Council of Europe: The media in Serbia should raise awareness about the Macedonian language
Macedonian is one of the minority languages in Serbia according to the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages. In the latest report of the Council of Europe published today, it is stated that the Macedonian language in Serbia is taught as an optional subject "Macedonian language with elements of national culture" in primary education for two hours a week. However, the Macedonian language is not taught in preschool or secondary education.
According to the report of the Council of Europe, the Macedonian language, among other things, can be studied at the universities in Belgrade and Nis. The text also states that, as in the previous cycles of monitoring, the Committee of Experts did not receive enough precise information from Serbia this time about how the authorities promote the raising of awareness of the Macedonian language in mainstream education and in the media. The insufficient information, according to the experts, means that Serbia has not fulfilled the point that foresees the promotion of mutual understanding between all language groups in the country, then the promotion of respect, understanding and tolerance in relation to the Macedonian language as one of the goals of education and training, as well as encouraging of the media to include respect, understanding and tolerance in relation to the Macedonian language.
As for its use in Serbia, it is stated that both public and several local television and radio stations broadcast programs in the Macedonian language. In addition, with the support of the authorities, the Macedonian minority organizes a series of cultural activities in the Macedonian language, such as Days of Macedonian Culture and Days of Macedonian Creativity in Serbia. In addition, the Serbian authorities supported several translations of literary works into the Macedonian language.
However, the Council of Europe comes out with several recommendations on how to protect and promote the use of the Macedonian language in Serbia. At the same time, it is recommended to urgently consider the application of an educational model that ensures knowledge of the Macedonian language, in cooperation with those who speak it.
The other recommendations are for including content about the Macedonian language and culture in the curricula, teacher training and educational materials in regular education and for encouraging the media to raise awareness about it when reporting and training journalists.
In addition, it is recommended to encourage the introduction of the Macedonian language into local official use in central Serbia in order to facilitate the application of the Charter.
Also, the Committee of Experts of the Council of Europe recommends that conditions be provided in Serbia that will enable persons who do not speak the Macedonian language, including adults, to learn it, as well as to promote cross-border exchanges, in the areas covered by The charter, for the sake of the Macedonian language.
The European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages entered into force in Serbia in 2006 and covers the Albanian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Bunjevac, Croatian, Czech, German, Hungarian, Macedonian, Romani, Romanian, Ruthenian, Slovak, Ukrainian and Wallachian languages. .