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Application of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

Biennial report by the Secretary General to the Parliamentary Assembly

December 2011

Communication | Doc. 12881 | 16 March 2012

Author(s):
Secretary General
Thesaurus

1 Introduction

Under the terms of Article 16, paragraph 5 of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ETS No. 148, hereinafter referred to as “the Charter”), the Secretary General is required to present a two-yearly report to the Parliamentary Assembly on the application of the Charter. This sixth report covers the years 2010 and 2011 and addresses the main critical issues which arise from the functioning of the Charter system.Note

2 Monitoring of the Application of the Charter

Since the entry-into-force of the Charter in 1998, the Committee of Experts of the Charter, despite the staff shortage in its Secretariat, has adopted 61 evaluation reports and began the fifth monitoring cycle in respect of some States Parties in 2011. The recommendations that the Committee of Ministers has addressed to the States Parties have in most cases corresponded to the proposals made by the Committee of Experts in its evaluation reports. The Committee of Ministers is encouraged to continue to follow, as in the early years of the application of the Charter, the proposals of the independent Committee of Experts in order to strengthen the monitoring mechanism.

2.1 General issues

The effectiveness of the Charter continues to be hampered by the fact that many States Parties lack a structured approach for the application of all the undertakings they have entered into under the Charter. However, the practice-oriented nature of the Charter provisions constitutes a good basis for the national authorities to define concrete steps, administrative responsibilities and a time-frame to implement each undertaking and recommendation made by the Committee of Experts and the Committee of Ministers, in co-operation with the minority associations as well as the regional and/or local authorities concerned. The implementation of such action plans may be facilitated by the creation of specific budget lines for each undertaking, as they already exist in some States Parties.

Experience has shown that the lack of a structured implementation of the Charter and of the monitoring recommendations regularly results in delays in the submission of periodical State reports to the Council of Europe. It is of concern that delays in reporting have become the rule rather than the exception and have a negative effect on the effectiveness of the monitoring mechanism. In a growing number of cases States Parties formally inform the Charter Secretariat about quite often considerable delays. However, it must be emphasised that the deadlines for the submission of State reports cannot formally or informally be extended.

Considering that States Parties are required to focus their reports on the measures taken to tackle deficits in the application of the Charter, a simple but important truth emerges: a structured implementation of the Charter and of the monitoring recommendations could reduce the volume of each State report and make it easier for the authorities to comply with their reporting obligation on time.

2.2 Compliance of States Parties with the Charter

During the reporting period, twelve evaluation reports have been considered by the Committee of Ministers. The following paragraphs reflect the main issues raised in the recommendations of the Committee of Experts and the Committee of Ministers in the context of these reports.Note

2.2.1 Montenegro (first monitoring cycleNote)

The relevant legal framework in Montenegro lays a good basis for the protection of regional or minority languages, although some legal uncertainties remain, thus hampering the proper implementation of these provisions. In some areas, the legal guarantees are not always followed by a sufficient degree of practical implementation. The Albanian language is in general well protected and supported, especially in the areas where the Albanian speakers constitute a majority. There is a need to strengthen teacher training in Albanian. As regards the Romani language, the real situation of the language in Montenegro does not match the ambitious level of protection under the Charter ratified by Montenegro. As a result, the application of Part III is currently difficult. Good initial steps have been taken towards the integration of Roma and inclusion of the teaching of Romani in the education system. Nonetheless, there is an urgent need to recruit and train Romani teachers and to develop adequate teaching materials in Romani. Furthermore, immediate steps need to be taken to develop and employ a written form of the language, in co-operation with the speakers.

2.2.2 Hungary (fourth monitoring cycleNote)

The Committee of Experts found that there was a need to develop long-term strategies and structured plans for the preservation and promotion of each of the minority languages. In addition, bilingual education needs to be increased at all stages with a view to moving from the model of only teaching the language as a subject to bilingual education in the minority languages concerned. This implies a need to increase the number of teachers able to teach subjects in the relevant minority languages and to improve the financial situation of education in minority languages. In the media, the time-slots, time-schedules and financial support available for television programmes in minority languages need to be improved. The Committee of Experts also strongly urged the Hungarian authorities to ensure that minority language users can submit requests in minority languages to public service providers in practice. Furthermore, Hungary should establish a stable financial framework for the running of the cultural institutions of the national minorities. Owing to financial constraints, some features of the system of minority self-governments were broadly inoperative in the evaluation period.

