Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry behaved unprofessionally says SMK party

The ethnic Hungarian SMK party said on July 24 to the TASR newswire that it believes that the Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry acted unprofessionally in connection to the stance taken by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on amendments to the Slovak State Language Act. SMK doesn't see it as appropriate that there was a press conference organised at the ministry on July 21 about the language legislation at which time information on confidential negotiations was presented – especially when OSCE High Commissioner for Minorities Kurt Vollebaek was scheduled to meet with a Hungarian delegation the day after.

The ethnic Hungarian SMK party said on July 24 to the TASR newswire that it believes that the Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry acted unprofessionally in connection to the stance taken by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on amendments to the Slovak State Language Act.

SMK doesn't see it as appropriate that there was a press conference organised at the ministry on July 21 about the language legislation at which time information on confidential negotiations was presented – especially when OSCE High Commissioner for Minorities Kurt Vollebaek was scheduled to meet with a Hungarian delegation the day after.

SMK said that publishing this information – which it called unilaterally interpreted information – is not worthy of the diplomacy of an EU-member country. SMK also said it is not typical in diplomatic circles to publish a confidential OSCE evaluation on a ministry webpage, especially as what was published was not complete.

SMK spokesperson Eva Dunajská noted that the ministry added the final part of the evaluation called ‘Conclusions’ only on Friday, a day later. This part recommends strengthening the legislation's content on minorities’ language usage in Slovakia and it also recommends preparation of a comprehensive Act on Minorities in Slovakia.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry published the original OSCE evaluation on its web page on July 23 after consulting with Vollebaek. The text of the evaluation can be found in its original (English) version as received from OSCE to keep it as authentic as possible, TASR wrote, as SMK had expressed doubts that the translation of the Language Act into English for the OSCE had been correct. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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