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

Outline of the Conference
Under the auspices of the Spanish chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, the Council of Europe is co-organising an international conference, in co-operation with the Government of Spain, the Government of the Basque Country and the University of the Basque Country, entitled "The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages: Achievements and Challenges".

The conference will take place at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, on 20-21 April 2009. The official opening ceremony on the evening of 20 April, in the presence of leading personalities from the Council of Europe and the Spanish government, will set the tone of the conference, highlighting the Council of Europe's contribution to the protection of cultural diversity and minorities in Europe and the important role which Spain plays in the field of linguistic diversity.

Discussions will focus on the problems and challenges related to the ratification and the implementation of the Charter, and will look at the future prospects of the Charter in the light of the experience gained over the first ten years of the Charter's existence. It is evident that the government bears the primary responsibility in preparing for ratification and in applying the Charter.  However, as the Spanish example shows, regional and local authorities also play a very important role in relation to the Charter as they are confronted on a daily basis with the use of minority languages. 

Interpretation will be provided in English, French, Spanish and Basque.

Conference Venue



Guggenheim Museum
Avenida Abandoibarra, 2
48001 Bilbao

The Conference is open to the public.  There will be no registration fees, but travel and accommodation (hotel and meals) will be at participants' own expense.  A welcoming cocktail will be offered to all participants at the end of the opening ceremony.
To participate in the conference, please complete the attached registration form and submit it before 6 April 2009.

Travel and Hotel arrangements
Conference delegates are requested to make their own travel arrangements and hotel reservations.

Click here for a list of recommended hotels.

For any further information regarding the conference, please contact the Charter Secretariat:
ECRML - Menu European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

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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