2.2.3 Norway (fourth monitoring cycleNote)

Norway fulfils most of the undertakings as far as North Sámi is concerned. Nevertheless, in the judicial and administrative fields, efforts are still needed to train or recruit staff who master the relevant terminology in North Sámi. A similar issue arises in the health sector and social services where there are still not enough employees who master North Sámi sufficiently to meet the needs of the speakers. The Sámi Administrative District has been enlarged and this will enhance the protection and promotion of Lule Sámi and of South Sámi. However, both languages remain in a difficult situation and further resolute action is needed, in particular in the field of education. It is noteworthy that the Norwegian authorities recognised Kven as a language in its own right in 2005. The Kven Language Council has been set up and has begun the work of standardising the language. However, immediate efforts are needed to improve the teaching in/of Kven at all appropriate stages and to improve the use of the Kven language in the public sphere, in particular in broadcasting. With regard to Romani and Romanes, serious difficulties persist in the field of education as neither of these languages is taught as a subject at school.

2.2.4 United Kingdom (third monitoring cycleNote)

As far as the situation of Scottish Gaelic in education is concerned, particular problems include a shortage of teachers and the lack of sufficient teaching materials and appropriate school buildings. In the field of administration, Scottish Gaelic language plans have been adopted, which appear to have resulted in an improvement in the use of Scottish Gaelic. Its situation in the printed media, however, seems to have deteriorated. Regarding the situation of Irish, deficiencies remain in the provision of Irish-medium education at all levels. In the field of administration, while certain local authorities have adopted language plans and appointed Irish language officers, the provision as a whole remains unsatisfactory. There is consequently a need to adopt a comprehensive statutory basis for the protection and promotion of Irish in Northern Ireland. The situation of the Welsh language continues to be strong and the authorities continue to provide examples of good practice. In the field of health and social care, however, much remains to be done regarding services in Welsh. Furthermore, the UK authorities were encouraged to establish a language planning and cultural body that involves the speakers of Ulster Scots more closely.

2.2.5 Slovenia (third monitoring cycleNote)

Slovenia has a very high legal standard of protection for the Hungarian and Italian languages. However, there are considerable difficulties concerning the use of Hungarian and Italian in relations with local branches of State administration and public service providers as well as in social and economic activities. There is a clear need for a pro-active approach by the authorities with a view to ensuring a more systematic enforcement of the applicable legislation. Moreover, the Committee of Experts reiterated that the Charter puts an obligation on the Slovenian authorities to recognise Croatian and German as regional or minority languages in their domestic legal order and to define the respective traditional language areas. Slovenia should also develop the teaching in and of Croatian and German and promote their use in the broadcasting media. There have been encouraging developments regarding the protection and promotion of Romani. Steps have been taken to introduce the subject of “Roma language and culture” at schools. Still, there is a need for continued efforts to increase the awareness and acceptance of Romani as an integral part of Slovenia’s cultural wealth.

2.2.6 Ukraine (first monitoring cycleNote)

The Committee of Experts encouraged the Ukrainian authorities to develop a structured education policy for minority languages and secure the right of minority language speakers to receive education in their languages. This policy should ensure that a sufficient number of adequately trained teachers are available with a proficiency in the minority languages. Moreover, adequate teaching materials for minority-language education need to be provided and Ukraine should also ease the procedural requirements for importing literature in such languages. The Ukrainian authorities were also asked to review the high threshold (majority of the local population) at which minority languages can be used in relation with authorities and public services. For some minority languages, the amount of broadcasting is very low. Ukraine was encouraged to ensure that quotas imposed for broadcast programmes (television and radio) and the requirement to dub, subtitle and postsynchronise all foreign films into Ukrainian are not detrimental to broadcasting radio and television programmes in the minority languages. There is also a need to provide long-term subsidies to the minorities for setting up or running cultural centres.

2.2.7 Croatia (fourth monitoring cycleNote)

Croatia was encouraged to continue efforts to promote awareness and tolerance vis-à-vis the regional or minority languages, both in education and in the media. Furthermore, the use of minority languages in state administration bodies and in public services remains on the whole unsatisfactory. In municipalities where minority languages are in equal and official use, the situation varies to a large degree from equal use with Croatian to only emblematic use. Similarly, although some progress has been made with regard to further teacher training and textbooks, there are still problems with the timely translation of some textbooks and the introduction of minority language classes in some areas of Croatia. The situation with regard to Slovak, Ukrainian and Ruthenian in education has not improved; there is still no education in these languages. Finally, the Committee of Experts concluded that Romani has a traditional presence in definable areas of Croatia. On this basis, and considering that the Roma are a recognised minority in Croatia that is afforded a certain degree of protection, the Committee of Experts invited the Croatian authorities to consider applying the Charter to the Roma languages.Note

2.2.8 Switzerland (fourth monitoring cycleNote)

The Committee of Experts welcomed the fact that the Swiss authorities had adopted the federal language law and the cantonal language law of Graubünden which significantly improved the legislative protection of Romansh and Italian. The provision of education in Romansh remains good, but projections show that there will be a lack of Romansh teachers in the future if the relevant university chairs are discontinued. The Swiss authorities were encouraged to ensure that the introduction of Rumantsch Grischun in schools is carried out in a way which is sensitive to the protection and promotion of Romansh as a living language. According to the new cantonal language law, the cantonal authorities are obliged to use Romansh in communications with Romansh-speaking citizens and municipalities with Romansh as an official language. However, additional language training is needed for the administrative staff of municipalities with Romansh as an official language. The merger of municipalities presents particular challenges in maintaining the use of Romansh in local administrations. Finally, the Canton of Ticino was encouraged to support the local projects of language maintenance in Bosco-Gurin, especially in education.

