25 February 2008 – In a motion adopted last Friday by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Swiss Parliament, MPs urge the Swiss government to protect ethnic minorities in Kosovo and to safeguard the rule of law. The motion, which was introduced by the Green MP Josef Lang and adopted by 10 against 8 votes asks for a particular commitment towards Kosovo Roma.

The motion states that Kosovo’s minorities and, in particular the Roma, have been the main victims of Kosovo’s split from Serbia and points out that Roma were not even invited to take part in the status talks. Referring in particular at human and minority rights, it further says that the rule of law has been violated.

The MPs ask the Swiss government to take up a clear commitment to assure that Kosovo is multiethnic “not just by words”. Pointing out at the Swiss example they underline that multilinguism constitutes a normal aspect of multiethnicity.

They commit the Swiss government to recruit an “adequate number of minority representatives, in particular Roma” at the Swiss liaison office in Priština.  In addition, they request the government to make sure that the right to “formal and practical” return is guaranteed and to engage itself for the improvement of the situation of the Kosovo refugees in the neighbouring countries.

The text of the motion is available here.

Romano Them