The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
- Parliamentary Assembly
- Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting
on behalf of the Assembly, on 12 November 2010 (see Doc. 12422, report
of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, rapporteur:
Mr Berényí). See also Recommendation 1944 (2010).
The Parliamentary Assembly stresses
the fundamental importance of the protection of minority and regional
languages for stability and peace in Europe and recalls its previous
texts concerning the rights of persons belonging to national minorities: Recommendation 1492 (2001)
and Recommendation 1623 (2003)
rights of national minorites, Recommendation
on the ratification of the Framework Convention for
the Protection of National Minorities by the member states of the
Council of Europe, and Resolution 1713 (2010)
minority protection in Europe: best practices and deficiencies in
implementation of common standards.
2. The Assembly pays tribute to the unique role which the European
Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (the charter, ETS No. 148)
has played over the past few years in improving the protection of regional
or minority languages and preserving linguistic and cultural diversity
in Europe. Accordingly, it also applauds the valuable work of the
Committee of Experts of the charter.
3. However, the Assembly notes that the charter has so far been
ratified by only 25 states. Another eight states have signed it,
some of which are expected to ratify soon. To date, however, almost
half of the Council of Europe’s member states have not yet fully
subscribed to this legal instrument. The Assembly deplores that it
has not yet become universally accepted throughout Europe.
Therefore, the Assembly:
its call upon the member states that have not yet done so to sign
and/or ratify the charter as soon as possible;
calls upon the member states that have ratified the charter
4.2.1 ensure its proper implementation in a spirit
of understanding and tolerance; in so doing member states should
in particular ensure that the charter is applied to all the regional
or minority languages specified in their instrument of ratification,
acceptance or approval, by all branches of government (executive,
legislative and judicial) and at all levels of power (local, regional
and central), irrespective of their constitutional order as federal
or unitary states;
4.2.2 in implementing the charter, co-operate with all relevant
actors of civil society concerned;
4.2.3 apply the charter to all the languages traditionally spoken
on their territory and to extend its material scope, according to
the provisions of the charter;
4.2.4 ensure dissemination of the charter and relevant information
concerning the latter not only in official but also in regional
or minority languages.
5. The Assembly regrets that reservations and restrictive declarations
formulated by states that have already signed and/or ratified the
charter have not been revoked and reiterates its request to these
states to do so.
6. The Assembly also calls on all member states to step up co-operation
with other international organisations such as the European Union
and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
in order to consolidate common standards on the protection of regional
or minority languages, and promote the speedy ratification of the
charter and its proper implementation.
7. The Assembly notes with satisfaction the increasing interest
of the European Parliament in the protection and promotion of regional
or minority languages and welcomes its efforts to promote the ratification
of the charter. Thus, the Assembly resolves to reinforce co-operation
with the European Parliament on these issues, in particular through
regular contacts and exchanges of views.