2.2.9 Denmark (third monitoring cycleNote)

The Committee of Experts encouraged Denmark to take a more proactive and structured approach in applying the Charter to the German language. In the media, the broadcasting time in German is clearly insufficient to comply with the Charter. The Danish authorities were accordingly urged to substantially increase the level of radio broadcasting in German and provide television broadcasts in German. The Committee of Experts was informed that there is no structured approach regarding the use of German in administrative authorities and public services, including bilingual place-name signs. Also, a more systematic human resources policy is needed to ensure that German-speaking staff are available in social care facilities such as hospitals. In addition, the Committee of Experts invited the Danish authorities to investigate whether Denmark could accept additional obligations under the Charter to more adequately reflect the situation of the German language. Apart from German, the Danish authorities were asked to clarify whether Sinti are traditionally present in Denmark and if so, whether they still speak Romani.

2.2.10 Germany (fourth monitoring cycleNote)

Despite some positive developments, more determined steps are needed to tackle the problems identified by the Charter’s monitoring mechanism. Overall, the promotion of regional or minority languages is hampered by the lack of long-term, structured policies in this area at federal and Länder levels and the absence of a pro-active approach to this promotion. Although teaching in or of Upper Sorbian is still relatively well developed, it has to be ensured that its provision is not jeopardised by the changes in the educational system with respect to this language. There is a pressing need to adopt and implement a structured policy for the promotion and preservation of North Frisian, Sater Frisian and Lower Sorbian, including urgent measures in the field of education. Although there have been some improvements with respect to Low German, further steps are needed, especially in education. The use of regional or minority languages before administrative authorities remains marginal and structured policies and organisational measures are often missing. As regards the media, measures are needed to make available adequate radio and television broadcasting in Danish, Low German, Lower Sorbian, North Frisian, Sater Frisian and Romani.

2.2.11 Sweden (fourth monitoring cycleNote)

The Committee of Experts noted that despite some positive developments serious shortcomings still prevail in the field of education. The education system relies too heavily on so-called “mother tongue” instruction which remains generally unsatisfactory, and in many cases is mere tokenism. The problem is exacerbated by the acute shortage of trained teachers which fails to meet the existing demand for all regional or minority languages. Besides, there is no proper planning in place to address this issue, let alone meet the likely increased demand resulting from the renewed interest in regional or minority languages as “cultural heritage” languages. Insufficient and inadequate teaching materials are also a problem for all regional or minority languages in Sweden. In this context, Sami and Finnish education is in a critical situation. There has been a decline in the amount of bilingual education, and there is a shortage of teachers, which has been exacerbated by the failure to invest in language teacher training. As for education in Meänkieli, no improvements have been made. The shortage of teachers and teaching materials impedes Meänkieli education.

2.2.12 Poland (first monitoring cycleNote)

Poland has been encouraged to make available education in Belorussian, German, Kashub, Lemko and Ukrainian as a medium of instruction at pre-school, primary and secondary levels. For this purpose, the Polish authorities should provide the basic and further training of a sufficient number of teachers who are able to teach subjects in these languages. Poland has also been asked to strengthen the offer of broadcasting in all regional or minority languages. Concerning the use of regional or minority languages in relations with local and regional authorities as well as on place-name signs, the Polish authorities have been encouraged to reconsider the application of the 20%-threshold. There should also be the legal possibility to use such languages in relations with districts and voivodships. Bearing in mind the high-level undertakings chosen by Poland, a structured policy and flexible measures are needed in order to facilitate the application of the Charter to the Armenian, Czech, Karaim, Romani, Russian, Slovak, Tatar and Yiddish languages. Furthermore, Poland should promote awareness and tolerance in Polish society at large vis-à-vis the regional or minority languages and the cultures they represent.

The recommendations of the Committee of Experts and the Committee of Ministers furnish a good basis for action by members of the Parliamentary Assembly to promote the situation of regional or minority languages in individual member States.

3 Preparations for Ratification of the Charter in Council of Europe member States

The Charter is the European convention for the protection and promotion of languages used by traditional minorities. Regrettably, the Charter’s importance is not reflected by the number of ratifications. While the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities has 39 States Parties, the Charter has so far been ratified by only 25 member States of the Council of Europe and signed by a further eight member States.Note During the period under review, the Charter was ratified by Bosnia and Herzegovina which was also, in 2005, the last State that signed the Charter.

