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The protection and promotion of regional or minority languages in Europe

Recommendation 2118 (2018)

Author(s):
Parliamentary Assembly
Origin
Assembly debate on 23 January 2018 (3rd Sitting) (see Doc. 14466, report of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, rapporteur: Ms Rózsa Hoffmann). Text adopted by the Assembly on 23 January 2018 (3rd Sitting).
1 In accordance with the European idea of creating unity in diversity the Parliamentary Assembly considers the protection and use of minority languages to be an integral part of the process for the extension of democracy.
2 With reference to Resolution 2196 (2018) on the protection and promotion of regional or minority languages in Europe, the Assembly considers it important to raise awareness of the fact that, in all countries, people belonging to regional or minority linguistic groups are citizens with the same rights as the speakers of majority languages.
3 The goal that the member States of the Council of Europe should achieve is to ensure that the speakers of regional or minority languages can freely use their mother tongue in individual or social communication without discrimination, and consequently that they receive all the support required during their schooling from official bodies and local communities.
4 The Assembly therefore calls on the Committee of Ministers to:
4.1 encourage each member State to take the necessary steps to ratify the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ETS No. 148, “the charter”), if they have not already done so, or in the event that they have already ratified it, to ensure that it is put into practice and that they broaden the scope of their commitments;
4.2 devise a procedure under which it authorises the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages to carry out, after issuing a warning, the monitoring procedure in respect of States that fail to submit the report provided for under Article 15 of the charter;
4.3 report to the Parliamentary Assembly on the procedure for monitoring the application of the charter, paying particular attention to the execution of States’ obligation to present a report, as well as the results obtained;
4.4 create a prize, to be awarded once a year by means of a competition, for countries which actively promote the use of regional or minority languages, with the conditions relating to the award of the prize being decided upon jointly by the Committee of Experts of the charter and the Parliamentary Assembly;
4.5 implement additional solutions for the application of the charter, hold regional seminars on good practice and obstacles to its effective use, promote scientific co-operation between national research workshops and suggest that working groups specialising in issues relating to the situation of regional or minority languages be set up in the member States;
4.6 co-operate with the relevant institutions and bodies of the European Union, in particular the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture and the European Parliament, on the subject of the protection and promotion of regional or minority languages within the European Union.
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