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Application of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

Biennial Report by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to the Parliamentary Assembly

Communication | Doc. 13436 | 03 March 2014

Author(s):
Secretary General

Contents

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 seventh Biennial Report covers the years 2012 and 2013 and addresses the main critical issues which arise from the functioning of the Charter system.Note

During the last two years, the Council of Europe has continued to place emphasis on implementing the Council of Europe standards at national level. In the case of regional and minority languages we have sought to ensure not only their de jure but also their de facto protection and promotion. This is done by supporting member States, when requested, in aligning their national legislative framework with the standards set by the Charter and by providing capacity-building on applying its provisions.

Furthermore, the Organisation has intensified its efforts to optimise the functioning, to increase synergies and coordination of the Council of Europe’s monitoring mechanisms, as well as to encourage a better use of their conclusions, while fully respecting their independence.

The Parliamentary Assembly is to be congratulated for its active role in raising awareness about the Charter and encouraging member States to ratify. The recommendations of the Committee of Experts and the Committee of Ministers provide a good basis for action by members of the Parliamentary Assembly to promote the situation of regional or minority languages in individual member States. The continued support of the Parliamentary Assembly is vital to ensuring that regional and minority languages are protected throughout the Council of Europe member States without exception.

2 Application of the Charter

Since the Charter entered into force in 1998, the Committee of Experts of the Charter has adopted 80 evaluation reports. 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 Impact of the Charter

The Charter and its monitoring mechanism continue to have positive effects on the situation of regional or minority languages in Europe. Examples of the Charter’s impactNote comprise Sweden’s Act on National Minorities and National Minority Languages which puts an obligation on the public sector to protect and promote the languages of the national minorities. In Spain, Aranese has been granted the status of a co-official language in the whole territory of Catalonia. Ukraine has adopted the Law “On the Principles of State Language Policy”, replacing the former Soviet language law of 1989. The Free State of Saxony (Germany) implements an action plan to encourage the use of the Sorbian language in public life. In the Netherlands, Frisian speakers have the right to use their language in court even outside the Province of Friesland. The high legal status that Serbia has granted to Romani under the Charter (Part III) has contributed to improving the largely negative public image of this language and prepares its co-official use by municipalities.

2.2 Compliance of States Parties with the Charter

2.2.1 Reporting obligations of States Parties

The impact of the Charter could certainly have been even greater if all States Parties had adopted a structured approach for the application of all the undertakings they had entered into under this Convention. As pointed out in the previous Biennial Report, the lack of a structured implementation of the Charter and of the monitoring recommendations contributes to delays in the submission of periodical reports to the Council of Europe. Pursuant to Article 15 (1) of the Charter, periodical reports shall be presented at three-yearly intervals after the due date of the first report. It is of great concern that delays in reporting have become dramatic, as some States Parties have already missed an entire monitoring cycle.

During its 46th meeting in November 2013, the Committee of Experts discussed measures that could be taken to address this problem. It decided inter alia to propose to the Committee of Ministers in 2014 two new procedures which already exist in a similar format concerning the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

Firstly, in situations of a serious delay in the submission of a periodical report to the Council of Europe, the Committee of Experts proposes that it should, in the future, have the possibility to begin the monitoring of the application of the Charter before the actual receipt of the periodical report from the State Party.

Secondly, the Committee of Experts proposes that it should become possible to make evaluation reports public before the Committee of Ministers has adopted its own recommendations to the given State Party. This proposal takes account of the fact that the Committee of Ministers may obviously amend proposals received from the Committee of Experts for its own recommendations, but not the content of the evaluation report to which the Committee of Ministers recommendations are appended. Indeed, there have been cases during recent years where, owing to amendments made, the consultations about the Committee of Ministers recommendations have lasted up to 18 months. In accordance with the current practice, the evaluation reports concerned were made public only after the adoption of the Committee of Ministers recommendations. It is evident that such delays have a very negative impact on the monitoring mechanism of a Convention whose implementation is monitored at three-yearly intervals.

2.3 Overview of the observations and recommendations of the Committee of Experts

During the reporting period covering 2012-2013, 18 evaluation reports have been considered by the Committee of Ministers. The following overview reflects the main issues raised in the recommendations of the Committee of Experts and the Committee of Ministers in the context of these reports.Note

2.3.1 Montenegro (second monitoring cycleNote)

Compared with the first evaluation report, there has been a lot of improvement in both the legal set-up and the situation of minority languages in Montenegro. The territorial application of the Charter concerning the Albanian language has been clarified. However, it is still not defined with regard to Romani. The Charter now also covers Croatian and Bosnian, which is in line with the wishes of the speakers of these languages, as expressed during the on-the-spot visit. However, the level of protection of Bosnian and Croatian should be clarified. Although Serbian is the most widely used language in Montenegro, its status under the Charter needs still to be clarified. The Albanian language remains, in general, well protected and supported. Education in Albanian is offered on all levels in all the areas where Part III of the Charter applies. Media coverage in Albanian is considered to be sufficient. Despite promising developments with regard to the use of Romani in education additional measures are necessary with respect to teacher training and the provision of adequate teaching materials. Efforts to codify Romani should also be intensified.

2.3.2 Cyprus (third monitoring cycleNote)

The Cypriot authorities continue to have a positive attitude towards the needs and wishes of the speakers of the regional or minority languages. However, a more structured approach targeting specifically the Armenian and the Cypriot Maronite Arabic languages is necessary. In the case of Cypriot Maronite Arabic, the quick adoption and implementation of an action plan is vital. Financial support of the print media of the minority groups continues to be offered, but there is an obvious need for a presence on television for both Armenian and Cypriot Maronite Arabic. While Armenian education at pre-school and primary school level is satisfactory, secondary education remains in a delicate position, and teacher training in Armenian is still not available. Decisive efforts still need to be made to further strengthen Cypriot Maronite Arabic education on all appropriate levels and to produce teaching materials and offer teacher training possibilities. In addition, more awareness needs to be raised among the majority about Cyprus’ regional or minority languages as an integral part of the country’s cultural heritage.

