European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

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An International Conference on ”Minority Protection at a Crossroads” will take place on 31 March 2015 at Alandica Conference Venue, Mariehamn, Åland Islands (Finland). The conference is being co-organised by the Åland Islands Peace Institute and the Council of Europe’s Antidiscrimination Department. Ms Astrid Thors, OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, and the Presidents of the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (ACFC) and of the Committee of Expert of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML) will deliver conceptual key note speeches on challenges in the protection of minorities and their languages in Europe. The role of monitoring bodies will be addressed in a round table discussion. Participants from a number of countries and Finnish policy-makers will share their experiences of minority and minority language protection in Europe. This event is yet another example of increased efforts to enhance synergies not just between the Council of Europe "kin monitoring mechanisms" but also between key external partners working in the area of minority protection. The Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML) will be represented at this event by its President and Vice-President. Webpage of Åland Peace Institute: www.peace.ax
“50th meeting” European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML)
The Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML) will hold its 50th meeting at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg from 17-20 March 2015. To mark the occasion of this anniversary meeting, a commemorative event will take place on 17 March 2015 and will provide an opportunity to take stock of achievements and point the way forward in order to continue and improve the protection and promotion of regional and minority languages in Europe. It will allow those present to share their knowledge and experience and to identify trends and challenges. The impact of the Charter will be presented and illustrated by examples of good practice. One of the “founding fathers” of the Charter will give an “eyewitness account” of its conception. Read more
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...
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