MINELRES: EBLUL to play active role in consultation process of Commissions' Action Plan on linguistic diversity and language learning

MINELRES moderator minelres@lists.delfi.lv
Sat Nov 30 15:33:21 2002

Original sender: Margret Oberhofer <Margret@eblul.org>


EBLUL to play active role in consultation process of Commissions' Action
Plan on linguistic diversity and language learning

Thessaloniki 15/11/02  Currently, the European Bureau for Lesser Used
Languages (EBLUL) is holding the first international conference on the
promotion of best practices for lesser used languages in Greece.
The European Commission, also represented at the conference, takes this
as an occasion to officially launch the consultation process on the 
promotion of linguistic diversity and language learning.

In one point, the discussion document with several key areas related
generally to language learning and linguistic diversity, also addresses
regional and minority languages. Under the title "creating a more
language friendly environment",  proposals for the creation of a truly
inclusive view on languages are put forward by the Commission.

This inclusive approach applies to an enlarged Union, where more than 50
languages will be spoken, so the paper states,  21 official languages
and others classed as regional or minority languages. "Just as all
European communities should ensure respect for ethnic and cultural
diversity, so too should they respect the diversity of languages
spoken," the discussion paper stresses.

Furthermore, the discussion paper also refers clearly to the European
Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

"We see this as a very important and brave step forward and interpret it
as a sign that  the Commission is initiating a new and innovative
policy", says Bojan Brezigar, President of EBLUL. "For the first time in
the European Union, linguistic policy is really European because it
considers all languages spoken within the EU, not only the official

"Now it is important that all regional and local NGOs will get involved
in the Consultation process launched by the Commission today", adds
Markus Warasin, Secretary General of EBLUL. "The European Bureau for
Lesser Used Languages will do everything to foster this by disseminating
the relevant information to everybody interested and concerned."

The EBLUL-Conference in Thessaloniki is also attended by representatives
from the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and various foreign
experts in minority language issues.  On the Greek side, delegates to
the conference include representatives of the linguistic minorities,
specifically of the Aroumounic, Macedonian, Turkish and Pomak languages.


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