The Slovenia Times

Minorities Call for Stricter Application of Language Use Regulations


Commission chair Roberto Battelli, MP for the Italian minority, expressed concern about the inconsistent implementation of legislation on bilinguality in official transactions in municipalities that are home to Italian and Hungarian minorities.

According to him, inconsistencies or even violations of the Constitution can be detected at almost all levels of public administration.

Some progress has been made with the introduction of bilingual digital services, but the local administration websites are still only published in Slovenian, Battelli pointed out.

His opinion was echoed by the heads of Italian and Hungarian self-governing communities in Slovenia, Alberto Scheriani and Ferenc Horvat. In their opinion, the state should be the first to ensure that the national communities' rights are fully respected.

They urged the municipalities in ethnically mixed areas to adopt decisions to fully abide by the language use regulations.

Head of the Office for National Minorities Stanko Baluh agreed with Scheriani and Horvat's opinion and said that his office already prepared a government action plan until 2018.

The action plan is expected to be confirmed at the government in June and presents a step forward towards fully respecting minority rights, according to Baluh.

Meanwhile, Justice Ministry State Secretary Tina Brecelj said legislation on bilingual language use in ethnically diverse areas was adequate.

However, Simona Kustec Lipicer of the coalition leading party SMC said that there was an obvious difference between theory and practice. She called for a comprehensive discussion on the topic.

Commission deputy-chair Laszlo Göncz, MP for the Hungarian minority, pointed to an improvement in the exercise of minority rights but noted there were great difficulties in other areas, such as education.


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