As it has been stated in all previous biennial reports, it remains disappointing that a considerable number of member States of the Council of Europe have not yet become parties to the Charter.

The Charter lays down more detailed obligations than the Framework Convention and employs a “menu” approach. However, this strength – tailored action for each regional or minority language in the given country – contributes to the slow pace of ratification because the national authorities need to prepare specific instruments of ratification. At the same time, many non-States Parties to the Charter already have a long tradition of protecting and promoting their regional or minority languages on the basis of national legislation and the Framework Convention, and therefore are ready to ratify the Charter. Member States preparing for ratification may make use of the legal assistance that experts working with the Council of Europe provide to support this process. Such advice may notably assist States in developing tailored solutions for specific concerns they may have by taking full advantage of the Charter’s flexibility.

3.1 States under a post-accession commitment to the Council of Europe to ratify the Charter

Bosnia and Herzegovina complied in 2010 with its post-accession commitment to the Council of Europe to ratify the Charter. When preparing ratification, the authorities have consulted the Council of Europe with regard to the instrument of ratification and organised a hearing for minority associations, in co-operation with our Organisation, to inform them about the Charter. This transparent and co-operative approach with respect to ratification is to be commended.

However, six States that committed themselves to signing and ratifying the Charter when acceding to the Council of Europe have not yet done so. Of these, two States (Albania and Georgia) have not even signed the Charter:

Member State

Assembly Opinion

Deadline for signing and ratifying the Charter

Date of signature

Albania

189(1995)

 

 

Azerbaijan

222(2000)

25/01/2002

21/12/2001

GeorgiaNote

209(1999)

27/04/2000

 

MoldovaNote

188(1995)

13/07/1996

11/07/2002

Russian Federation

193(1996)

28/02/1998

10/05/2001

“The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

191(1995)

09/11/1996

25/07/1996

Even taking account of the complex nature of the issues that a State may have to deal with when approaching ratification, The countries concerned are strongly encouraged to make all the necessary efforts so that the ratification process can be completed without further delay.

In the aforementioned States, the following relevant developments have or have not occurred, as the case may be, during the reporting period:

3.1.1 Albania

The Council of Europe has not been made aware of any steps taken towards signing and ratifying the Charter. The Albanian authorities are encouraged to start the process of ratification of the Charter during which the Council of Europe is ready to provide assistance.

3.1.2 Azerbaijan

At the beginning of 2011, a proposal for an EU/Council of Europe Joint Programme on facilitation of ratification of the Charter was submitted to the Azerbaijan authorities, but no decision has been taken by them. Azerbaijan is invited to take advantage of the legal assistance provided by Council of Europe experts with a view to drawing up an instrument of ratification that takes full account of specific concerns that may exist in the country.

3.1.3 Georgia

Although the Georgian authorities participated in seminars on the Charter organised in Tbilisi in 2009, in 2011 they did not accept the offer of an EU/Council of Europe Joint Programme conceived to facilitate ratification. Georgia is encouraged to accept the legal assistance offered by the Council of Europe.

3.1.4 Moldova

The Moldovan authorities announced in October 2011 that they would set up a working group whose purpose it will be to prepare, in the first half of 2012, a draft instrument of ratification concerning the Charter. The working group will comprise representatives of the authorities, national minorities and experts who will work in co-operation with Council of Europe experts. This constructive step is welcomed as a preparation towards the ratification law.

3.1.5 Russian Federation

From 2009 to 2012, the Council of Europe, the European Union and the Russian Federation implemented a Joint Programme “Minorities in Russia: Developing Languages, Culture, Media and Civil Society” which aimed, inter alia, at providing assistance to different public authorities that would be involved in the future ratification and implementation of the Charter. For that purpose, a Joint Working Group was established which discussed at experts’ level the legal, political and inter-ethnic aspects related to this issue. A proposal for a draft instrument of ratification prepared by independent experts was discussed at meetings of the Joint Working Group in 2011. Against this background, and considering that the Russian Federation is the first State that has involved the Council of Europe in an institutionalised way in its preparations for ratification of the Charter. The Russian authorities are strongly encouraged to continue the work of the Joint Working Group in an appropriate form after the end of the Joint Programme to facilitate ratification.

3.1.6 “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

As mentioned in my previous report, the authorities of “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” informed representatives of the country’s national minorities in 2009 that they would ratify the Charter soon. However, the Council of Europe has not been made aware of any additional steps taken towards ratification of the Charter during the reporting period. The Council of Europe stands ready to assist the authorities of “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” in their final preparations for accession to the treaty.