2.3.3 Finland (fourth monitoring cycleNote)

The language laws in Finland provide high protection, but their implementation remains challenging in some cases. There is a need to raise awareness among the majority population about Finland’s minority languages. In particular, speakers of Russian and Romani face discrimination. The situation of the second official language, Swedish, is becoming fragile. The willingness of the majority to learn Swedish and the ability of administrative staff to provide services in that language have decreased after a reform of the matriculation examination. Difficulties in using Swedish in health care services or in court proceedings still persist. Sami education requires a more structured policy, language planning and long-term financing. Teaching Sami to the numerous Sami pupils outside the Sami Homeland remains problematic. Special efforts are needed for Romani and Karelian education. As for Inari Sami and Skolt Sami, urgent support measures are needed for keeping the languages alive. Also, there should be clearer instructions to municipalities and schools to make them aware of their obligations vis-à-vis teaching in and of Russian.

2.3.4 Romania (first monitoring cycleNote)

Romania has a long tradition of promoting minority languages and shows best practice in a number of cases. However, no structured approach exists for the application of the Charter, involving the different levels of institutions and clarifying their responsibilities for its implementation. The educational offer in the Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Serbian, Slovak, Tatar, Turkish and Ukrainian languages should be developed. Regarding Hungarian and German, there is a shortage of teachers which significantly hampers the continuity between the different levels of education. Romania supports a high number of projects to the benefit of Romani, but there is a need to continue developing a comprehensive offer of Romani teaching in dialogue with the speakers. Romania takes commendable steps in promoting Yiddish. The authorities should, however, reconsider the thresholds for official use of minority languages in administration and improve the offer of radio and television broadcasts in several minority languages. More efforts are needed to promote knowledge about the history and culture of Romania’s national minorities in mainstream teaching materials.

2.3.5 Netherlands (fourth monitoring cycleNote)

Improvements have been made in education, especially concerning Limburgish and Frisian. However, there is no structured dialogue with the representatives of the regional or minority language speakers about the implementation of the Charter. The number of Frisian-speaking, bilingual and trilingual schools has increased, but in the meantime the studies of Frisian language and literature at the University of Groningen are in a critical situation. Furthermore, the training for pre-school teachers of Frisian is insufficient. Teaching Limburgish depends on initiatives of individual teachers and is practically non-existent in pre-schools and at the lower grades of primary school. There is currently no structured approach for the teaching of Low Saxon at all relevant levels. Low Saxon is also absent in the field of administrative authorities. The authorities have made efforts to improve co-ordination between the Sinti and Roma organisations, but they still do not consult these organisations regarding the promotion of Romanes, which is not taught in Dutch schools. There is an urgent need for funding projects in the educational and cultural fields to the benefit of Yiddish.

2.3.6 Spain (third monitoring cycleNote)

Spain has a high level of commitment in protecting and promoting its regional or minority languages. However, there is a need for a coherent and systematic policy and a strategic approach to services in these languages so that users are not discouraged to use their language. Catalan has excellent support by authorities in Catalonia. Some deficiencies nevertheless still exist in the field of health services where further efforts are needed to train medical staff in Catalan. The same applies to Basque in the Basque Autonomous Community and Navarra. Catalan-language education on the Balearic Islands does not correspond to the undertakings chosen under the Charter.Education in Valencian and Galician needs improvement. There is still no agreement on a written form of Aragonese, which hampers its public use, especially in the field of education. The implementation of the Charter to Aranese has started, but Leonese still remains unprotected. Official statistics regarding the number of users of regional or minority languages that are not co-official in Spain is still lacking and should be collected.

2.3.7 Austria (third monitoring cycleNote)

There is an increasing interest from pupils also from the majority for education in Burgenland-Croatian, Hungarian and Slovenian. This positive development also creates a problem of capacity and challenge to address the diversity in language competence among pupils. Furthermore, there is a concerning drop-out rate between primary and secondary school regarding the learning of Burgenland-Croatian. The legislation governing the right to use Slovenian before administrative authorities and public services in Carinthia is extremely complex and incoherent. There have been overall positive developments regarding the Romani language in Burgenland, most notably in the field of education. Austria should establish a system for monitoring the measures taken for education in regional or minority languages. The teaching of the history and the culture which is reflected by the regional or minority languages should be promoted in all schools and at different education levels. There is a need to increase the offer of broadcasts in regional or minority languages targeted at children and adolescents.

2.3.8 Norway (fifth monitoring cycleNote)

The Norwegian authorities continued their efforts to improve the implementation of the Charter. However, there is still a lack of reliable statistical data on the users of regional or minority languages. With respect to court proceedings and local and regional administration, efforts are still needed to train or to recruit staff who master the relevant terminology in North Sami. The Norwegian authorities are encouraged to continue with the work enabling the use of all Sami names in their original form in all public registers. In the health sector and social services in the Sami administrative area there is a general difficulty in recruiting necessary staff. The Kven language is still in a precarious situation and therefore resolute efforts are needed to protect and promote it. It needs a structured policy, improved teaching in/of Kven and more presence in the media. Lule and South Sami are in a difficult position and more efforts are needed especially in the field of education. Their presence in broadcasting should also be increased. There is a continuous need to develop positive attitudes towards Romani and Romanes in order to remove prejudices against these varieties.

2.3.9 Czech Republic (second monitoring cycleNote)

Despite an overall well developed legislative and financial framework, shortcomings affecting the promotion of the regional or minority languages still remain. Decisive and concrete measures need to be taken immediately if most of these languages are to survive in the Czech Republic. There is no structured language policy for German and resolute action is needed to promote it, in particular, in education and the broadcasting media. There is also no structured policy with respect to Romani, whose situation is affected by the history of social exclusion, the negative public perception, including in the media, and the low prestige as a language. Moreover, there are still reports that children are prohibited from speaking Romani at certain schools, and a disproportionate number of Roma children attend practical schools. The situation of Polish remains good on the whole, but there is no structured policy on its use in administration and bilingual signs cause tensions. The offer of Polish programmes on television is inadequate. More targeted efforts are needed to raise awareness and promote tolerance vis-à-vis all the minority languages in the country.

