An expert conference opens today to discuss minority language use in Europe.
The Council of Europe Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities is keen to highlight the issue, due to the importance of language in “matters of participation,” its role “in promoting full and effective equality” and “as a strong marker of identity,” according to the committee’s new chair Athanasia Spiliopoulou Åkermark (photo).
The Committee will present its new report on language rights to member states and will urge governments to develop inclusive policies which ensure the right to use minority languages while also providing equal opportunities in education and access to the labour market.
“It’s important for governments to take seriously the grievances of different language groups and to try to be responsive,” says Ms Spiliopoulou Åkermark. “Very often, minority languages are put to the second place.”
Information: Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities
News: Minority protection
Podcast: Safeguarding Europe’s language diversity
Podcast: Minority integration in Europe
Web File: Diversity In Europe