European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

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Regional and minority languages in Spain: Council of Europe issues new evaluation report
Strasbourg, 21.01.2016 - The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe today issued six recommendations to the Spanish authorities on the application of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. It also published a Report by a committee of experts assessing Spain´s compliance with the Charter.
In its report, the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages acknowledges that Spain has chosen a very high level of protection for autonomous communities´ co-official languages, and points out that in the last years the implementation of the Charter commitments that bind Spain has improved considerably, notably those which fall under the responsibility of the autonomous communities.
However the report, which is the fourth prepared by the committee on Spain, identifies some significant problems. The legislation on the right to have proceedings before judicial and state administration bodies conducted in the relevant regional language has not been changed to ensure that this right can be exercised at the request of one party, and the use of regional languages in some areas of the state administration and in public services, particularly in health care, is hampered by the lack of staff who can use them. Read more

Council of Europe calls on Poland to promote awareness and tolerance toward minority languages and their cultures
Strasbourg, 02.12.2015 – The Committee of Ministers today made public an evaluation report and recommendations on the application of the European Charter for Regional or Minority languages in Poland.
In Poland, 14 languages are protected by the Charter. The report acknowledges that there is a well-functioning institutionalised dialogue between the national authorities and the regional or minority language speakers. Another positive element is the financial support provided by the authorities to the use of these languages in education, media and culture.
At the same time, the report calls on Poland to strengthen teaching in Belarusian, German, Kashub, Lemko and Ukrainian and to increase the presence of regional or minority languages on radio and television. It is also recommended that Poland improves the legislation governing the use of regional or minority languages in relations with the administrative authorities. Read more

Council of Europe calls on the Czech Republic to strengthen the promotion of minority languages
Strasbourg, 02.12.2015 – The Council of Europe today called on the Czech Republic to step up its efforts to protect and promote minority languages, in particular German and Romani.
The Council of Europe Committee of Ministers issued a number of recommendations to the Czech Republic based on an expert committee’s report which evaluates its compliance with the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.
In the report, the committee highlights the existence of a well-developed general framework for the protection of national minorities in the country and acknowledges the existence of a special funding programme for the implementation of the Charter.
However, it also calls on the Czech Republic to intensify its efforts to promote awareness and tolerance in relation to minority languages and cultures as an integral part of the cultural heritage of the country. Measures are particularly needed to promote German and Romani in education, and their use in the media and public life. Read more

Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML) calls for more action to protect and promote the Romani language
Statement adopted by the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML) on 5 November 2015 on the occasion of the International Romani Language Day
Out of the 25 countries that have ratified the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML), 15 have officially recognised Romani as a minority language traditionally present on their territory. This is the highest number of ratifications for a single language under the Charter and it reflects, among others, the status of Romani as a European language.
From the two options of ratification, general protection under Part II of the Charter or the definition of special provisions in support of a language under Part III, the majority, two-thirds of the countries, opted for general protection that automatically applies to all languages traditionally spoken on the territory of a state. Read more

France and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML)

The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML) was signed by France on 7 May 1999 but has not yet been ratified. In January 2014, the National Assembly adopted, with a large majority, a constitutional amendment permitting also the ratification of the treaty. The Senate will debate that proposed constitutional amendment on 27 October and on 3 November 2015. The approval by the Congress, the actual amendment of the Constitution and the actual ratification of the Charter are still pending. Read more
 
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