Ministers’ Deputies
Notes on the Agenda

CM/Notes/1056/10.2c 23 April 20091
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1056 Meeting, 6 May 2009
10 Legal questions


10.2 European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages –

c. Third report of the Committee of Experts in respect of Sweden

Item prepared by the GR-J of 21 April 2009

Reference documents
CM(2009)45

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Action – Item proposed for adoption without debate

To adopt the draft decisions below.

At its meeting of 21 April 2009 the Rapporteur Group on Legal Co-operation examined this item and agreed to transmit the draft decisions below to the Deputies for adoption without further debate.

Context

1. The Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages was set up in accordance with Article 17 of the Charter. Its main function is to evaluate, on a three-yearly basis, the application of the Charter by States Parties. Its evaluation is based on periodical reports and other information submitted by the States Parties, information received from legally established bodies and associations in the States Parties and information the Committee gathers during its “on-the-spot” visits to the countries. The Committee then prepares its own report, assessing the countries’ compliance with their undertakings, with a view to preparing recommendations to be adopted by the Committee of Ministers.

2. In accordance with Article 16, paragraphs 3 and 4 of the Charter2, the Committee of Experts has submitted to the Committee of Ministers its third report on the implementation of the Charter in Sweden. The report (document CM(2009)45.) contains proposals for recommendations of the Committee of Ministers to the Swedish authorities. The government concerned has had the opportunity to submit its observations on the report, in accordance with Article 16, paragraph 3 of the Charter (see Appendix II to the report (document CM(2009)45)).

3. As regards the layout of the report, Chapter I gives information on the work of the Committee of Experts, the language situation in the country concerned and the particular issues which arose in examination of the situation. Chapter II is a detailed assessment of compliance with Charter obligations. Chapter III sums up the Committee of Experts’ findings and puts forward recommendations that the Committee of Ministers could make to the country concerned.

Preparation and adoption of the Committee of Ministers’ recommendations

4. Under the Charter, the Committee of Ministers is required to decide what action to take on the proposed recommendations put forward by the Committee of Experts regarding Sweden.

Procedure

5. The Deputies agreed on the procedure for examining the reports at their 762nd meeting (5 September 2001, item 10.4). The Deputies are reminded that, at the same meeting, they authorised automatic declassification of each report after it had been examined by the Committee of Ministers, unless the state concerned objected to its publication.

6. Furthermore, it is recalled that the Deputies agreed, at their 935th meeting (13 July 2005, item 1.4, decision 2) that reports on the implementation of the Charter be given preliminary examination in their Rapporteur Group on Legal Co-operation (GR-J). The report on Sweden was examined by the GR-J on 21 April 2009.

Background information concerning Sweden

7. Sweden signed and ratified the Charter on 9 February 2000. The Charter entered into force in Sweden on 1 June 2000.

Financing assured: YES

DRAFT DECISIONS

1056th meeting – 6 May 2009

Item 10.2c

European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages -
Third report of the Committee of Experts in respect of Sweden

(CM(2009)45)

Decisions

The Deputies

1. took note of the third report of the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in respect of Sweden, as it appears in document CM(2009)45;

2. adopted Recommendation CM/RecChL(2009)… on the application of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages by Sweden, as it appears at Appendix … to the present volume of Decisions <see Appendix to these Notes> and agreed to forward it to the Swedish authorities.

1056th meeting – 6 May 2009

Appendix ..

Draft Recommendation CM/RecChL(2009)...
of the Committee of Ministers
on the application of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages by Sweden

(adopted by the Committee of Ministers on … … 2009
at the … meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)
 

The Committee of Ministers,

In accordance with Article 16 of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages;

Having regard to the instrument of ratification submitted by Sweden on 9 February 2000;

Having taken note of the evaluation made by the Committee of Experts on the Charter with respect to the application of the Charter by Sweden;

Bearing in mind that this evaluation is based on information submitted by Sweden in its third periodical report, supplementary information given by the Swedish authorities, information submitted by bodies and associations legally established in Sweden and the information obtained by the Committee of Experts during its on-the-spot visit,

Having taken note of the comments made by the Swedish authorities on the contents of the Committee of Experts' report;

Recommends that the Swedish authorities take account of all the observations of the Committee of Experts and, as a matter of priority:

1. define, in co-operation with the speakers, the areas where Finnish and Sami are covered by Part III of the Charter and apply the relevant provisions of the Charter in these areas;

2. actively strengthen education in regional or minority languages both by adapting “mother-tongue” education to the requirements of Article 8 of the Charter and, where appropriate, by establishing bilingual education as well as by developing appropriate basic and further training of teachers;

3. establish a structured policy to encourage the provision of university or other forms of higher education in Sami, Finnish and Meänkieli;

4. adopt, as a matter of urgency, flexible and innovative measures to maintain the South Sami language;

5. establish a structured policy and take organisational measures to encourage the oral and written use of Sami, Finnish and Meänkieli in dealings with judicial and administrative authorities in the defined administrative areas;

6. facilitate the creation of newspapers in Sami and Meänkieli.

Note 1 This document was classified restricted at the date of issue; it will be declassified in accordance with Resolution Res(2001)6 on access to Council of Europe documents.
Note 2 “ 3. On the basis of the reports specified in paragraph 1 and the information mentioned in paragraph 2, the Committee of Experts shall prepare a report for the Committee of Ministers. This report shall be accompanied by the comments that the Parties have been requested to make and may be made public by the Committee of Ministers.
Note 4. The report specified in paragraph 3 shall contain in particular the proposals of the Committee of Experts to the Committee of Ministers for the preparation of such recommendations of the latter body to one or more of the Parties as may be required.”


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