2.3.10 Slovak Republic (third monitoring cycleNote)

Despite legal changes, the Slovak legislation still contains restrictive provisions hampering the implementation of some of the Charter’s provisions. The 20% threshold continues to limit the use of minority languages in administration in municipalities where the persons belonging to a national minority do not reach 20% of the local population. With the exception of Hungarian, which has a strong position in education and is used to a certain degree before courts, in administration and in the media, the minority languages are in a weak position in the Slovak Republic. Much remains to be done for Ruthenian, Ukrainian, German, Bulgarian, Croatian and Polish in education, in the judiciary, in administration, as well as in the media. There have been no attempts to teach Romani on a wide scale and unjustified enrolments of Roma children in separate schools or classes still occur. The German, Hungarian and Romani speakers are particularly affected by prejudices and more decisive action is needed to raise awareness and to ensure respect of national minorities within the majority population.

2.3.11 Serbia (second monitoring cycleNote)

Although legislation concerning minority languages is highly developed, there are frequent weaknesses in its implementation. The use of Albanian in relations with administrative authorities should be improved. Both the presence of Bosnian in schools and Bulgarian-medium education need to be strengthened. Bunjevac has not yet been introduced in official use in any municipality.Croatian has a weak presence in education considering the number of its speakers. Despite demand, Czech is not yet taught within the models of minority language education. For German, the allocation of TV broadcasting time at RTV Vojvodina is still pending. Higher-level undertakings under the Charter could be applied to Hungarian. Macedonian continues to have a good media presence. The level of protection of Ruthenian remains high, and Romani has an impressive presence in the media. Too few pupils follow education in Romanian and Slovak, and Ukrainian-language education is insufficient. There exists no structured policy to promote Vlach. The presentation of certain national minorities in a stereotyped way should be eliminated from school books.

2.3.12 Bosnia and Herzegovina (first monitoring cycleNote)

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the 17 languages covered by the ratification enjoy a high level of recognition in the minority laws at national and entity levels. However, the number of speakers of most minority languages is low and, at present, the infrastructure necessary to ensure implementation of the Charter does not exist. With the exception of teaching German, Italian and Ukrainian at some levels of education, the minority languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina are absent from the regular educational system. As to the use of the minority languages before judicial and administrative authorities, the domestic legal set-up is not in conformity with the Charter. Television and radio programmes use the minority languages only to a limited extent and a dedicated scheme providing regular and stable financial support to cultural activities and facilities relating to the minority languages does not exist. There is no discrimination against the use of minority languages in economic and social settings. A number of activities involving kin-states also take place with some support by the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

2.3.13 Hungary (fifth monitoring cycleNote)

Hungary is to be commended on both the system of minority self-government and the supplementary minority education put in place if the statutory requirement of eight pupils cannot be met. However, the structural deficits in education remain, and the offer of minority language education at regular secondary schools is very limited. The Hungarian authorities should take proactive measures instead of relying on the initiative of the national minorities. They should also develop a structured long-term policy and plan for education in Croatian, German, Romanian, Serbian, Slovakian and Slovenian and set up a dedicated monitoring mechanism. Furthermore, the offer of minority language programmes on television should be improved and a comprehensive scheme for the training of journalists and other media staff using minority languages should be developed and financed. Moreover, the percentage of Roma who speak Romani or Beás is declining, and the lack of qualified teachers of both languages remains a fundamental problem. Ruthenian continues to be in a precarious situation.

2.3.14 Switzerland (fifth monitoring cycleNote)

Switzerland has taken significant steps to improve the situation of its minority languages. The adoption of the federal language law and the entry into force of Graubünden’s cantonal language law in 2010 significantly improves the legislative protection of Romansh and Italian in Graubünden. The overall provision of education in Romansh remains good and the use of the language with the authorities is fairly good at local level. Romansh is, however, rarely used in practice before courts. The amount of Romansh language radio broadcasting is exemplary and there is also a satisfactory offer of television programmes. The situation of the Italian language in Graubünden is, overall, satisfactory, although problems remain regarding the use of Italian in connection with the delivery of public services by cantonal entities. In respect of the Italian language in the Canton of Ticino all undertakings chosen from the Charter are fulfilled. There is a lack of structured approach with regard to the protection and promotion of German in those municipalities of the Cantons of Fribourg/Freiburg, Jura and Ticino where German is a minority language.

2.3.15 Armenia (third monitoring cycleNote)

Armenia has developed a legal and institutional framework for the protection and promotion of its minority languages. However, the implementation of this legal framework is incomplete in a number of areas covered by the Charter. Structured policies are needed to ensure the use of minority languages, in practice, in the fields of education, judiciary, administrative authorities, and social and economic life. In the field of education, the situation of Russian seems to be satisfactory. New teaching materials have been published in certain minority languages. Concerning the use of minority languages in court proceedings, interpretation and translation is provided free of charge. The unsatisfactory situation of broadcasting in minority languages has not improved. Minority languages are also very marginally used in economic and social life. Russian, however, is widely used. An increase in the financial support provided to cultural activities is necessary. Regarding the Charter’s scope of application, the Committee of Experts considers that Ukrainian and German are regional or minority languages in the sense of the Charter and covered by its Part II.

2.3.16 Ukraine (second monitoring cycleNote)

The protection of national minorities and their languages is highly recognised legally in Ukraine, and the scope of the newly adopted Law “On the Principles of State Language Policy” goes beyond the substance of the Charter. However, the procedural requirements provided for by the law may severely limit the possibilities of smaller language groups to benefit from its protection. In the field of education, there is a lack of adequate teaching materials and of teacher training in many languages. While the use of Russian before judicial authorities seems to be on the whole satisfactory, the respective undertakings are not implemented in practice for Belarusian, Bulgarian, Crimean Tatar, Gagauz, German, Greek, Hungarian, Moldovan, Polish, Romanian, Slovak and Yiddish. In addition, the broadcasting time in minority languages has generally decreased, which for most of the languages had been very limited in any case. Furthermore, there is a lack of long-term subsidies in the field of culture. In general, the Ukrainian authorities should adopt, for each language, a structured approach for the implementation of the Charter undertakings.

