The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages is the European convention for the protection and promotion of languages used by traditional minorities. Together with the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities it constitutes the Council of Europe's commitment to the protection of national minorities.

Regional or minority languages are part of Europe’s cultural heritage and their protection and promotion contribute to the building of a Europe based on democracy and cultural diversity.

The Charter, drawn up on the basis of a text put forward by the Standing Conference of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe, was adopted as a convention on 25 June 1992 by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, and was opened for signature in Strasbourg on 5 November 1992. It entered into force on 1 March 1998.

Learn more about the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

reform reform

On 28 November 2018, the Ministers' Deputies adopted changes to be made in the operation of the Charter's monitoring mechanism with a view to strengthening it. These entered into force on 1 July 2019.  

 Learn more about the preliminary discussions

 Learn more about the details of the reform

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1998-2018 : over 20 years the ECRML has contributed to the development of minority language legislation, policy and practice, enabling and encouraging the use of regional or minority languages in all domains of public life, from education, media and culture to public administration, courts and economic activities.

20th anniversary >>

Secretariat of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

Directorate of Anti-Discrimination
DGII Democracy
Council of Europe
Agora Building, 1 quai Jacoutot
F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex, France
Tel: +33 (0)3 90 21 49 36

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