As part of the celebration of the European Day of Languages, the Regional School for Public Administration (ReSPA) organized the conference “Preparation of the national version of the “EU acquis” in order to help the teams in the public administration of the ReSPA members to make progress in the translation of the legal regulations of the European Union in their administrations.
The importance of this initiative was confirmed by the presence of high-level officials who expressed their views on the importance of adequate translation of the legal regulations of the European Union in the administrations of the region.
Plamena Halacheva, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia, thanked the organizers and participants of the event for their joint commitment to this important topic. Halacheva quoted Umerto Eco who states that the language of the European Union is essentially a language of translation.
“I am happy about today’s event because translating EU legal acquis is an important endeavor for all candidate countries before they join the Union, and we don’t often talk about it. The fact that it is happening now shows the commitment of Western Balkan countries to joining the EU. It demonstrates that they see themselves as future EU members, just as much as the EU sees the Western Balkans as a future part of our Union. This was also emphasized by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in her speech two weeks ago, and we look forward to welcoming more official EU languages into our family”, she said.
Christos Ellinides, Director General for Translation at the European Commission, pointed out that the extensive process of translating EU regulations into the languages of the countries enables citizens, businesses and economies of the European Union to address the institutions in their national languages. This ensure equality and respect for all citizens of the European Union. However, in order for it to work in practice, the EU must provide capacities within the administration, which is the direction in which the Western Balkans countries should go.
Mila Ćipović-Gligorić, Director of the Office for the Coordination of Translation of Legal Acts of the European Union into the Serbian language, greeted the guests present on behalf of Tanja Miščević, Minister for European Integration, and pointed out that the issue of multilingualism is one of the basic issues of the EU and it is one of the basic principles of the European Union, thus creating the conditions for legal certainty for EU citizens to address the institutions in the official language of their country. All legally binding acts of the EU are processed in all official languages of the EU member states. EU candidate countries also have the obligation to draft their national regulations before joining the EU, which is a demanding and extensive job that needs to be approached in a systematized and centralized manner.
Maja Handžijska-Trendafilova, Director of ReSPA, emphasized that the faster process of the accession of the Western Balkans to the European Union implies that efficient translation and communication of the legal regulations of the European Union. Expressing satisfaction with the fact that ReSPA gathered key players from the region in the translation of EU regulations on the European Day of Languages, Handžijska-Trendafilova pointed out that “the translation and implementation of the legal acquis of the European Union in the region does not only affect legal and regulatory changes, but also positively affects fostering culture of democracy, respect for human rights and economic growth”.
As part of the conference, civil servants of ReSPA members presented the achieved results and discusses the challenges they face as well as plans to encourage regional dialogue necessary for a faster exchange of good practices and faster progress in this area, which is important for the overall accession of the region to the European Union.
“Acquis” refers to the European Union’s extensive body of legislation, legal regulations and policies that member states and candidate countries must adopt and implement in order to ensure a unified legal framework at the level of the Union. These regulations cover a wide range of areas, from trade and competition to the environment and human rights. As the EU continues to expand and diversify, ensuring an accurate and comprehensive translation of this body of law has become a critical endeavour. The translation of the “acquis” or Eu legal regulations in the Western Balkans is of great importance in the context of EU integration of the region.
Line ministries and other state administration bodies, as part of the process of preparing the legal acquis of the EU in the Serbian language, perform professional editing of translations, while the Republic Secretariat for Legislation is responsible for legal and technical editing.
Recently, in cooperation with the “Official Gazette” and with the help of the EU Delegation to Serbia, a printed edition of the founding treaties of the EU was published – the Treaty of Lisbon, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and Euratom, which were translated in this process.
The European Day of Languages is an initiative whose goal is to promote language learning and which was launched by the Council of Europe in 2001 in cooperation with the European Commission. Since then, this day has been celebrated throughout Europe on September 26 every year. It is intended for anyone who wants to participate, regardless of age. Students, teachers, schools and other institutions can celebrate this day by participating in an already existing event or by organizing their own activities.