2.3.17 United Kingdom (fourth monitoring cycleNote)

The Welsh Assembly Government continues to show a strong commitment to the promotion of Welsh. Recent census figures have revealed a drop in the number and percentage of Welsh speakers, including a worrying decline in some of the traditional strongholds. In Scotland, the increased support from the authorities towards both Scottish Gaelic and Scots has continued. However, Scottish Gaelic remains an endangered language. In Northern Ireland, the difficulties regarding the promotion of Irish and Ulster Scots observed in the previous monitoring round have continued, especially in the case of Irish. There is still no legislative basis for the use of Irish due to the lack of political support. The Ulster-Scots and Cornish languages are still largely absent from public life. The Manx language continues to be strongly supported by the Manx government, in particular in the fields of education and media. In general, there is still a need to raise the awareness of the English-speaking majority population about the regional or minority languages as an integral part of the United Kingdom’s cultural heritage, especially in education and media.

2.4 Acceptance of additional obligations under the Charter

On 29 October 2013, at the sixth meeting of the Ad hoc Committee of Experts on Roma Issues (CAHROM), Croatia announced that it will withdraw the reservation that it had made to Article 7 (5) of the Charter when ratifying the treaty in 1997. Croatia thereby follows recommendations that the Committee of Experts has made since 2000.

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

The Charter and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities constitute the European standards in the field of national minority protection. Both treaties are a frame of reference regularly referred to by the European Union (EU) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Therefore, as it has been stated on various occasions, it is regrettable that so far only 25 member States of the Council of Europe have ratified the CharterNote and that no state has ratified it during the period under review. The Framework Convention (39 States PartiesNote) has not been ratified either by all those member States having national minorities on their territory. Consequently, the protection of national minorities is still not fully achieved in all the Council of Europe member States.

On the other hand, more States than in the previous reporting period have taken concrete preparatory measures concerning ratification of the Charter. The Secretary General regularly encourages ratification of the Charter during visits to relevant countries, and it is encouraging to note that the EU is increasingly raising the issue of pending ratifications in its bilateral relations with countries that are under post-accession commitments to the Council of Europe to sign and ratify the Charter. This support has had concrete effects in some cases and is highly appreciated.

Member States preparing instruments of ratification should request Council of Europe legal expertise to support this process. Such advice may notably support States in developing tailored solutions for specific concerns they may have by taking full advantage of the Charter’s flexibility, as well as to share experience with other States.

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

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

Parliamentary 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

 

Republic of 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

During a Council of Europe conference on the Charter on 9 December 2013 (see under III.3 below), a representative of the Albanian authorities announced that the signing of the Charter is on the agenda of the government.

3.1.2 Azerbaijan

In spite of the Council of Europe’s repeated offer to support Azerbaijan during the ratification process, no request has been made by the Azerbaijani authorities.

3.1.3 Georgia

The Council of Europe and Georgia have jointly organised several information seminars on the Charter since 1999 which, however, have not resulted in follow-up steps towards ratification by the authorities.

This approach changed in 2013 when the authorities set up a high-level inter-ministerial commission on Georgia’s commitment regarding the Charter and initiated dialogue with the media and the public about this Convention. In June 2013, the Minister for Reintegration asked the Council of Europe for expert support to the commission in identifying undertakings for a draft instrument of ratification, thereby following the encouragement made in the previous Biennial Report to accept legal expertise by our Organisation.

Georgia is to be commended on the progress made by setting up the commission, which is strongly encouraged to continue its work with a view to preparing the signing and ratifying of the Charter. In this perspective it is promising that the Council of Europe Action Plan for Georgia (2013-2015), which was approved by the Committee of Ministers on 16 October 2013Note, contains the project proposal “Civic Integration of National Minorities in Georgia and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages” whose purpose it is to support the ratification and subsequent implementation of the treaty.

3.1.4 Republic of Moldova

In 2011, the Moldovan authorities set up a new working group on ratification of the Charter comprising representatives of relevant ministries, some national minorities and Moldovan experts. In February 2012, this working group prepared, with the financial and expert support of the Council of Europe, a draft ratification instrument. Although this documentNote constitutes a milestone in the preparations for ratification undertaken and discontinued several times since 1995, the Moldovan government has not submitted it to Parliament for ratification and de facto suspended all preparatory work on ratification and related co-operation with the Council of Europe. The Republic of Moldova is strongly urged to resume the preparations towards ratification and to ratify this treaty without further delay.

3.1.5 Russian Federation

From 2009 to 2012, the Council of Europe, the EU 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 and published afterwards.Note

3.1.6 “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

The Council of Europe is not aware of any additional steps that have been taken by the authorities of “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” to prepare ratification of the Charter.

3.2 Other non-States Parties to the Charter

3.2.1 France

The Charter was signed by France in 1999, and its ratification was part of President François Hollande’s commitments during the presidential election campaign (commitment 56: “Je ferai ratifier la Charte européenne des langues régionales ou minoritaires.”). In January 2014, with a large majority, the National Assembly adopted a constitutional amendment permitting ratification of the treaty. While the approval by the Senate and the Congress as well as the actual ratification are still pending, the French government is to be thanked for its intention to complete the ratification process after almost 15 years of stalemate.

During the ratification debate, the government reiterated that certain Charter provisions already, prior to ratification, comply with the French legal order and may constitute the basis of a public policy promoting regional languages. Against this background, several municipalities in Brittany, including the City of Rennes, have expressed their interest in applying the Charter. At a conference about the Charter in May 2013, the Council of Europe encouraged French local and regional authorities to apply Charter provisions according to their competences, possibly in the framework of partnerships with the Council of Europe. Following this, the City of Saverne (Alsace) announced its efforts to sign a local charter containing Charter provisions. Such local initiatives help to prepare the future implementation of the Charter.

