The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages is open for accession to member states of the Council of Europe and to any other state, upon invitation by the Committee of Ministers.  Activities promoting the Charter address therefore both member states and non-member states.

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.

The European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) and experts on the Charter have published a handbook which proposes a draft ratification instrument for each non-State Party, tailored to the linguistic, political, legal and practical situation in the given country. Download Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 of the handbook.