MINELRES: Mercator Newsletter 4 - October 2003

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Mon Nov 10 17:38:20 2003

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Mercator Newsletter 4 - October 2003
[Mercator-Education] [Mercator-Legislation] [Mercator-Media]

International Symposium 

Bulletin 55 - ML
Dossier 15 - ML
Working Papers 13 - ML

Tarragona (Catalonia - Spain)
February 27-28
1st Call for Papers  Participation in a seminar of TAIEX - ML

A new tool for regional dossiers
Digital Library European Minority Languages
New Web-editor ME
New Titles - ME | Books - ML

News (links to the Mercator-websites)


Occitan radio station authorised in Hérault 
Increase in private Slovenian radio programmes in Austria 
Asturian Minister for Culture presents plans for autonomous television
Film on life of Galíndez to be released in Galician 
Motion submitted to the Swedish Parliament in favour of the Finnish 
language (Nordic Council) 
French government shows timid signs of interest in language 
diversity (Vieiros/Le Monde) 
Appelas lodged against the last decree on the use of Basque in the 
Administration of Navarre (Behatokia)
Several complaints against the Spanish State for discriminating the 
Catalan language (Avui & Vilaweb) 
The Amazigh language to be thaught within Morocco's school system 


TV Breizh announces reduction in 'regional' programmes 
Spanish magazine Cambio 16 launches Basque language version (source: 
Constitutional amendments in Romania will widen language rights of 
national minorities (RFE/RL Newsline) 
Lingualia, a new multilingual portal for the promotion of 
minoritised languages 
First Catalan-language secondary school in France 
CoE's Committee of Ministers: 2nd Recommendation on the 
implementation of the Charter in Norway 
European Parlilament passes Ebner resolution as special status for 
languages such as Catalan is rejected (Avui/Eurolang) 
Education reform in Latvia comes into force as it keeps raising 
concern (MINELRES-Minority Issues in Latvia) 


New Gaelic Quarterly Launched 
Finland ratifies new language act 
United States: several initiatives to make English the official 
Legal use of minority languages in Slovakia might be broadened 
(RFE/RL Newsline) 
European Commission: new action plan on linguistic diversity 
Unesco General Conference: likely presence of linguistic diversity 
and rights 
Scottish Parliament improves its Gaelic services 

Occitan radio station authorised in Hérault
Radio Lenga d'Oc, an Occitan language station, was granted in October
the frequency it had been seeking for some months in the Hérault region.
The director of the station, Bruno Cécillon, said, "The Conseil
supérieur de l'audiovisuel has granted us a temporary frequency for nine
months which it will be possible to renew. It is a great victory because
the battle has been tough. We have succeeded in demonstrating that a
strong Occitan cultural presence was lacking in our region." The radio
station is run by the association Son e Resson Occitan, established ten
years ago. The Occitan station, broadcast on 99.7, will be available in
the Montpellier urban area. It is already available on the internet at
www.radiolengadoc.com. In Languedoc-Roussillon a frequency had
previously been obtained in Narbonna (Narbonne).

Increase in private Slovenian radio programmes in Austria
After lengthy discussions, a new scheme has been agreed with regard to
the provision of Slovene radio programming in Austria. According to the
new agreement, the public broadcasting body ORF wil produce eight hours
per day of Slovene programming and broadcast it on a shared frequency.
Radio Dva and Radio Agora (private ventures) will cover the remaining 16
hours of the daily schedule. For this they will receive nearly 200,000
euros per year from ORF. On Februrary 1st the Slovene-language programme
on ORF's public frequency in the region, known as Radio Kärnten, will
also change. The daily news programme from 6 to 7pm will come to an end.

Asturian Minister for Culture presents plans for autonomous television
The Minister for Culture of the Asturian autonomous government, Ana Rosa
Migoya, has presented her policy priorities for the next four years,
which include plans for a television channel for Asturias, despite
opposition from the right-wing Partido Popular. However, she has stopped
short of detailing the proposed linguistic make-up of the channel. Also
among the minister's priorities was the implementation of the plan for
the normalisation of the Asturian language, which will permit the
recognition and presence of the language at all levels of education and
in the media.

Film on life of Galíndez to be released in Galician
A new film coproduced by Continental Produccións of A Coruña has been
released with a Galician version, O misterio Galíndez, being distributed
alongside the Spanish one, El misterio Galíndez. There will be three
copies of the Galician version, to be shown in Vigo, Santiago and A
Coruña. The film by Gerardo Herrera is based on the novel 'Galíndez' by
Vázquez Montalbán. The film was shown for the first time at the Donosti
Film Festival this October and tells the story of Jesús Galíndez, leader
of the Partido Nacionalista Vasco (Basque Nationalist Party) who
disappeared in New York in 1956, probably assassinated in the Dominican
Republic with the involvement of the American secret services.