3.2.2 Italy

Italy signed the Charter in 2000. In the course of 2012 and 2013, preparations for ratification have resumed. The government agreed on a draft law which was submitted to Parliament on 9 May 2012. However, ratification was prevented by both the dissolution of Parliament in December 2012 and legal and political obstacles. Following the elections in February 2013, three draft laws have been presented in the new Parliament. The discussion about them in the competent Constitutional Affairs Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee is scheduled for the beginning of 2014.

3.2.3 Lithuania

Lithuania has neither ratified nor signed the Charter, notwithstanding resolutions by the Parliament’s Committee of Human Rights calling for ratification and the strong interest of the national minorities in Lithuania’s accession to the treaty. Further to a proposal made by the Council of Europe to the Lithuanian authorities in 2012, the first official information event on the Charter and its possible ratification took place in Lithuania in 2013. A hearing in Parliament and meetings with representatives of various ministries and state bodies demonstrated that Lithuania is open to consider launching the ratification process, given that its legislation is already largely in conformity with the Charter. Lithuania is encouraged to ratify the Charter so as to further consolidate its minority legislation and enable the country to play an active role in the Charter mechanism at European level.

***

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

4 Co-operation within the Council of Europe

4.1 Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

On 18 June 2013, the first joint plenary meeting of the Committee of Experts of the Charter, the Advisory Committee of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance was held. During this meeting, the three committees discussed matters of common concern and held an exchange of views with Ms Ilze Brands Kehris, the Director of the Office of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, who presented ‘The Ljubljana Guidelines on Integration of Diverse Societies’. The joint meeting was preceded by a meeting of the Bureaux of the three mechanisms.

The celebration of the 15th anniversary of the entry into force of the Framework Convention on 25 November 2013 confirmed that national minority issues and matters related to tolerance and dialogue still occupy a core position and are of importance in Europe. The purpose of this event was to raise awareness in member States about the achievements and remaining challenges in minority protection in Europe at the beginning of the fourth monitoring cycle and to engage state representatives in a debate on practical issues of the implementation of the Framework Convention and its monitoring process. Therefore, on 25 November 2013 the Advisory Committee organised, in the margins of its regular session, a one-day event for the national officials dealing with minority issues and representatives from other international organisations and representatives of minority organisations. Ms Astrid Thors, the newly-appointed OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, enriched the discussion with perspectives for future co-operation between the Council of Europe and the OSCE.

4.2 European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)

The rights of linguistic minorities also form part of ECRI’s mandate. ECRI is not a mechanism for the protection of separate linguistic minority identities, but is more concerned with non-discrimination and promoting integration in general, for example of migrant populations. Having said this, the protection of historical national minorities is also essential for creating tolerant societies. In some cases, the recognition of a specific linguistic identity can be a key factor in the fight against racism and discrimination. In certain countries, ECRI was made aware of allegations of linguistic discrimination as a result of which individuals enjoyed fewer rights or had limited access to public services. These cases are a good example of the complementarity of efforts of ECRI and the Charter, which to a lesser extent addresses questions of discrimination.

The Bureaux of ECRI and the Committee of Experts of the Charter met in November 2012 and, as already mentioned above, during the trilateral Bureaux meeting of June 2013 (alongside the Bureau of the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention). These meetings strengthened the coordination between the three monitoring mechanisms, for example concerning joint follow-up country visits and round table conferences.

4.3 Congress of Local and Regional Authorities

The secretariats of the Congress and the Charter intensified their co-operation in 2013. On 9-10 December 2013, the Congress organised, in co-operation with the Charter Secretariat, a conference called “Regional or Minority Languages in Europe Today” in Paris. The conference presented an overview of recent developments concerning the protection of regional or minority languages in Europe and preparations for ratifications of the Charter and highlighted the role of regional and local authorities in these fields.

4.4 Commissioner for Human Rights

In his monitoring work, the Commissioner has referred to recommendations made in the monitoring mechanism of the Charter, for example with regard to Ukraine.Note Furthermore, he has raised the pending ratification of the Charter by “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”Note and welcomed the work of the Italian Parliament on a draft ratification law.Note

4.5 European Court of Human Rights

The European Commission of Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights have referred to the Charter in the context of minority protection and language use.Note

4.6 Children’s Rights Strategy

As a contribution to the implementation of the Council of Europe’s Children’s Rights Strategy, the Committee of Experts of the Charter has increasingly encouraged States Parties to see to it that children can also use regional or minority languages outside of the family and school, especially in the media (e.g. television programmes and print media in such languages for children) and cultural life (e.g. cinema).

***

5 Conclusion

On 7 October 1981, the Parliamentary Assembly adopted Recommendation 928 calling upon States to support the use of minority languages in public life. This Recommendation subsequently led to the drafting process of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. The relationship between the Charter and the Parliamentary Assembly has remained exceptional, as testified by this report, the only one of its kind to be presented to the Parliamentary Assembly by the Secretary General. Each biennial report therefore gives an opportunity to Europe's parliamentarians to review the state of implementation of the Charter and the monitoring recommendations as well as the state of ratifications, and to play an active role in improving the protection and promotion of regional and minority languages in Europe.

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

Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities CETS No.: 148

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

Opening for signature

Place: Strasbourg

Date: 5/11/1992

Entry into force

Conditions: 5 ratifications

Date: 1/3/1998

Status as of: 1/1/2014

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: 

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 – Regional or minority languages and non-territorial languages in States Parties of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

Status as of: 1 January 2014

Language

State Party

Level of protection under the Charter (Articles applying to the language concerned)

Albanian

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Montenegro

Romania

Serbia

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

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

Part II (Article 7)

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

Hungary

Poland

Romania

Part II (Article 7.5)

Part II (Article 7.5)

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

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/Boyash

Croatia

Hungary

Charter not currently applied due to reservation

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

Belarusian

Poland

Ukraine

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

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

Berber

Spain

Part II (Article 7)

Bosnian

Montenegro

Serbia

Part II (Article 7)

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

Bulgarian

Hungary

Romania

Serbia

Slovakia

Ukraine

Part II (Article 7.5)

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

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

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

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

Bunjevac

Serbia

Part II (Article 7)

