European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

Promoting ratification

Several member States of the Council of Europe have not yet acceded to the Charter. Among them, six States that committed themselves to signing and ratifying the Charter when acceding to the Council of Europe have not yet done so (Albania, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"). States preparing for ratification may make use of legal assistance provided by experts working with the Council of Europe.


In 2013, a Georgian high-level inter-ministerial commission on the Charter and Council of Europe experts prepared a draft instrument of ratification (see below). In addition, the Council of Europe Action Plan for Georgia (2013-2015) contains the project “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.
Download proposal for a draft ratification instrument (not yet available)


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. During the programme, the application and monitoring of the Charter in Russia has been simulated in pilot regions, for example in the Altai Kray. In addition, a Joint Working Group was established which discussed, at experts’ level, the legal, political and inter-ethnic aspects related to the ratification. 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.
Download proposal for a draft instrument of ratification

Republic of Moldova

In 2011, the Moldovan authorities set up a 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.
Download the Moldovan draft ratification instrument


The Charter was signed by France in 1999 and the ratification process resumed in 2013. During the ratification debate, the French 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 local and regional authorities below have signed a local charter containing Charter provisions. Such local initiatives help to prepare the future implementation of the Charter.

Signature Charte Alsace 190614

Signing of the Charter for the promotion of regional language, on the 19 June 2014, by the presidents of the Alsace Region and the departments of Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin

Regional or local authority Approval / entry into force Text of the local Charter
Alsace / Elsass 19/6/2014  Link / Leaflet
Bas-Rhin / Unterelsass 19/6/2014 Link / Leaflet
Dannemarie/Dammerkirch 17/2/2015 Link
Drusenheim 22/10/2014 Link
Haut-Rhin / Oberelsass 19/6/2014 Link / Leaflet
Kolbsheim 22/12/2014 Link
Lembach 27/5/2014 Link
Mulhouse / Mülhausen 17/2/2014 Link
Ribeauvillé / Rappoltsweiler 21/3/2014 Link
Roeschwoog / Röschwoog 3/3/2014 Link
Saint Hippolyte / Sankt Pilt 7/7/2014 Link
Saint-Louis / Sankt Ludwig 7/1/2015 Link
Salenthal 23/10/2014 Link
Saverne / Zabern 10/2/2014 Link
Scharrachbergheim-Irmstett 24/11/2014 Link
Schleithal 6/3/2015 Link
Soufflenheim / Sufflenheim 29/4/2014 Link
Stutzheim-Offenheim / Stützheim-Offenheim 9/2/2015 Link




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