Ministers’ Deputies
Notes on the Agenda

CM/Notes/1101/10.1c       18 November 20101

1101 Meeting, 8 December 2010
10 Legal questions

10.1 European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages –
c. Fourth report of the Committee of Experts in respect of Croatia

Item prepared by the GR-J of 16 November 2010

Reference document
CM(2010)144

Action – Item proposed for adoption without debate

To adopt the draft decisions below.


At its meeting of 16 November 2010, the Rapporteur Group on Legal Co-operation (GR-J) examined this item and agreed to transmit the draft decisions below to the Deputies for adoption.

Context

1. The Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages was set up in accordance with Article 17 of the Charter. Its main function is to evaluate, on a three-yearly basis, the application of the Charter by States Parties. Its evaluation is based on periodical reports and other information submitted by the States Parties, information received from legally established bodies and associations in the States Parties and information the Committee gathers during its “on-the-spot” visits to the countries. The Committee then prepares its own report, assessing the countries’ compliance with their undertakings, with a view to preparing draft recommendations to be adopted by the Committee of Ministers.

2. In accordance with Article 16, paragraphs 3 and 4 of the Charter2, the Committee of Experts has submitted to the Committee of Ministers its fourth report on the implementation of the Charter in Croatia. The report (document CM(2010)144) contains proposals for recommendations of the Committee of Ministers to the Croatian authorities. The government concerned has had the opportunity to submit its observations on the report, in accordance with Article 16, paragraph 3 of the Charter (see Appendix II to the report (document CM(2010)144)).

3. As regards the layout of the report, Chapter I gives information on the work of the Committee of Experts, the language situation in the country concerned and the particular issues which arose in examination of the situation. Chapter II examines how the State authorities have reacted to the recommendations of the Committee of Ministers. Chapter III is a detailed assessment of compliance with Charter obligations. Chapter IV sums up the Committee of Experts’ findings and puts forward draft recommendations that the Committee of Ministers could make to the country concerned.

Preparation and adoption of the Committee of Ministers’ recommendations

4. Under the Charter, the Committee of Ministers is required to decide what action to take on the proposed recommendations put forward by the Committee of Experts regarding Croatia (see Appendix to these Notes).

Procedure

5. The Deputies agreed on the procedure for examining the reports at their 765th meeting (19 September 2001, item 10.4). The Deputies are reminded that, at the same meeting, they authorised automatic declassification of each report after it had been examined by the Committee of Ministers, unless the state concerned objected to its publication.

6. Furthermore, it is recalled that the Deputies agreed, at their 935th meeting (13 July 2005, item 1.4, decision 2) that reports on the implementation of the Charter be given preliminary examination in their Rapporteur Group on Legal Co-operation (GR-J).

Background information concerning Croatia

7. Croatia signed and ratified the Charter on 5 November 1997. The Charter entered into force in Croatia on 1 March 1998.

Financing assured: YES

DRAFT DECISIONS

1101st meeting – 8 December 2010

Item 10.1c

European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages –
Fourth report of the Committee of Experts in respect of Croatia

(CM(2010)144)

Decisions

The Deputies

1. took note of the fourth report of the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in respect of Croatia, as it appears in document CM(2010)144;

2. adopted Recommendation CM/RecChL(2010)… on the application of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages by Croatia, as it appears at Appendix … to the present volume of Decisions <see Appendix to these Notes> and agreed to forward it to the Croatian authorities.

1101st meeting – 8 December 2010

Appendix …
(Item 10.1c)

Draft Recommendation CM/RecChL(2010)...
of the Committee of Ministers
on the application of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages by Croatia

(adopted by the Committee of Ministers on … … 2010
at the … meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)
 

The Committee of Ministers,

In accordance with Article 16 of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages;

Having regard to the instrument of ratification submitted by Croatia on 5 November 1997;

Having taken note of the evaluation made by the Committee of Experts of the Charter with respect to the application of the Charter by Croatia;

Bearing in mind that this evaluation is based on information submitted by Croatia in its fourth periodical report, information submitted by bodies and associations legally established in Croatia and the information obtained by the Committee of Experts during its on-the-spot visit,

Having taken note of the comments made by the Croatian authorities on the contents of the Committee of Experts' report;

Recommends that the Croatian authorities take account of all the observations of the Committee of Experts and, as a matter of priority:

1. continue efforts to promote awareness and tolerance vis-à-vis the regional or minority languages and the cultures they represent as an integral part of the cultural heritage of Croatia, both in the general curriculum at all stages of education and in the media;

2. take measures to ensure that speakers can use in practice their regional or minority languages in relations with the relevant branches of the State administration;

3. improve the system of regional or minority language education to make it more easily accessible;

4. strengthen and, where relevant, introduce the teaching of Slovak, Ruthenian and Ukrainian at all appropriate stages of education, in co-operation with the speakers;

5. continue efforts to introduce equal and official use of regional or minority languages in those areas where there is a sufficient number of speakers, and to ensure the implementation of local self-government statutes, if necessary with appropriate assistance.

Note 1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue; it will be declassified in accordance with Resolution Res(2001)6 on access to Council of Europe documents.
Note 2 “3. On the basis of the reports specified in paragraph 1 and the information mentioned in paragraph 2, the Committee of Experts shall prepare a report for the Committee of Ministers. This report shall be accompanied by the comments that the Parties have been requested to make and may be made public by the Committee of Ministers.
Note 4. The report specified in paragraph 3 shall contain in particular the proposals of the Committee of Experts to the Committee of Ministers for the preparation of such recommendations of the latter body to one or more of the Parties as may be required.”


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