Caló

Spain

Part II (Article 7)

Catalan

Spain

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

Cornish

United Kingdom

Part II (Article 7)

Crimean Tatar

Ukraine

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

Croatian

AustriaNote

Czech RepublicNote

Hungary

Montenegro

Romania

Serbia

Slovakia

Slovenia

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

Part II (Article 7)

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

Part II (Article 7)

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

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

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

Part II (Article 7)

Cypriot Maronite Arabic

Cyprus

Part II (Article 7)

Czech

Austria

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Croatia

Poland

Romania

Serbia

Slovakia

Part II (Article 7)

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

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

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

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

Part II (Article 7)

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)*

German

Armenia

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Croatia

Czech Republic

Denmark

Hungary

Poland

Romania

Serbia

Slovakia

Slovenia

Switzerland

Ukraine

Part II (Article 7)

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

Charter not currently applied due to reservation

Part II (Article 7)

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

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

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

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

Part II (Article 7)

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

Part II (Article 7)

Part II (Article 7)

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

Greek

Armenia

Hungary

Romania

Ukraine

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

Part II (Article 7.5)

Part II (Article 7)

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

Hungarian

Austria

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Croatia

Romania

Serbia

Slovakia

Slovenia

Ukraine

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)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Inari Sami

Finland

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

Irish

United Kingdom

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

Istro-Romanian

Croatia

Part II (Article 7)

Italian

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Croatia

Romania

Slovenia

Switzerland

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

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

Part II (Article 7)

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

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

Karaim

Poland

Ukraine

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

Part II (Article 7)

Karelian

Finland

Part II (Article 7.5)

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 Sami

Norway

Sweden

Part II (Article 7)

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

Macedonian

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Romania

Serbia

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

Part II (Article 7)

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 Sami

Finland

Norway

Sweden

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

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)

Polish

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Czech Republic

Hungary

Romania

Slovakia

Ukraine

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

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

Part II (Article 7)

Part II (Article 7)

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

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

Portuguese

Spain

Part II (Article 7)

Romani (Romany, Romanes, Romani Chib, Roma language)

Austria

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Croatia

Czech Republic

Finland

Germany

Hungary

Montenegro

Netherlands

Norway

Poland

Romania

Serbia

Slovakia

Slovenia

Spain

Sweden

Ukraine

Part II (Article 7)

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

Charter not currently applied due to reservation

Part II (Article 7)

Part II (Article 7.5)

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)

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

Part II (Article 7.5)

Part II (Article 7)

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

Part II (Article 7)

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

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

Part II (Article 7.5)

Part II (Article 7)

Part II (Article 7.5)

Part II (Article 7)

Romanian

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Hungary

Serbia

Ukraine

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

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

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

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

Romansh

Switzerland

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

Russian

Armenia

Finland

Poland

Romania

Ukraine

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

Part II (Article 7.5)

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

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

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

Ruthenian

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Croatia

Hungary

Romania

Serbia

Slovakia

Ukraine

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

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

Part II (Article 7)

Part II (Article 7)

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

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

Part II (Article 7)

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

Hungary

Romania

Slovenia

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

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

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

Part II (Article 7)

Skolt Sami

Finland

Norway

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

Part II (Article 7)

Slovakian

Austria

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Croatia

Czech Republic

Hungary

Poland

Romania

Serbia

Ukraine

Part II (Article 7)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Slovenian

Austria

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Croatia

Hungary

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)

Charter not currently applied due to reservation

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

South Sami

Norway

Sweden

Part II (Article 7)

Part II (Article 7)

Swedish

Finland

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

Tatar

Finland

Poland

Romania

Part II (Article 7.5)

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

Part II (Article 7)

Turkish

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Romania

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

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

Ukrainian

Armenia

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Croatia

Hungary

Poland

Romania

Serbia

Slovakia

Part II (Article 7)

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

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

Part II (Article 7.5)

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

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

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

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

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Finland

Netherlands

Poland

Romania

Slovakia

Sweden

Ukraine

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

Part II (Article 7.5)

Part II (Article 7.5)

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

Part II (Article 7)

Part II (Article 7)

Part II (Article 7.5)

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

Total: The Charter covers 83 languages…

…used by 204 national minorities or linguistic groups of which…

…74 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.

Note: In its Declaration of 30 November 2009, “Finland declare[d], referring to Article 7, paragraph 5, that it undertakes to apply, mutatis mutandis, the principles listed in paragraphs 1 to 4 of the said Article to the Romanes language, to the Karelian language [emphasis in original] and to the other non-territorial languages in Finland.” However, Finland has not designated “the other non-territorial languages in Finland”.

Appendix 3 – List of provisions of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages to be included in the instrument/law of ratification of the Republic of Moldova, as agreed during the national experts’ meeting of 2-3 February 2012, with the participation of experts of the Council of Europe and the European Centre for Minority Issues (English translation)

Russian

Article 8 – Education

Paragraph 1 a.i; b.i; c.i; d.i; e.i; f.i; g; h.

Paragraph 2.

Article 9 – Judicial authorities

Paragraph 1.a.i; a.ii; a.iii; a.iv; b.i; b.ii; b.iii; c.i; c.ii; c.iii.

Paragraph 2.a.

Article 10 – Administrative authorities and public services

Paragraph 1.a.i; b; c.

Paragraph 2.a; b; c; d; e; f; g.

Paragraph 3.a.

Paragraph 4.a; b; c. Paragraph 5.

Article 11 – Media

Paragraph 1.a.iii; b.ii; c.ii; d; e.i; f.ii; g.

Paragraph 2.

Paragraph 3.

Article 12 – Cultural activities and facilities

Paragraph 1.a; b; c; d; e; f; h.

Paragraph 2.

Paragraph 3.

Article 13 – Economic and social life

Paragraph 1.a; b; c; d.

Paragraph 2.a; b; c; d; e.

Article 14 – Transfrontier exchanges

Paragraph a.

Paragraph b.

Gagauz

Article 8 - Education

Paragraph 1.a.i; ii; b.i; ii; iii; c.i; ii; iii; d.i; ii; iii; e.ii; iii; f.i; ii; iii; g; h.