TV Breizh announces reduction in 'regional' programmes
On 8th September the private bilingual French and Breton television
channel, TV Breizh announced a reduction in its regional programming,
signalling a move towards a more generalist schedule in an attempt to
boost its viewing figures which remain unsatisfactory. At the same time,
Rozenn Milin, who had been the channel's director since its inception
some 3 years ago, announced her resignation, although she remains
involved with the channel in other capacities. TV Breizh is still only
received by a small percentage of the Breton audience, a problem which
it had hoped to resolve by obtaining local, terrestrial frequencies. The
French broadcasting authority, the Conseil Supérieur de l'Audiovisuel
has, however, not allocated any of these frequencies to the channel, a
decision which has been the subject of political campaigning, see 

Spanish magazine Cambio 16 launches Basque language version (source: 
It is a fact that Basque journalist Gorka Landaburu likes challenges and
impossible missions. That is why nobody was surprised that he founded
and will direct a new weekly magazine in the Basque language called
'Aldaketa Hamasei'. The magazine belongs to the Spanish media group
Cambio 16 and, according to its new director, 'will try to depoliticize
the Basque language and open it to all ideologies'. The first issue
appeared in all news kiosks across Euskal Herria yesterday. 'Aldaketa
Hamasei', which is the Basque name for Cambio 16, is written only in
Basque (Euskera), and up to 60 per cent of its content is exclusively
produced for the Basque edition. The remaining 40 per cent are articles
translated from the Spanish edition. To achieve this goal, Landaburu has
set up a permanent office in Donostia (San Sebastián) with 30
professionals, which will be aided in the near future by permanent
stringers in all the Basque capitals, including Iruna (Pamplona) in
Nafarroa and Baiona in Iparralde, the part of the Basque Country in the
French state. The project launch has cost two million euro and the
editing company expects to earn 2.5 million euro in the first year.
Landaburu said that 'our goal is to reach a section of the population,
which is between 20 and 40 years old, that have mastered the Basque
language but does not have a media product like ours'. The director of
Aldaketa Hamasei also said that politics will 'of course' be covered by
the weekly magazine, but made it clear that it
will also pay more attention to social and cultural events. In his
opinion, 'the generation which we address is quite interested in
politics, but not as much as some media seem to believe'. Landaburu, who
lost some fingers of his hand when ETA sent him a letter bomb, also made
it clear that 'our magazine is pluralistic, but
we all agree to a profound condemnation of violence'. Aldaketa Hamasei
will print up to 15.000 issues per week until it reaches a stable number
of readers. Besides the copies that may be sold in kiosks and libraries,
a worldwide subscription campaign has been launched through the Euskal
Etxeak or Basque houses that are located all around the world. Most of
them are in South America and Europe. The new magazine also will reach
some kiosks in Madrid and Barcelona for the Basque residents living
there. The city of Donostia hosted the public launch of the magazine,
and many politicians and celebrities attended it. Even though Landaburu
did his best to assemble all political factions, the meeting was
dominated by the presence of socialist militants and leaders. Chief
figures from the nationalist ruling party PNB also attended the meeting,
while the Basque president himself, Juan José Ibarretxe, sent a note of
support to Landaburu. The mayor of Donostia, socialist Odón Elorza, said
during the presentation that the new magazine 'is an editorial challenge
and a great opportunity' to normalize the Basque language. Elorza, who
also expressed his critical vision of the closure of the Basque
newspaper Euskaldunon Egunkaria for its alleged links with ETA, asked
the managers of Cambio 16 not to transform Aldaketa Hamasei into a
'political weapon'. Until now there has only been one Basque language
weekly magazine, Argia, created in 1976. (EL)

New Gaelic Quarterly Launched
A new quarterly magazine in Scottish Gaelic, entitled Gath, was founded
in August 2003. It is mainly concerned with informing readers about
modern Scottish Gaelic literature, poetry, short stories and book
reviews. The first two editions were privately funded and applications
have been made to Bòrd na Gaidhlig (the public body charged with the
development of the language) along with the Scottish Arts Council for
future editions. It currently has a circulation of 200, but there are
plans to increase this to 800. The magazine is 90 pages in length and
contains photographs. Two editors work for the journal and UK
subscribers can receive 4 issues for £14.

Bulletin 55 - Mercator Legislation

III Quarter 2003 | English and Catalan versions
a. Official Languages Act 2003 (Ireland)
b. Regional (Foral) Decree No. 29/2003, of February 10, on the use of
the Basque language in the Public Administrations of Navarre (Navarre)
c. Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers on the application of
the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages by Sweden
d. Resolution on the Basque language in the Autonomous Community of
Navarre (Navarre)

Dossier 15 - Mercator Legislation
English and Catalan versions: Low German: a Language Regaining 

Working Papers 13 - Mercator Legislation
>From Rhetoric to Reality? A Critical Assessment of EU Minority Language
Policy and Practice

II International Symposium
Given the significance of the year 2004 for the future of the European
Union and, more specifically, the new linguistic policy deriving from
the adoption of the new Constitutional Treaty, the II Mercator
International Symposium will aim at a critical assessment of the role
assigned to minority or regional languages within the new European
order. The event will also focus on the way in which "respect for
linguistic diversity" (Art. 3.3 and Art. 22 of the Charter of
Fundamental Rights) will be reflected in the European Union's new
policies and actions.

