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Strengthening measures to protect and revive highly endangered languages

Recommendation 1943 (2010)

Parliamentary Assembly
Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 12 November 2010 (see Doc. 12423, report of the Committee on Culture, Science and Education, rapporteur: Mr Kumcuoğlu).
1. Referring to its Resolution 1769 (2010) on strengthening measures to protect and revive highly endangered languages, as well as to its Resolution 1770 (2010) and Recommendation 1944 (2010) on the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, the Parliamentary Assembly notes that, after the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (the charter, ETS No. 148) entered into force on 1 March 1998, the Committee of Experts which monitors and supports its implementation contributed to raising awareness and encouraged national policies seeking to revitalise endangered languages in many European countries.
2. However, despite the positive impact of the charter and the valuable work of its Committee of Experts, many European languages are seriously threatened and require increased protection in order to guarantee linguistic and cultural diversity in Europe.
3. The Assembly considers that immediate action is required in this field to encourage and support all member states – be they parties to the charter or not – in developing and implementing policies aimed at the revival of highly endangered languages. In this respect, it is important to make the best use of the wide knowledge and unique experience of the Committee of Experts of the charter, as well as the potential of the European Centre for Modern Languages in Graz.
4. Therefore, the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
4.1 entrust the Committee of Experts of the charter with identifying, collecting in a single publication and disseminating best practices concerning languages traditionally used in member states, in particular those which are highly endangered, and with developing concrete guidelines on key issues, such as:
4.1.1 establishing a sound legal and administrative framework for the protection of these languages;
4.1.2 raising the social status of these languages and encouraging their use in homes and daily life;
4.1.3 developing educational policies in support of these languages and teacher training;
4.1.4 setting up cross-border exchanges and co-operation;
4.1.5 strengthening the role of media and new information technologies (notably by facilitating access to media, partnerships with media, the creation of specialised websites, the setting-up of databases and distance learning of endangered languages);
4.1.6 collecting, safeguarding and making available all kinds of material on these languages;
4.2 adopt, on the basis of these guidelines, a recommendation to member states on strengthening measures to protect and revive highly endangered languages;
4.3 reinforce the European Centre for Modern Languages in Graz so that it can play a central role in co-ordinating work to save highly endangered languages and provide support, for example, with:
4.3.1 the creation of networks at European and national levels to share ideas and facilitate promising initiatives;
4.3.2 the development of targeted initiatives such as national forums, national or regional specialised centres or libraries, publications on cultural and artistic heritage linked with these languages and the publication of specialised dictionaries.