Council of Europe publishes report on regional or minority languages in Germany
Strasbourg, 25 May 2011. The Council of Europe Committee of Ministers has today made public the fourth report on the application of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in Germany. The report has been drawn up by a committee of independent experts, which monitors the application of the Charter.
On the basis of this report, the Council of Europe calls on Germany to adopt specific legislation to ensure that the Charter is actually implemented in practice. Urgent measures are needed to promote and preserve North Frisian, Sater Frisian and Lower Sorbian, which are deemed to be particularly endangered languages, and in particular to ensure that primary and secondary education is systematically available in these languages. Measures are also needed to ensure that radio and television broadcasting is available in these languages, as well as in Danish, Low German and Romani.
Germany is also encouraged to take measures to ensure that the provision of education in Danish and Upper Sorbian is not jeopardized by reductions in subsidies for Danish-language private schools or changes in the educational system concerning the Upper Sorbian language. More teaching hours should be devoted to Low German, and it should be taught as a regular school subject and as an integral part of the curriculum in the Lšnder concerned. In general, Germany is encouraged to ensure that an effective mechanism exists to monitor education in the regional or minority languages.
Finally, the Council of Europe calls on Germany to take resolute action to make it possible to use regional or minority languages in dealings with the administration and in courts.
The full report and Committee of Ministers' recommendations can be downloaded from the Charter website (www.coe.int/minlang) (in the "Documents" section).
Further information can also be found on the Charter’s website or by contacting the Charter Secretariat (Council of Europe, F-67075 Strasbourg, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +33 (0)3 88 41 31 86).