21 February – International Mother Language Day
Strasbourg, 21/2/15 - On the occasion of International Mother Language Day, the Council of Europe reiterates its commitment to protecting and promoting regional or minority languages as an integral part of European cultural heritage and diversity. The Council of Europe promotes a Europe based on tolerance, mutual understanding and dialogue, where all people can live together peacefully. Linguistic and cultural diversity are assets to European societies. The right to use one’s mother tongue is a basic human right. The use of the mother tongue is protected and promoted by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML), the only legally-binding international treaty worldwide for traditionally used minority languages. Read more...
Committee of Ministers publishes report on minority languages in Sweden
Strasbourg, 14/1/15 - The Charter is the European convention for the protection and promotion of traditionally used minority languages and applies in Sweden to Sami, Finnish and Meänkieli. The report, drawn up by a committee of independent experts, which monitors the application of the Charter, acknowledges the high level of commitment and continued efforts of the Swedish authorities to protect and promote their regional and minority languages. However, the level of protection varies according to municipalities. The regulations concerning both the Minority Act and the Education Act on mother tongue instruction should further be clarified with respect to what kind of support the municipalities are obligated to provide. Read more...
Liet International, Oldenburg, Germany, 12 December 2014
On 12 December 2014, the 10th edition of Liet International, the song contest for musicians from different regions across Europe who sing in a regional or minority language, took place in the north German city of Oldenburg. This year's winner was Marina Iori, a 19 year-old musician from Val di Fassa in the north of Italy, who sang in Ladin, a minority language spoken in South Tyrol, Trentino and Belluno. The Musicians’ Award was won by the Aila-duo from Finland, singing in Aanaar Sámi, a language estimated to be spoken by less than 400 speakers. Organised for the first time in the capital of Friesland, Ljouwert/Leeuwarden, in 2002, it has travelled around Europe since 2006 and since 2008, it has been under the patronage of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and is this year supported by a grant from the Council of Europe’s Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. The Charter is an international treaty that aims to protect and promote the use of regional and minority languages all over Europe. Read more about the event / Read more about the winners