“To integrate migrants and guarantee them equal opportunities, we must encourage the implementation of a language policy that promotes minority languages”, stated Andrew Dawson (United Kingdom, ECR), Congress rapporteur, at the Intergovernmental Conference on “Achieving Equal Opportunities for All Migrants Through Learning and Assessment” on 16 October in Strasbourg, France. The conference, organised in the framework of the Linguistic Integration of Adult Migrants (LIAM) project, focused on language and society requirements for migrants in the 47 member states of the Council of Europe.
“Achieving equal opportunities for all migrants is at the heart of our work in the Congress. Over the years we have gathered substantial experience in the field of integration with the help of local elected representatives, who face the challenges of inclusion and integration every day”, stressed Mr. Dawson, recalling that this requires long-term inclusive strategies.
“With the migration patterns of today, including both forced and free movement, local and regional authorities in Europe are confronted with more and more language issues. We need to be practical when it comes to the use of language: while providing public services in fields such as safety and health, for example, information must be given in languages spoken by newcomers, if their number justifies it”, explained the rapporteur. For what concerns linguistic education, the Congress believes it should take into account the specific context of the migrant.
A report on this topic, entitled “The use of languages by local and regional authorities”, will be presented by Mr. Dawson and submitted for adoption at the 37th Congress Session on 31 October 2019.