The OSCE’s High Commissioner for National Minorities, Knut Vollebaek, has welcomed the approval of the Slovak Government’s implementation measures to the country’s State Language Act, said Peter Stano, the spokesman for the Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry on January 5, the TASR newswire wrote.
Stano added that Vollebaek in his statement said that the measures, effective as of January 1 of this year, were approved following his recommendations. The aim of the measures is to provide clarification and ensure a unified interpretation of the legislation, added Vollebaek in his statement.
The measures provide necessary guidance for applying the act’s provisions as well as for supervising the application of commitments introduced by the law, said Vollebaek. The measures ensure the preservation of principles of non-discrimination and proportionality and are therefore expected to safeguard the rights of members of ethnic minorities vis-a-vis the use of their mother tongues both in the public and private spheres. Defined in the measures are expressions such as official and public relations, official language, and geographical name.
As stated in the measures, the use of state, minority and foreign languages in the periodical press, and non-periodical publications published in minority and foreign languages aren’t subject to supervision from public administration bodies. Conversely, non-periodical publications in the state language fall under the supervision of the Culture Ministry. Patients and also clients of social facilities can communicate with facility personnel in a language other than Slovak across the whole of Slovakia if they don’t speak Slovak. The use of the state language at these facilities isn’t subject to supervision from public administration bodies. 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.
6. Jan 2010 at 14:00