Official Language Acquisition for Municipal Officials in Kosovo

Official Language Acquisition for Municipal Officials in Kosovo

The objective of the project is to enhance the ability of municipal officials working in ethnically mixed municipalities to communicate in both official languages, Albanian and Serbian. Currently, only a limited number of municipal officials interacting with the public speak a second official language, resulting in mono-lingual working environments, which in mixed municipalities can hamper co-operation, marginalise staff and limit access of citizens to public services. By organising courses of Albanian and Serbian languages for municipal officials in 13 municipalities, the project aims to achieve increased accessibility of municipal services to communities, a more attractive working environment for non-majority individuals considering a career as a municipal official and more efficiency within municipal administrations.

Implementation Period

January 2014 – December 2014

Location

Selected Kosovo municipalities:

  • Kamenicë/Kamenica,
  • Fushë Kosovë/Kosovo Polje,
  • Gjilan/Gnjilane,
  • Lipjan/Lipljan,
  • Vushtrri/Vučitrn,
  • Novobërdë/Novo Brdo,
  • Štrpce/Shtërpcë,
  • Dragash/Dragaš
  • Prizren
  • Kllokot/Klokot
  • Gračanica/Graçanicë
  • Ranillug/Ranilug
  • Parteš/Partesh (from June)
  • Mitrovica North Administrative Office (MNAO)

Background

The two official languages of Kosovo are Albanian and Serbian. They have an equal status and equal rights with regard to their use at institutions in Kosovo. The Law on the Use of Languages provides that official languages are used on an equal basis by and within municipal administrations. Municipal officials and municipal administration are responsible to ensure that every person in Kosovo can communicate with municipal authorities and receive available services and public documents in official languages of Kosovo. Nevertheless, only a limited number of municipal officials in direct contact with the public currently speak a second official language. Moreover, Kosovo legislation contains provisions for the proportionate representation of communities within the civil service, at central and municipal levels. However, non-majority communities still find themselves under-represented in mixed municipal administrations.

The lack of knowledge of both official languages, along with the under-representation, creates a number of problems, especially in the mixed municipalities throughout Kosovo. It inhibits requests for and the provision of public services to some communities, making the integration of Kosovo society harder. It also hampers communication and integration within the workplace; as well as between central Government and municipal officials and between municipal officials and the communities they serve.

Aim and Objectives

The project aims to enhance the ability of municipal officials to communicate and provide municipal services to communities in both official languages.

Expected Results and Activities

ECMI Kosovo will carry out the following activities:

  • Conduct Albanian and Serbian language courses for municipal officials in 13 municipalities and Mitrovica North Administrative Office (MNAO)
  • Advocate for policy recommendations on how municipal recruitment criteria and related regulations can be revised to promote more language proficiency in both official languages by municipal officials.

The project activities will have the following results:

  • Municipal officials in mixed-ethnicity municipalities are operational in both official languages.

Target Groups and Beneficiaries

Municipal officials in mixed municipalities

Non-majority ethnic community members

Funding

This project is funded by the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities and Office of the Language Commissioner/Office of the Prime Minister.
  

Contact Person

Name: Nejla Ayvazi

Position: Project Manager

E-mail: ayvazi@ecmikosovo.org

Tel: +386 49 316 878

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