned that the biggest problem is the application of laws, although the Law on the Use of Languages is fairly good, it is encountering difficulties in practice", stated Mladenovic.
Meanwhile, the head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, Ambassador Jan Braathu, stated that Kosovo is a multi-ethnic society, taking examples of European states that have more than one official language. According to him, this phenomenon is a European reality. Ambassador Braathu stated that the use of official languages has marked progress according to research reports, but he urged the government to work harder in this regard.
Director of Legal Department at the Office of the Prime Minister, Mentor Borovci, stated that institutions lack legal translators as this requires knowledge of specific legal terminology. Another challenge is the lack of a central translation unit within each institution that initiates and drafts legal or sub-legal acts.
Member of the Assembly of Kosovo, Duda Balje, representing the Bosnian community, stated that she personally had difficulties due to communication. She also stated that it is very important for the youth to learn official languages of Kosovo.
Among others, the report states that the OLC is responsible for the implementation of the Law on the Use of Languages, as well as for the preservation, promotion and protection of the use of official languages in Kosovo. However, despite this responsibility, the OLC is not engaged continuously during the legislative process and does not consult regularly on legislation from the Government.
Office of the Language Commissioner was established in April 2012 under auspices of the Office of the Prime Minister, pursuant to Regulation br.07/2012. The Office is mandated to oversee the implementation of the law on languages, works with institutions to improve the implementation of the law and promote and protect the right on the use of the language of all communities in Kosovo.