Venice Commission confirms: Macedonia’s illegal language law creates only problems


According to the document obtained by Plusinfo, the Venice Commission’s draft opinion is a strong criticism of the Law on Languages and, in some ways, it recommends a detailed study of the reasons behind the 2008 law change and the reasons for the shortcomings in its implementation. On December 17, it will be known whether this version of the Venice Commission’s conclusions will be made official and what this will mean for the future of this law.

Many provisions of the Law on Languages (from 2018) go well beyond the European standards defined in particular in the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages. This is generally commendable. The Venice Commission commends the readiness of Macedonia’s authorities to improve the linguistic status of non-majority communities. However, in the opinion of the Venice Commission, the law goes way too far in certain areas, imposing unrealistic legal obligations on public institutions. This is particularly the case with provisions providing for the use of the Albanian language in court proceedings, formulated in such a broad manner that it would certainly require years if not decades of preparation to be fully implemented. “

These are part of the assessments in the draft opinion of the Venice Commission, which will be officially released on October 17. The draft was prepared on September 27 this year and Plusinfo owns a copy of this document.