City of Sarajevo organised the “Day of national minority languages” in the City Hall on 25 January. This activity was implemented within the project “Provision of contribution to effective realisation of rights and needs of national minorities in Sarajevo in the fields of education, media and culture” financed by the European Union/Council of Europe Joint Programme “Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Turkey”.
This project, as stated by Ms Dragana Solaković, Assistant mayor of Local Self-Government and City Development, is only the continuation of constant efforts in promoting and protecting national minority rights of the City of Sarajevo. “This activity, in particular, aims to promote diversity and multiculturalism of our city, through promotion of national minority associations and minority languages and in accordance with the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages of the Council of Europe”, said Ms Solaković.
Representatives of national minority associations, media, embassies, City of Sarajevo and other visitors had an opportunity to experience diversity of languages through interesting and interactive presentations of five minority languages: Hungarian, Czech, Polish, Macedonian and Italian.
Mr Gianluca Vannini, Head of Operations Section III (Social Development, Civil Society and Cross Border Co-operation) of the European Union Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, emphasised the importance of national minorities and announced EU’s continued support in the area of protection of national minorities in BiH. “Cultural diversity is our wealth. Diversity of languages, art, tradition and dance can enhance the quality of our lives. Promotion of social and economic integration of minorities is necessary. Therefore, we continue providing support to strengthening the multicultural dialogues and protection of national minority rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina” said Mr Vannini.
Mr Davor Ebner, Chairman of the Council of national minorities of Sarajevo Canton, also addressed the guests on behalf of national minority associations in local and German languages emphasising the symbolism and history of the City Hall where the event took place.
One of the conclusions after the presentations of minority languages is that the synergy between the European Union, the Council of Europe, local communities and national minority associations is still needed in order to jointly protect and promote national minority rights in Sarajevo.