3.2 Other non-States Parties

In France, two draft laws on the promotion of the regional languages were discussed in the French parliament in 2011 which has opened a new round of discussion about the possibility of ratification of the Charter. In general, awareness of the Charter in France remains higher than in any other non-State Party.

The Council of Europe has not been made aware of any steps taken towards ratification of the Charter by the other member States concerned, namely Andorra, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Monaco, Portugal, San Marino and Turkey.

Over the years, the Charter has considerably benefited from the constant support by the Parliamentary Assembly. In particular, from the mid-1990s onwards, the Parliamentary Assembly has insisted on the need for signature and ratification as a condition for new member States at the time of their admission to the Organisation. The Parliamentary Assembly’s continued interest will certainly promote new ratifications of the Charter, among both more recent and old member States alike.

4 Complementarity and Congruence: Synergies with the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance

As a result of the restructuring of the Council of Europe Secretariat, which took effect on 1 October 2011, the secretariats of the Charter, the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) form one department within the new DGII. This step should further bring to bear the existing synergies between the two minority conventions and ECRI as well as the respective monitoring bodies.

As far as the Charter and the Framework Convention are concerned, it is commonly known that both treaties are complementary. The Framework Convention sets out individual rights for persons belonging to national minorities. These rights complement the legal obligations of States Parties contained in the Charter, but obviously go beyond linguistic matters. It is less known, though, that there exists also broad congruence between the Charter and certain provisions of the Framework Convention. The latter contains language-related provisions that are congruent with a greater number of Charter provisions than the number which must be accepted by a State when ratifying Part III of the Charter. This aspect should politically and legally facilitate further ratifications of the Charter by the States Parties to the Framework Convention concernedNote.

Already at present, both conventions mutually reinforce each other during monitoring. One example is that, during the reporting period, six opinions by the Advisory Committee of the Framework Convention were published concerning States Parties to the Charter which have not been monitored by the Committee of Experts of the Charter during that period.Note While this precise constellation is of course coincidental, the congruence of both treaties will always ensure that some aspects of minority language protection are monitored in certain States Parties even in-between two Charter monitoring cycles. Similarly, the implementation of the Framework Convention benefits from the Charter mechanism, including its shorter monitoring intervals (three years compared to five years under the Framework Convention).

Co-operation on the basis of common case law has also continued in the field. In 2011, for example, representatives of the two monitoring committees chaired a follow-up meeting in Slovenia. The meeting had been proposed after the Committee of Experts and the Advisory Committee had, in their respective monitoring reports, expressed concern that there is practically no dialogue between the authorities and the associations representing the regional or minority language speakers about the application of both treaties.

In so far as ECRI is concerned, it pays special attention to minority language rights in its monitoring of all 47 member States, emphasising the need for ratification of the Charter. In its fourth monitoring cycle, ECRI has so far made recommendations in this sense to the authorities of seven countries and will continue to do so in respect of all other countries which are not yet parties to the Charter until the end of its monitoring cycle in 2013. In addition, ECRI recommended to the authorities of a party to the Charter to amend the law on the use of national minority languages by taking into consideration the recommendations made by the Committee of Experts on the Charter.

More generally, ECRI in its monitoring reports strongly encourages State authorities to pursue their efforts to promote education in minority languages, including teaching of and in minority languages and appropriate training of teachers. Concerning one country in particular, ECRI made a specific recommendation, for which it requested priority implementation from the authorities within two years, to ensure that the teachers who are trained in teaching the national language as a second language know the language of the ethnic minority pupils whom they will teach.

ECRI has paid due attention to minority languages in combating racism and intolerance also in its work on general themes. For example in its last General Policy Recommendation N.13 on combating anti-Gypsyism and discrimination against Roma, ECRI hasrequested member States to offer Roma pupils instruction in their mother tongue, upon the parents’ request, as well as to ensure that school textbooks contain information on the Roma language.

Thirty years ago, on 7 October 1981, the Parliamentary Assembly adopted Recommendation 928, thereby calling upon States to support the use of minority languages in public life. As it turned out later, Recommendation 928 had initiated the drafting process of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

The relationship between the Charter and the Parliamentary Assembly has remained exceptional, of which this report is proof. No other Council of Europe convention requires the Secretary General to present his own report on its application. Each biennial report therefore gives a regular opportunity to Europe's parliamentarians to review the state of implementation of the Charter as well as to some extent of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and of ECRI recommendations. In this way, they play an important role in improving the implementation of the European standards in this field.

Appendix 1 – Signatures and ratifications of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages CETS No.: 148

Treaty open for signature by the member States and for accession by non-member States

Opening for signature

Entry into force

Place: Strasbourg Date : 5/11/1992

Conditions: 5 Ratifications. Date : 1/3/1998

Status as of: 16/01/2012

Member States of the Council of Europe

States 

Signature 

Ratification 

Entry into force 

Notes 

R. 

