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Venice report divides opinions

THE VENICE Commission of the Council of Europe assessed Slovakia’s State Language Act and recommended reviewing and revising the provisions of the law which inappropriately restrict the use of a minority language, the SITA newswire reported.

THE VENICE Commission of the Council of Europe assessed Slovakia’s State Language Act and recommended reviewing and revising the provisions of the law which inappropriately restrict the use of a minority language, the SITA newswire reported.

According to the Venice Commission, protection and support for the official language is a legitimate state interest.

However, the commission also wrote that demanding the use of the state language in regions populated by ethnic minorities without any exception is unsuitable because of the principles of freedom of speech and protection of the rights of ethnic minorities.

The commission wrote that several provisions of Slovakia’s language law are incompatible with the country’s international obligations.

The deputy prime minister for human rights and national minorities, Rudolf Chmel, said that the Venice Commission’s evaluation provides a number of reasons why the legislation should be further modified, but Culture Minister Daniel Kraj-cer, whose ministry authored a recent amendment that is currently before parliament, said that all justified recommendations made by the Venice Commission have already been reflected in his ministry’s draft amendment, SITA wrote.


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