Paragraph 2.

Article 9 – Judicial authorities

Paragraph 1.a.ii; a.iii; a.iv; b.ii; iii; c.ii; iii.

Article 10 – Administrative authorities and public services

Paragraph 1.a.i; a.ii (in Gagauzia) / a.iii (outside Gagauzia); b; c.

Paragraph 2.a; b; c; d; e (in Gagauzia); f (outside Gagauzia); g.

Paragraph 3.a (in Gagauzia) / 3.b (outside Gagauzia).

Paragraph 4.a; b; c; d. Paragraph 5.

Article 11 – Media

Paragraph 1.a.iii; b.i; ii; c.i; ii; d.ii; e.i; ii; f.i; ii; g. Paragraph 2.

Paragraph 3.

Article 12 – Cultural activities and facilities

Paragraph 1.a; b; c; d; e; f; h; g.

Article 13 – Economic and social life

Paragraph 1.a; b; c; d.

Paragraph 2.a; b; c; d; e.

Article 14 – Transfrontier exchanges

Paragraph a.

Paragraph b.

Ukrainian

Article 8 – Education

Paragraph 1.a.ii; b.ii; c.ii; d.ii; e.i; f.i; g; h.

Paragraph 2

Article 9 – Judicial authorities

Paragraph 1.a.ii; a.iii; a.iv; b.ii; c.ii.

Article 10 – Administrative authorities and public services

Paragraph 1.a.ii; b; c.

Paragraph 2.a; b; c; d; e; f; g.

Paragraph 3.b.

Paragraph 4.c. Paragraph 5

Article 11 – Media

Paragraph 1.a.iii; b.ii; c.ii; d; e.i; f.ii; g.

Paragraph 2.

Paragraph 3.

Article 12 – Cultural activities and facilities

Paragraph 1.a; b; c; d; e; f; h.

Paragraph 2.

Paragraph 3.

Article 13 – Economic and social life

Paragraph 1.a; c; d.

Paragraph 2.b; c; d.

Article 14 – Transfrontier exchanges

Paragraph a.

Paragraph b.

Bulgarian

Article 8 – Education

Paragraph 1.a.ii; b.ii; c.ii; d.iii; e.i; f.i; g; h.

Paragraph 2.

Article 9 – Judicial authoritiesParagraph 1.a.ii; a.iii; a.iv; b.ii; c.ii.

Article 10 – Administrative authorities and public services

Paragraph 1.a.iii; b; c.

Paragraph 2.a; b; c; d; g.

Paragraph 3.b.

Paragraph 4.c.

Paragraph 5.

Article 11 – Media

Paragraph 1.a.iii; b.ii; c.i; d; e.i; f.i; g.

Paragraph 2.

Paragraph 3.

Article 12 – Cultural activities and facilities

Paragraph 1.a; b; c; d; e; f; h.

Paragraph 2.

Paragraph 3.

Article 13 – Economic and social life

Paragraph 1.a; b.

Paragraph 2.b; c; d.

Article 14 – Transfrontier exchanges

Paragraph a.

Paragraph b.

The situation of non-territorial languages: German, Yiddish, Polish and Romani

According to Article 1.c of the Charter:

non-territorial languages means languages used by nationals of the State which differ from the language or languages used by the rest of the State's population but which, although traditionally used within the territory of the State, cannot be identified with a particular area thereof”.

In line with this definition, German, Yiddish, Polish and Romani may be considered non-territorial languages in the Republic of Moldova. These languages are used in private by a number of citizens in various regions of the country.

As it appears from the requirements of the Charter, “as the as far as these languages are concerned, the nature and scope of the measures to be taken to give effect to this Charter shall be determined in a flexible manner, bearing in mind the needs and wishes, and respecting the traditions and characteristics, of the groups which use the languages concerned”, according to Article 7 of Part II of the Charter.

For the ratification of the Charter, the following is proposed:

  • The provisions of the Charter shall be on the whole applied to eight minority languages used on the territory of the Republic of Moldova, which are, in accordance with the “international rule”Note, traditionally present in our country for more than one hundred years:
Bulgarian

Gagauz

German

Yiddish

Polish

Romani

Russian

Ukrainian.

  • In the Republic of Moldova Russian, Ukrainian, Gagauz and Bulgarian may be defined as regional or minority languages. Our state will have to apply to these languages the provisions of Part III of the Charter.
  • German, Yiddish, Polish and Romani may be considered non-territorial languages in the Republic of Moldova. These languages are used in public and in private in various regions of the country. Our state will have to apply to these languages the provisions of Part II of the Charter.
Original version:

Lista prevederilor Cartei Europene a Limbilor Regionale şi Minoritare pentru includerea în proiectul instrumentului/legii de ratificare, coordonată în cadrul reuniunii grupului de experți naţionali din 2-3 februarie 2012 cu participarea experţilor din partea Consiliului Europei şi Centrului European pentru Problemele Minorităților

Limba rusă

Articolul 8 - Învăţământ

Paragraful 1 a.i; b.i; c.i; d.i; e.i; f.i; g; h.

Paragraful 2

Articolul 9 – Autorităţi judiciare

Paragraph 1.a.i; a.ii; a.iii; a.iv; b.i; b.ii; b.iii; c.i; c.ii c.iii.

Paragraph 2.a.

Articolul 10 – Autorităţi administrative şi servicii publice

Paragraful 1.a.i; b; c.

Paragraful 2.a; b; c; d; e; f; g.

Paragraful 3.a.

Paragraful 4.a; b; c. Paragraful 5.

Articolul 11 – Mijloace de informare în masă

Paragraful 1.a.iii; b.ii; c.ii; d; e.i; f.ii; g.

Paragraful 2.

Paragraful 3.

Articolul 12 – Activităţi şi facilităţi culturale

Paragraful 1.a; b; c; d; e; f; h.

Paragraful 2.

Paragraful 3.

Articolul 13 – Viaţă economică şi socială

Paragraful 1.a; b; c; d.

Paragraful 2.a; b; c; d; e.