D. 

A. 

T. 

C. 

O. 

Albania  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Andorra  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Armenia  

11/5/2001  

25/1/2002  

1/5/2002  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Austria  

5/11/1992  

28/6/2001  

1/10/2001  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Azerbaijan  

21/12/2001  

   

   

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Belgium  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Bosnia and Herzegovina  

7/9/2005  

21/9/2010  

1/1/2011  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Bulgaria  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Croatia  

5/11/1997  

5/11/1997  

1/3/1998  

   

X  

X  

   

   

   

   

Cyprus  

12/11/1992  

26/8/2002  

1/12/2002  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Czech Republic  

9/11/2000  

15/11/2006  

1/3/2007  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Denmark  

5/11/1992  

8/9/2000  

1/1/2001  

   

   

X  

   

   

X  

   

Estonia  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Finland  

5/11/1992  

9/11/1994  

1/3/1998  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

France  

7/5/1999  

   

   

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Georgia  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Germany  

5/11/1992  

16/9/1998  

1/1/1999  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Greece  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Hungary  

5/11/1992  

26/4/1995  

1/3/1998  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Iceland  

7/5/1999  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Ireland  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Italy  

27/6/2000  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Latvia  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Liechtenstein  

5/11/1992  

18/11/1997  

1/3/1998  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Lithuania  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Luxembourg  

5/11/1992  

22/6/2005  

1/10/2005  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Malta  

5/11/1992  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Moldova  

11/7/2002  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Monaco  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Montenegro  

22/3/2005  

15/2/2006  

6/6/2006  

56  

   

   

   

   

   

   

Netherlands  

5/11/1992  

2/5/1996  

1/3/1998  

   

   

X  

   

X  

   

   

Norway  

5/11/1992  

10/11/1993  

1/3/1998  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Poland  

12/5/2003  

12/2/2009  

1/6/2009  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Portugal  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Romania  

17/7/1995  

29/1/2008  

1/5/2008  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Russia  

10/5/2001  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

San Marino  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Serbia  

22/3/2005  

15/2/2006  

1/6/2006  

56  

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Slovakia  

20/2/2001  

5/9/2001  

1/1/2002  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Slovenia  

3/7/1997  

4/10/2000  

1/1/2001  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Spain  

5/11/1992  

9/4/2001  

1/8/2001  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Sweden  

9/2/2000  

9/2/2000  

1/6/2000  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Switzerland  

8/10/1993  

23/12/1997  

1/4/1998  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

“The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”  

25/7/1996  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Turkey  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Ukraine  

2/5/1996  

19/9/2005  

1/1/2006  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

United Kingdom  

2/3/2000  

27/3/2001  

1/7/2001  

   

   

X  

   

X  

   

   

Non-member States of the Council of Europe

States 

Signature 

Ratification 

Entry into force 

Notes 

R. 

D. 

A. 

T. 

C. 

O. 

Total number of signatures not followed by ratifications:  8 

Total number of ratifications/accessions:  25 

Notes: (56) Dates of signature and ratification by the state union of Serbia and Montenegro. a: Accession - s: Signature without reservation as to ratification - su: Succession - r: Signature "ad referendum". R.: Reservations - D.: Declarations - A.: Authorities - T.: Territorial Application - C.: Communication - O.: Objection.

Source: Treaty Office on http://conventions.coe.int

Appendix 2 – Languages covered by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

Status as of: 1 December 2011

Language

State Party

Level of protection under the Charter

(Articles applying to the language concerned)

Albanian

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Montenegro

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Romania

Part II (Article 7)

Serbia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Arabic

Spain

Part II (Article 7)

Aragonese

Spain

Part II (Article 7)

Aranese

Spain

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Armenian

Cyprus

Part II (Article 7)

Hungary

Part II (Article 7)

Poland

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Romania

Part II (Article 7)

Assyrian

Armenia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Asturian

Spain

Part II (Article 7)

Basque

Spain

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Beás

Hungary

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Belarusian

Armenia

Part II (Article 7)

Poland

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Ukraine

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Berber

Spain

Part II (Article 7)

Bosnian

Montenegro

Part II (Article 7)

Serbia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Bulgarian

Hungary

Part II (Article 7)

Romania

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Serbia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Slovakia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Ukraine

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Bunjevac

Serbia

Part II (Article 7)

Burgenlandcroatian

Austria

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Caló

Spain

Part II (Article 7)

Catalan

Spain

NotePart II (Article 7) or Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)*[1]

Cornish

United Kingdom

Part II (Article 7)

Crimean Tatar

Ukraine

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Croatian

Hungary

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Montenegro

Part II (Article 7)

Romania

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Serbia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Slovakia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Slovenia

Part II (Article 7)

Cypriot Maronite Arabic

Cyprus

Part II (Article 7)

