MINELRES: EBLUL calls for European Agency promoting linguistic diversity and language learning

Hannah McGlue minelres@lists.delfi.lv
Mon Feb 10 08:29:45 2003


EBLUL calls for European Agency promoting linguistic diversity and language

Charleroi, 1.02.03 - The General Assembly of the European Bureau for Lesser
Used Languages adopted unanimously a resolution proposing the establishment
of a European agency on linguistic diversity during its session on Saturday.
Other issues highlighted were a legal basis for regional or minority
languages and the need to create a language friendly environment.

The Council of EBLUL held an extraordinary meeting in Charleroi, Belgium on
the 1st of February in order to adopt a common statement on the consultation
paper of the European Union on language learning and linguistic diversity.

The Council of EBLUL also urged the European Union to establish an agency
promoting linguistic diversity and language learning. At present there are
several agencies of the European Union promoting values and pursuing
policies important to the citizens of the Union. The European monitoring
centre on racism and xenophobia in Vienna could serve as a model for the
agency promoting linguistic diversity.

The European Commission intends to publish an Action Plan on language
learning and linguistic diversity in summer 2003 and has thus launched a
consultation process on this topic.
In its contribution to the consultation on language learning and linguistic
diversity EBLUL mentions that “ linguistic diversity, including the
promotion of lesser used languages is a democratic and cultural cornerstone
of the Union and recognised in article 22 of the Charter of Fundamental
Rights of the European Union”.

“Within the processes of enlargement and the future constitution of the EU,
the Action Plan is a way to underline linguistic diversity” says EBLUL
president Bojan Brezigar and adds that “this is a first step to a more
active EU policy in favour of regional and minority languages”.

The President of the Spanish Member state committee of EBLUL, Aureli Argemì
welcomed the “inclusive approach of the Union”in the Consultation process,
but regrets the fact that in parts of the document “regional and minority
languages are still seen as more of a problem than an asset”.

In its contribution EBLUL underlines that “a child’s mother tongue is not
necessarily an official language of the state” and stresses that it is
important that children in addition to foreign languages have the
opportunity to learn their mother tongue within a structured education

EBLUL also states that promoting linguistic diversity including lesser-used
languages increases social cohesion, cross-border and inter-regional
co-operation. Furthermore it stresses the urgency to convince all European
states to ratify and implement the European Charter for Regional or Minority

Summing up the discussion during the meeting in Charleroi, EBLUL Council
member Cornelia Nath representing the East Frisians in the German Member
state committee stated that “it was of  high quality, real experts taking
part with extensive experience and knowledge”.


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