The Symposium will also seek to focus on how the voice of minority
language communities will be heard within the future European Union, as
well as on the possible role of the Committee of the Regions, despite
the fact that the draft text submitted by the European Convention 2004
has yet to define the role of the "regions", particularly those which
have their own language and their own legislative powers.

Another essential element to be taken into account when thinking about
the future of these languages is the Council of Europe and its European
Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. There is a need to appraise
the effect of this international instrument - the only binding and most
explicit document concerning these languages - on Community policies
dealing with non-official languages of the EU and with languages which
not explicitly recognised or do not receive adequate institutional
support from the state.

Main thematic areas for papers:

a. European Constitution and linguistic diversity
Language policies within the new Constitutional Treaty
The recognition of non-official languages
The effects on the new institutional structure (EU, CoE, OSCE)
Language requirements for EU-accession. Why a double standard?
b. The role of the European Charter for Regional or Minority 
Languages (the Charter)
The Charter as a development of Art. 22 of the European Charter of 
Fundamental Rights and Art. 3.3 of the new Constitutional Treaty
The Charter and EU programmes and actions
EU language policy from the perspective of new member states
Other alternatives beyond the Charter
c. Level of recognition and language vitality
Case studies
Monitoring and follow-up experiences regarding the implementation 
of legal measures

Place:  University Rovira I Virgili (Tarragona - Catalonia - Spain)
Dates: February 27-28
Languages of the symposium: Catalan, Spanish and English
Send your papers to: mercator@ciemen.org cdoc@ciemen.org
(please specify which thematic area they fit into)

Mercator Legislation participates in a seminar organized by TAIEX
The Mercator network participated in the "Seminar on Regional and
Minority Languages", organized by the Technical Assistance Information
Exchange Office (TAIEX) of the European Commission's DG Enlargement,
was held in Brussels on October 2-3, 2003. 

A new tool for regional dossiers
Matthijs van der Heide, trainee of Mercator Education, is developing a
new tool to make the regional dossiers more accessible. The user of the
program can compare multiple dossiers with great ease. With the program,
the user can select from the desired dossiers, one or more specified
categories. A category can be a chapter, a paragraph or a theme. These
categories from all selected dossiers are placed in one file (a PDF
file). When finished, this tool will be provided on CD-ROM and on the
website of Mercator-Education.

Digital Library European Minority Languages
Last summer Mercator-Education started with a pilot project for the
creation of a digital library on European Minority Languages with text,
image and sound. The pilot will take one year and will be carried out
with Frisian material. The content is scientific and concerns
linguistics, sociolinguistics, dialects, letters, cultural history,
education, media and language policy. A specialists databank will also
be included. On the 22nd of October Frisian organisations and
specialists will meet in order to discuss the proposed form and content
of the digital library. After conclusion of the pilot, collaboration
will start with representatives of other language communities.

New Web-editor Mercator Education
Since september the web-editor of Mercator Education, Johannes Hamersma,
is replaced by Afke Vreeling. She works one and a half day per week as
web-editor of Mercator Education at the Fryske Akademy in Leeuwarden.
Afke has studied Communication in Leeuwarden with the specialization
Design and since August this year she is studying Sociology on the
University of Groningen. This studie she can combine well with her new
function at Mercator Education.

New Titles - Mercator Education
a. Nation-building, ethnicity and language politics in transition 
countries / ed. By Farimah Daftary and François Grin. - Budapest : Local 
Government and Public Service Reform Initiative, 2003. - 292 p. - isbn 
b. Minority governance in Europe / ed. By Kinga Gál. - Budapest : 
Local Government and Public Service Reform Initiative; Flensburg : ECMI, 
2002. - 378 p. - isbn 9639419400
c. Linguistic diversity and new minorities in Europe : Guide for 
the development of language education policies in Europe = Diversité 
linguistique et nouvelles minorités en Europe / Ingrid Gogolin. - 
Strasbourg : Council of Europe, 2002. - 22 p.
d. Education policy and minorities: Report of the Regional 
Conference Kyiv (Ukraine, 2-3 September 2002. - Strasbourg : Council of 
Europe, 2003. - 86 p.
e. Education policy and minorities : Pilot project Ukraine : 
Final report. - Strasbourg: Council of Europe, 2002. - 126 p.
f. Investigating language attitudes: Social meanings of dialect, 
ethnicity and performance / by Peter Garrett, Nikolas Coupland and Angie 
Williams. - Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2003. - 251 p. - 
g. Rapportage jeugd 2002 / [ed. by] Elke Zeijl; [with contr. of] 
Marianne Baker ...[et al]. - Den Haag: Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau, 
2003. - 270 p. - isbn 9037701116
h. Modern languages in Irish primary schools: An evaluation of 
the national pilot project / John Harris and Mary Conway. - Dublin : 
Institiúd Teangeolaíochta Éireann, 2002. - isbn 0946452180
i. Context and culture in language teaching and learning / ed.by 
Michael Byram and Peter Grundy. - Clevedon [etc.] : Multilingual
Matters, 2