On Tuesday, 21 February, the Board on national minorities and ethnic groups of the Council of Government of the Slovak Republic took place. Within the meeting, they passed a crucial resolution with which they demand transformation of the national entity into a separate council.
Transformation of Board for national minorities and ethnic groups into the Council of Government for national minorities and ethnic groups was suggested by Milan Pilip, one of two representatives of Rusyns in the board. He suggested this based on decisions that had been made at the meetings of the Round Table of the Rusyns of Slovensko. It results in strengthening of the entity that deals with the issue of national minorities in Slovakia. In order to accept such a crucial project, 3/5 of majority of voices were needed, which was successful. The head of the board that is authorized when it comes to national minorities and ethnic groups, Laslo Bukowski, was given the task to make steps aiming to transform the board into the council.
We were provided with the information by another member of the Rusyn board, a newly-chosen head of the Round Table of Rusyns of Slovensko – Jan Lipinski whom we asked about the basic changes after transformation of the board into a council and what would be the position of minorities in the country which still does not have laws on national minorities.
„The basic difference between whether we are a board or a council of the government is that a council is not led by an authorized person on national minorites, but a member of the government. It is a big comfort as such a person can reach the highest executive in a state, such a person can raise the issue of minorities at the meetings of government. Actually, even a council would remain only an advisory entity (as it is right now in the case of the board), but the fact that it be led by a member of the government who can discuss the issues of minorities with the whole government at their meetings, is a very important issue. Finally, as it has never changed, we wish for something new,” says Lipinski.
Further, Lipinski said that if in the past it was a member of government who dealt with minorities, also nowadays better that it not be dealt with by some of the ministry, but a new member of the government who would deal only with national minorities and ethnic groups. And here a question remains – what will happen with the person authorized on national minorities and ethnic groups whose post arose after abolishment of the post of a member of the government. Lipinski can see two possibilities.
„There is also a possibility for some duo – an authorized person and a member of the government. But I rather see it this way that there is no such an authorized person, only a member of the government on national minorities, as it used to be in the past.”
This will be an important year for the minorites in Slovakia. In 2017 a law on funds for supporting culture of national minorites is to be passed, according to which from the next year the whole system of funding culture of separate national minorities acknowledged in the state would change. A member of the government could be a useful translator who would speak with the government about a particular law.
Source of the photography: Facebook – Rádio Patria – Štúdio Košice.
ARTICLE WRITTEN ACCORDING TO PRESOVIAN STANDARDS OF RUSYN LANGUAGE