Minority languages in Montenegro: new evaluation report released

Strasbourg, France 12/05/2015
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Minority languages in Montenegro: new evaluation report released

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe today adopted recommendations and issued a new evaluation report on the application of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in Montenegro. The report was drawn up by a committee of independent experts, which monitors the application of the Charter by the countries that have signed and ratified it.

In the report, the Committee of Experts acknowledges the commitment and the efforts of the Montenegrin authorities to support and protect regional and minority languages.

The report welcomes the effective granting of co-official status to the Albanian language in three municipalities, including in the fields of education, public administration and public broadcasting.

The evaluation report commends the Montenegrin authorities on the measures taken to promote the use of the Romani language and their co-operation with Romani speakers on the codification of this language, already used in some texts published by the authorities.

On the other hand, the evaluation report asks the Montenegrin authorities to clarify the territorial scope of the application of the Charter to Bosnian, Croatian and Romani languages. In addition, a more structured policy is required towards the use of the Albanian language: it appears that there are municipalities, where it is not in official use despite the fact that the number of Albanian speakers is sufficient to justify the application of the Charter.

More efforts are also needed to improve the teaching of and in the Romani language at all levels of education, in particular by providing teaching materials and training teachers.

The Committee also identified the need to raise public awareness of Bosnian and Croatian cultures and traditions present in Montenegro as an integral part of the country’s cultural heritage.

The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages is a convention for the protection and promotion of traditionally used minority languages. It entered into force in Montenegro in June 2006, in terms of a declaration of succession to treaties, following the independence of Montenegro from the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro on 3 June 2006.

The 2015 evaluation report is the 3rd report on Montenegro drawn up and adopted by the Committee of Experts of the Charter. Previous reports were issued in 2009 and 2011.