Tuesday, May 28, 2024

CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES AND THE ALBANIAN LANGUAGE

If in the previous opening of the constitution, the issues that underwent changes had more to do with the issue of the legality of the state, with special emphasis on foreign policy, this time the obligation for constitutional changes as a precondition for the full opening of negotiations with the EU, including the part of the Bulgarians and other peoples in the constitution, has more of an internal character and deals with the regulation of relations between ethnic groups, hence the request to change the definition “20%” that comes from all Albanian political subjects but also of other social actors is fair, stable and I will serve everyone positively

Author: Sefer Selimi Jr.

After the saga of the opening of negotiations with the EU and the Bulgarian veto, which was based on anachronistic demands on the identity of our fellow Macedonians, with special emphasis on the genesis and acceptance of the Macedonian language, I believe that the debate on the Albanian language should be more rational and our fellow citizens will understand forever that the Albanian language is not a danger for the identity and state of North Macedonia, but on the contrary, it is an element that further strengthens its citizenship. I believe that there was no Macedonian who did not feel insulted when the official Sofia referred to the Macedonian language as “the language defined according to the state constitution”. I don’t even think that anyone remained calm when with chauvinistic tones they tried to exclude it from official communication in the big family of official languages ​​in the European Union. Throughout this saga, the Albanians of North Macedonia, but also those of Albania, including the official Tirana, sympathized and stood in solidarity against this aggressive and retrograde behavior.

Starting from this current experience, I think that the opinion of our fellow Macedonian citizens has matured and they know the insult caused by the definition of the Albanian language in the constitution and the law on the use of languages ​​as “…the language spoken by at least 20% of the citizens which is different from the Macedonian language”. If in the previous opening of the constitution, the issues that underwent changes had more to do with the issue of the legality of the state, with special emphasis on foreign policy, this time the obligation for constitutional changes as a precondition for the full opening of negotiations with the EU, including the part of the Bulgarians and other peoples in the constitution, has more of an internal character and deals with the regulation of relations between ethnic groups, hence the request to change the definition “20%” that comes from all Albanian political subjects but also of other social actors is fair, stable and I will serve everyone positively. Twenty years after the armed conflict, this right has matured to be fully consumed, as it should be, as “Albanian language”.

However, the option “…the language spoken by at least 20% of the citizens…” should remain, and in this way other communities should be able to exercise their linguistic rights in the local government. No one loses from diversity, no one loses from another’s language, and citizens lose less. The only losers from the change of this definition will be the populist politicians, who over the years have used it, try to use it and will use it in the future as a battle horse to collect votes, while they will continue to steal citizens and their voters.

If our fellow Macedonians will need additional arguments, they do not need to look for them anywhere else, it is enough to go back three months in time and they will find them in their own arguments, used at the time when the Macedonian language deny, was insulted and belittled. I feel sorry that they also had to go through such an experience, but I hope that this experience has matured them more by helping them to understand our feeling, now three decades in a row and find the strength to pass the ideas of the past to open the doors of the future.

 

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