Czech

Austria

Part II (Article 7)

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Croatia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Poland

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Romania

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Serbia

Part II (Article 7)

Slovakia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Danish

Germany

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Finnish

Sweden

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

French

Switzerland

Part II (Article 7)

Frisian

Netherlands

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Gagauz

Ukraine

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Galician

Spain

Part II (Article 7) or Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)*

Georgian

Armenia

Part II (Article 7)

German

Armenia

Part II (Article 7)

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Czech Republic

Part II (Article 7)

Denmark

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Hungary

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Poland

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Romania

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Serbia

Part II (Article 7)

Slovakia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Slovenia

Part II (Article 7)

Switzerland

Part II (Article 7)

Ukraine

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Greek

Armenia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Hungary

Part II (Article 7)

Romania

Part II (Article 7)

Ukraine

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Hungarian

Austria

Part II (Article 7) or Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)*

 

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Croatia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Romania

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Serbia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Slovakia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Slovenia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Ukraine

 

Inari Sámi

Finland

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Irish

United Kingdom

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Italian

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Croatia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Romania

Part II (Article 7)

Slovenia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Switzerland

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Karaim

Poland

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Ukraine

Part II (Article 7)

Karelian

Finland

Part II (Article 7)

Kashub

Poland

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Krimchak

Ukraine

Part II (Article 7)

Kurdish

Armenia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Kven

Norway

Part II (Article 7)

Ladino

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Lemko

Poland

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Limburgish

Netherlands

Part II (Article 7)

Lithuanian

Poland

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Low German

Germany

Part II (Article 7) or Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)*

Lower Saxon

Netherlands

Part II (Article 7)

Lower Sorbian

Germany

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Lule Sámi

Norway

Part II (Article 7)

Sweden

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Macedonian

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Romania

Part II (Article 7)

Serbia

Part II (Article 7)

Manx Gaelic

United Kingdom

Part II (Article 7)

Meänkieli

Sweden

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Moldovan

Ukraine

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Montenegrin

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

North Frisian

Germany

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

North Sámi

Finland

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Norway

Part II (Article 7) or Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)*

 

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Sweden

 

Polish

Armenia

Part II (Article 7)

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Czech Republic

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Hungary

Part II (Article 7)

Romania

Part II (Article 7)

Slovakia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Ukraine

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Portuguese

Spain

Part II (Article 7)

Romanes

Netherlands

Part II (Article 7)

Norway

Part II (Article 7)

Romani

Austria

Part II (Article 7)

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Czech Republic

Part II (Article 7)

Finland

Part II (Article 7)

Germany

Part II (Article 7) or Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)*

 

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Hungary

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Montenegro

Part II (Article 7)

Norway

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Poland

Part II (Article 7)

Romania

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Serbia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Slovakia

Part II (Article 7)

Slovenia

Part II (Article 7)

Spain

Part II (Article 7)

Sweden

Part II (Article 7)

Ukraine

 

Romanian

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Hungary

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Serbia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Ukraine

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Romansh

Switzerland

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Russian

Armenia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Finland

Part II (Article 7)

Poland

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Romania

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Ukraine

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Ruthenian

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Croatia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Hungary

Part II (Article 7)

Romania

Part II (Article 7)

Serbia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Slovakia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Sater Frisian

Germany

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Scots

United Kingdom

Part II (Article 7)

Scottish-Gaelic

United Kingdom

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Serbian

Croatia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Hungary

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Romania

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Slovenia

Part II (Article 7)

Skolt Sámi

Finland

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Norway

Part II (Article 7)

Slovakian

Austria

Part II (Article 7)

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Croatia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Czech Republic

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Hungary

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Poland

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Romania

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Serbia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Ukraine

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Slovenian

Austria

Part II (Article 7) or Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)*

 

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Part II (Article 7)

Croatia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Hungary

 

South Sámi

Norway

Part II (Article 7)

Sweden

Part II (Article 7)

Swedish

Finland

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Tatar

Finland

Part II (Article 7)

Poland

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Romania

Part II (Article 7)

Turkish

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Romania

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Ukrainian

Armenia

Part II (Article 7)

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Croatia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Hungary

Part II (Article 7)

Poland

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Romania

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Serbia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Slovakia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Ulster Scots

United Kingdom

Part II (Article 7)

Upper Sorbian

Germany

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Valencian

Spain

Part II (Article 7) or Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)*

Vlach

Serbia

Part II (Article 7)

Welsh

United Kingdom

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Yenish

Switzerland

Part II (Article 7)

Yezidi

Armenia

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Yiddish

Armenia

Part II (Article 7)

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Finland

Part II (Article 7)

Netherlands

Part II (Article 7)

Poland

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Romania

Part II (Article 7)

Sweden

Part II (Article 7)

Ukraine

Part II (Article 7) and Part III (Articles 8-14)

Total:

The Charter covers 84 languages …

… used by 206 national minorities or linguistic groups of which …

… 76 are concerned by Part II only and 122 by Parts II and III. The languages of 8 linguistic groups belong to both aforementioned categories, depending on the region.

