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.
Avenida Abandoibarra, 2
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
To participate in the conference, please complete the attached
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.