European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

organised by the Council of Europe,
the Government of Spain, the Autonomous Government of the Basque Country and the University of the Basque Country
Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain
20-21 April 2009


Registration now open, until 6 April 2009

Access to the Conference Registration Form
Access to the draft programme

Outline of the Conference
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages - the only international treaty specifically devoted to the protection and promotion of regional or minority languages. Ten years after its entry into force, the Council of Europe and the Swedish Bureau for Lesser Used Languages are organising a conference to take stock of the situation of Europe's regional or minority languages and the role they play in regional cultural development. 

The aim of the conference is two-fold: on the one hand it will examine how different local and regional authorities across Europe support minority languages, and how these languages contribute to regional development, and on the other hand, it will look at the Charter from an NGO perspective: how do NGOs dealing with minority languages see their relationship with European institutions, what is their assessment of those institutions' support to the languages, and how do they perceive the Charter and its monitoring mechanism?  It is hoped that the workshops and debates will provide answers to these questions and result in some concrete guidelines on how NGOs can apply for support from the national authorities and European institutions in favour of minority languages.  The NGOs will also have the opportunity to make recommendations to the Charter's Committee of Experts on how to improve the current monitoring system.

Interpretation will be provided in English and Swedish.
Programme in English
Programme in Swedish

Conference Venue



Kulturens Hus
971 79 Luleå

To participate in the conference, please complete the attached registration form and submit it before 1 October 2008

Hotel accommodation
Rooms are available for conference delegates at the Quality Hotel Luleå, prices ranging from 425 to 825 SEK per night depending on the room type. Delegates may book rooms via the attached registration form or alternatively directly with the hotel (mention Liet Lavlut).
Quality Hotel website

Social calendar, Saturday 18 October
A Guided tour of the medieval church town of Gammelstad will be organised on the Saturday morning: departure from Luleå at 09.00, return at about 12.00. This medieval churchtown is more than 500 years old and is Luleå's contribution to the UNESCO list of world heritage sites.  It was built in the 15th century and together with the 400 church cottages, is a lively church town.
Sign up for the guided tour on the attached registration form.
UNESCO website
Gammelstad Churchtown website

Alternatively, delegates may sign up for the "Song and Music in Minority Regions" seminar which is being organised at the Musikhögksolan in Piteå by the Centre for Swedish Folk Music and Jazz Research. Transport from Luleå to the seminar venue will be organised for those wishing to participate: departure from Luleå at 08.00 and return at 17.00.

Liet Lavlut Culture Festival
The Council of Europe is proud to support the Liet Lavlut Minority Language Song Contest, which will take place in Luleå on the day following the conference, on Saturday, 18 October at 19.00.  The Liet Lavlut will be the fifth song contest for Europe’s regional and minority languages to be held since the event began in 2002. The event has rapidly gained in popularity and is attracting more and more performers from all over Europe. It has developed into a cultural festival featuring a full programme of events running from 16–18 October. A festival which shows the cultural and linguistic diversity in the Arctic regions and Europe.
Conference delegates may order entrance tickets using the attached registration form or from the following website:
For more information, visit the Liet Lavlut website
Liet Lavlut Culture Festival Programme

Party after the concert
A party will be organised after the concert, with buffet, music and group singing from about 21:30 onwards. Places for the buffet are limited and will be issued on a first-come first-serve basis, so order your tickets soon using the attached registration form.
For any further information regarding the conference, please contact the Charter Secretariat:
ECRML - Menu European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

German Italian Russian

About the Charter
Text of the Charter
State parties
  Signatures and ratifications
  Instruments of ratification
  Promoting ratification
  The Charter and Georgia
Languages covered
Languages covered (German version)
About monitoring
Committee of Experts
  A word from the Chair
  Rules of procedure
  Restricted access
Reports and recommendations
Secretary General's reports
Minority NGOs
Information materials
Speeches and presentations
Language guides
Useful links