Appendix 3 – Signatures and ratifications of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities CETS No.: 157

Treaty open for signature by the member States and up until the date of entry into force by any other State so invited by the Committee of Ministers

Opening for signature

Entry into force

Place: Strasbourg

Date: 1/2/1995

Conditions: 12 Ratifications

Date: 1/2/1998

Status as of: 16/01/2012

Member States of the Council of Europe

States 

Signature 

Ratification 

Entry into force 

Notes 

R. 

D. 

A. 

T. 

C. 

O. 

Albania  

29/6/1995  

28/9/1999  

1/1/2000  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Andorra  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Armenia  

25/7/1997  

20/7/1998  

1/11/1998  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Austria  

1/2/1995  

31/3/1998  

1/7/1998  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Azerbaijan  

   

26/6/2000 a  

1/10/2000  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Belgium  

31/7/2001  

   

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

   

Bosnia and Herzegovina  

   

24/2/2000 a  

1/6/2000  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Bulgaria  

9/10/1997  

7/5/1999  

1/9/1999  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Croatia  

6/11/1996  

11/10/1997  

1/2/1998  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Cyprus  

1/2/1995  

4/6/1996  

1/2/1998  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Czech Republic  

28/4/1995  

18/12/1997  

1/4/1998  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Denmark  

1/2/1995  

22/9/1997  

1/2/1998  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Estonia  

2/2/1995  

6/1/1997  

1/2/1998  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Finland  

1/2/1995  

3/10/1997  

1/2/1998  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

France  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Georgia  

21/1/2000  

22/12/2005  

1/4/2006  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Germany  

11/5/1995  

10/9/1997  

1/2/1998  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Greece  

22/9/1997  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Hungary  

1/2/1995  

25/9/1995  

1/2/1998  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Iceland  

1/2/1995  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Ireland  

1/2/1995  

7/5/1999  

1/9/1999  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Italy  

1/2/1995  

3/11/1997  

1/3/1998  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Latvia  

11/5/1995  

6/6/2005  

1/10/2005  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Liechtenstein  

1/2/1995  

18/11/1997  

1/3/1998  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Lithuania  

1/2/1995  

23/3/2000  

1/7/2000  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Luxembourg  

20/7/1995  

   

   

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Malta  

11/5/1995  

10/2/1998  

1/6/1998  

   

X  

X  

   

   

   

   

Moldova  

13/7/1995  

20/11/1996  

1/2/1998  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Monaco  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Montenegro  

   

11/5/2001 a  

6/6/2006  

54  

   

   

   

   

   

   

Netherlands  

1/2/1995  

16/2/2005  

1/6/2005  

   

   

X  

   

X  

   

   

Norway  

1/2/1995  

17/3/1999  

1/7/1999  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Poland  

1/2/1995  

20/12/2000  

1/4/2001  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Portugal  

1/2/1995  

7/5/2002  

1/9/2002  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Romania  

1/2/1995  

11/5/1995  

1/2/1998  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Russia  

28/2/1996  

21/8/1998  

1/12/1998  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

San Marino  

11/5/1995  

5/12/1996  

1/2/1998  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Serbia  

   

11/5/2001 a  

1/9/2001  

54  

   

   

   

   

   

   

Slovakia  

1/2/1995  

14/9/1995  

1/2/1998  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Slovenia  

1/2/1995  

25/3/1998  

1/7/1998  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Spain  

1/2/1995  

1/9/1995  

1/2/1998  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Sweden  

1/2/1995  

9/2/2000  

1/6/2000  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Switzerland  

1/2/1995  

21/10/1998  

1/2/1999  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

“The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”  

25/7/1996  

10/4/1997  

1/2/1998  

   

   

X  

   

   

   

   

Turkey  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Ukraine  

15/9/1995  

26/1/1998  

1/5/1998  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

United Kingdom  

1/2/1995  

15/1/1998  

1/5/1998  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Non-member States of the Council of Europe

States 

Signature 

Ratification 

Entry into force 

Notes 

R. 

D. 

A. 

T. 

C. 

O. 

Total number of signatures not followed by ratifications:  4 

Total number of ratifications/accessions:  39 

Notes:

(54) Date of accession by the state union of Serbia and Montenegro.

a: Accession - s: Signature without reservation as to ratification - su: Succession - r: Signature "ad referendum". R.: Reservations - D.: Declarations - A.: Authorities - T.: Territorial Application - C.: Communication - O.: Objection.

Source: Treaty Office on http://conventions.coe.int

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