Slovakia's State Language Act does not contravene European law, but problems might arise in its implementation, European Commissioner for Multilingualism Leonard Orbán said following a meeting with Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák on September 14.
Lajčák gave assurances to Orbán that when it comes to application of the language act, Slovakia has proceeded and will continue to proceed in line with recommendations made by OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Knut Vollebaek.
According to Orbán's spokesperson, the commissioner said that the EC doesn't have powers in the sphere of languages, but it nevertheless regrets the Slovak-Hungarian dispute. Orbán, as quoted by the TASR newswire, pointed to the basic principle of EU policy in the sphere of multilingualism, which stipulates that citizens of a given EU-member country, including members of ethnic minorities and immigrants, are expected to speak the language of the state concerned. Neither the Swedish presidency of the EU, nor the European Parliament (EP) are planning to become involved in the Slovak-Hungarian conflict over the amended act.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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16. Sep 2009 at 10:00