Articolul 14 – Schimburi transfrontaliere

Paragraful a.

Paragraful b.

Limba găgăuză

Articolul 8 - Învăţământ

Paragraful 1.a.i; ii; b.i; ii; iii; c.i; ii; iii; d.i; ii; iii; e.ii; iii; f.i; ii; iii; g; h.

Paragraful 2.

Articolul 9 – Autorităţi judiciare

Paragraful 1.a.ii; a.iii; a.iv; b.ii; iii; c.ii; iii.

Articolul 10 – Autorităţi administrative şi servicii publice

Paragraful 1.a.i; a.ii (în Găgăuzia) / a.iii (în afara Găgăuziei); b; c.

Paragraful 2.a; b; c; d; e (în Găgăuzia); f (în afara Găgăuziei); g.

Paragraful 3.a (în Găgăuzia) / 3.b (în afara Găgăuziei).

Paragraful 4.a; b; c; d.

Paragraful 5.

Articolul 11 – Mijloace de informare în masă

Paragraful 1.a.iii; b.i; ii; c.i; ii; d.ii; e.i; ii. f.i; ii; g.

Paragraful 2.

Paragraful 3.

Articolul 12 – Activităţi şi facilităţi culturale

Paragraful 1.a; b; c; d; e; f; h; g.

Articolul 13 – Viaţă economică şi socială

Paragraful 1.a; b; c; d.

Paragraful 2.a; b; c; d; e.

Articolul 14 – Schimburi transfrontaliere

Paragraful a.

Paragraful b.

Limba ucraineană

Articolul 8 – Învăţământ

Paragraful 1.a.ii; b.ii; c.ii; d.ii; e.i; f.i; g; h.

Paragraful 2.

Articolul 9 – Autorităţi judiciare

Paragraful 1.a.ii; a.iii; a.iv; b.ii; c.ii.

Articolul 10 – Autorităţi administrative şi servicii publice

Paragraful 1.a.ii; b; c.

Paragraful 2.a; b; c; d; e; f; g.

Paragraful 3.b.

Paragraful 4.c. Paragraful 5.

Articolul 11 – Mijloace de informare în masă

Paragraful 1.a.iii; b.ii; c.ii; d; e.i; f.ii; g.

Paragraful 2.

Paragraful 3.

Articolul 12 – Activităţi şi facilităţi culturale

Paragraful 1.a; b; c; d; e; f; h.

Paragraful 2.

Paragraful 3.

Articolul 13 – Viaţă economică şi socială

Paragraful 1.a; c; d.

Paragraful 2.b; c; d.

Articolul 14 – Schimburi transfrontaliere

Paragraful a.

Paragraful b.

Limba bulgară

Articolul 8 – Învăţământ

Paragraful 1.a.ii; b.ii; c.ii; d.iii; e.i; f.i; g; h.

Paragraful 2.

Articolul 9 – Autorităţi judiciare

Paragraful 1.a.ii; a.iii; a.iv; b.ii; c.ii.

Articolul 10 – Autorităţi administrative şi servicii publice

Paragraful 1.a.iii; b; c.

Paragraful 2.a; b; c; d; g.

Paragraful 3.b.

Paragraful 4.c. Paragraful 5.

Articolul 11 – Mijloace de informare în masă

Paragraful 1.a.iii; b.ii; c.i; d; e.i; f.i; g. Paragraful 2.

Paragraful 3.

Articolul 12 – Activităţi şi facilităţi culturale

Paragraful 1.a; b; c; d; e; f; h.

Paragraful 2.

Paragraful 3.

Articolul 13 – Viaţă economică şi socială

Paragraful 1.a; b.

Paragraful 2.b; c; d.

Articolul 14 – Schimburi transfrontaliere

Paragraful a.

Paragraful b.

Situaţia limbilor non-teritoriale: germană, idiş, poloneză şi romani

Conform Art. 1, al. c. al Cartei:

“prin “limbi non-teritoriale” se înţeleg limbile folosite de cetăţenii unui stat care sunt diferite de limba (-ile) folosită (-e) de restul populaţiei statului, dar care, deşi folosite în mod tradiţional pe teritoriul statului, nu pot fi asociate cu anumită arie geografică a acestuia”.

Conform acestei definiţii ca limbi non-teritoriale în Republica Moldova pot fi considerate limbile germană, idiş, poloneză, romani. Limbile acestea sunt folosite în sfera privată de un număr de cetăţeni în diferite regiuni ale ţării.

Reieşind din cerinţele Cartei, “...în cazul acestor limbi, natura şi cuprinderea măsurilor ce urmează a fi luate pentru a da efect prezentei Carte, vor fi determinate într-o manieră flexibilă, ținând seama de necesităţi şi dorinţe şi respectând tradiţiile şi caracteristicile grupurilor care folosesc limbile respective”, conform Art. 7 din Partea a II-a din Carta.

În procesul de ratificare a Cartei se propune:

  • Prevederile Cartei se aplică, în general, pentru 8 limbi minoritare folosite pe teritoriul Republicii Moldova şi care sunt prezente în mod tradiţional, conform „regulii internaţionale”Note în ţara noastră mai mult de 100 de ani:
limba bulgară;

limba găgăuză;

limba germană;

limba idiş;

limba poloneză;

limba romani;

limba rusă;

limba ucraineană.

  • În Republica Moldova drept limbi regionale sau minoritare pot fi definite limbile rusă, ucraineană, găgăuză şi bulgară. Referitor la aceste limbi statul nostru va trebui să aplice prevederile Părţii III a Cartei.
  • Drept limbi non-teritoriale în Republica Moldova pot fi considerate limbile germană, idiş, poloneză şi romani. Limbile acestea sunt folosite în sfera publică şi privată în diferite regiuni ale ţării. Referitor la aceste limbi statul nostru va trebui să aplice prevederile Părţii II a Cartei.

Appendix 4 – 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

Place: Strasbourg

Date: 1/2/1995

Entry into force

Conditions: 12 ratifications

Date: 1/2/1988

Status as of: 1/1/2014

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: 

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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