Mandate of Office of the Language Commissioner
The Office shall exercise the competencies specified in the Law and shall:
- Monitor compliance with the Law by any institution under its jurisdiction;
- Take all necessary measures within its authority, including through mediation, to ensure compliance with the Law by any institution under its jurisdiction;
- Review and make recommendations regarding regulations or administrative instructions made under the Law, and regarding the compliance and consistency of any other legislative act, regulation or administrative instruction with the Law;
- Carry out investigations, whether on its initiative or pursuant to a complaint made by any natural or legal person into any failure of any institution under its jurisdiction to comply with the Law or with any other legal act relating to the status and use of the official languages as well as to other languages of communities whose language is not an official language of the Republic of Kosovo;
- Provide, as appropriate, advice or assistance to the public regarding their rights under the Law;
- Provide, as appropriate, advice or assistance to institutions under its jurisdiction regarding their obligations under the Law;
- Assist the government in conducting, and autonomously conduct public awareness programs and regular outreach activities to inform the public regarding their rights under the Law.
In order to carry out its competencies, the Office shall have the authority and power to:
- Request, obtain access to and review files of institutions, enterprises or organizations under its jurisdiction;
- Require that the institution and its staff cooperate with the Office, providing the Office with access to their premises and with relevant information, including a copy of full or partial file and other documents upon request of the Office, with the exception of classified files or information;
- Summon any person or witness for the purpose of obtaining oral or written evidence necessary for the investigation of the matter;
- Provide travel and subsistence allowances for persons required to be present at the Office or to travel to furnish any information, records or evidence for the purposes of an investigation;
- As a last resort, when recommendations of the Office on remedies or for redress or compensation have not been addressed by the relevant institution, issue and impose any sanctions as prescribed by the applicable Administrative Instruction on Determining Administrative Sanctions for the Violation of the Law on the Use of Languages;
- Where necessary, in case a person fails or refuses to comply with the requirements of the Office or hinders or obstructs the Office in the performance of its duties, or where the nature of the violation so warrants, the Office may initiate legal or disciplinary procedures through the relevant authority against the person or the organization responsible for the violation.
In April 2012 was established the Office of the Language Commissioner within the Office of the Prime Minister, based on Regulation No.07/2012.
Law on the Use of Languages obliges all public institutions and service providers to ensure access and equal status of both official languages, Albanian and Serbian language and the official language at the municipal level and languages in official use at the municipal level. In 2007, the Government of Kosovo has established the Language Commission as an authority established in accordance with Article 32 of the Law on the Use of Languages in order to monitor the implementation of this law, preservation, promotion and protection of official languages and their equal status in Kosovo as well as to provide, protect the languages of communities whose mother tongue is not an official language.
Despite the power possessed according to Law on the Use of Languages, in practice a number of structural factors limited the capacity and effectiveness of the Language Commission. In order to advance the implementation of the law, the Government of Kosovo in 2011, established a working group on the Language Commission reform Decision. This project reform was led by Office of the Prime Minister/ Office of Community Affairs and as a result of this working group was issued Regulation 07/2012 for the Office of the Language Commissioner Languages, based on which have been created two supported mechanisms Language Policy Board and Language Policy Network.
On 4 April 2012 is signed the Government Regulation no. 07/2012 for the Office of the Language Commissioner.
On May 29, 2012 is established Language Policy Board, which acts as a forum to policy languages. Language Policy Network provides institutions to appoint liaison officers or focal point by which the Office of the Commissioner of Languages could cooperate for better implementation of the language policy.
On December 19, 2012 is appointed Language Commissioner.