CM/Cong(2011)Rec286 final 11 July 2011
“Minority languages – an asset for regional development” –
Recommendation 286 (2010) of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe
(Reply adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 6 July 2011 at the 1118th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)
1. The Committee of Ministers has carefully examined Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe Recommendation 286 (2010) on “Minority languages – an asset for regional development”. It has brought it to the attention of the member states’ governments and has also forwarded it to the relevant committees1 for information and possible comments.
2. The Committee of Ministers has taken note of the Congress’s opinion on the economic and cultural value of regional and minority languages. It considers that protecting the historical regional or minority languages of Europe, some of which are in danger of eventual extinction, contributes to the maintenance and development of Europe's cultural wealth and traditions.
3. In this respect, the Committee of Ministers underlines the importance of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (ETS No. 157) and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ETS No. 148), as essential tools for the promotion and the protection of these languages in numerous areas of public life. It would encourage those member states which have not already done so to consider signing and/or ratifying these conventions.
4. Several fields mentioned in Recommendation 286 (2010) as particularly relevant for the revitalisation of regional or minority languages are also referred to in the Charter, namely education (Article 8), media (Article 11) and cultural activities and facilities (Article 12).
5. Although the Charter does not envisage monitoring the economic development linked to increased use of regional or minority languages in the member states, several positive effects have been observed by the Committee of Experts on the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages during the monitoring carried out in various states which have ratified the Charter. Moreover, the Charter does mention promoting the use of regional or minority languages in the economic sector (Article 13, economic and social life). As the European frame of reference for the protection and promotion of regional or minority languages, the Charter offers states, including local and regional authorities, a comprehensive framework and structure for the promotion of such languages in practically all areas of public life.
1 The European Committee on Local and Regional Democracy (CDLR), the Advisory Committee of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.