2013/2007(INI)

Endangered European languages and linguistic diversity in the European Union

Procedure completed

2013/2007(INI) Endangered European languages and linguistic diversity in the European Union
RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead CULT ALFONSI François (Verts/ALE) TŐKÉS László (PPE), PALIADELI Chrysoula (S&D), TAKKULA Hannu (ALDE), SWINBURNE Kay (ECR), VERGIAT Marie-Christine (GUE/NGL), FONTANA Lorenzo (EFD)
Lead committee dossier: CULT/7/11649
Legal Basis RoP 052
Subjects
Links

Activites

  • 2013/09/11 Results of vote in Parliament
    • Results of vote in Parliament
    • T7-0350/2013 summary
  • 2013/06/26 Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
    • A7-0239/2013 summary
  • 2013/06/18 Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
  • 2013/01/17 Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading

Documents

AmendmentsDossier
172 2013/2007(INI) Endangered European languages and linguistic diversity in the European Union
2013/04/26 CULT 172 amendments...
source: PE-510.542

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

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    text
    • The European Parliament adopted by 645 votes to 26, with 29 abstentions, a resolution on endangered European languages and linguistic diversity in the European Union.

      Parliament recalls that in some countries and regions minority or regional languages exist which are endangered or dying out but which in other, neighbouring, countries are official, majority, languages.

      It calls on the European Union and the Member States to be more attentive to the extreme threat that many European languages, classified as endangered languages, are experiencing, and to commit wholeheartedly to the protection and promotion of the unique diversity of the Union's linguistic and cultural heritage by deploying ambitious proactive revitalisation policies for the languages concerned and by dedicating a reasonable budget to this aim.

      It encourages Member States to produce action plans to promote endangered languages based on shared good practices which are already available within a number of language communities in Europe. The governments of the Member States are called upon to condemn practices which, by means of linguistic discrimination or enforced or concealed assimilation, have in the past been – or are now – directed against the identity and language use of endangered linguistic communities or their cultural institutions.

      Ratification of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages: Parliament calls on all Member States who have not yet done so to ratify and implement this Charter as it acts as a benchmark for the protection of endangered languages.

      The Union authorities are called upon to include effective respect for linguistic diversity, and protection for the most vulnerable European languages in particular, as a condition that must be met by all states wishing to be admitted as an EU Member State.

      Parliament invites the Commission and the governments and regional authorities of the Member States to establish programmes to promote tolerance of endangered linguistic or ethnic communities, respect for their linguistic and cultural values and respect for those communities in society.

      The Commission is also called upon to:

      • propose concrete policy measures for the protection of endangered languages;
      • adapt EU policies and schedule programmes so as to support the preservation of the endangered languages and linguistic diversity, using EU financial support tools for the period between 2014 and 2020;
      • consider the administrative and legislative obstacles posed to projects relating to endangered languages on account of the small size of the language communities concerned;
      • finance the protection of endangered languages so as to ensure that those seeking to use it will, within a set time-frame, be in a position to offer real help to those languages.

      Acquisition of a language at an early age: Parliament considers that the EU should support and encourage Member States to have a language policy that enables children to acquire the endangered language, as a mother tongue, from the very earliest age. It supports the reinforcement of teaching endangered languages with appropriate methodologies for students of all ages.

      It notes the Commission’s multilingualism programmes, recalling that endangered language communities fighting for the survival of endangered languages often consist of small groups of people.

      Parliament urges Member States to act as intermediaries and supporters of these small endangered language groups and communities. It recalls that EU funding for the promotion of linguistic diversity should not be redirected from its intended course nor be used to support actions that utilise endangered languages as vehicles for pursuing wider political agendas.

      Transmission of languages: Parliament calls on the Member States to pay increased attention to and support higher education studies and research with a special focus on endangered languages. It takes the view that new technologies can provide a tool for fostering the knowledge, dissemination, teaching and preservation of endangered European languages. It emphasises the importance of the transmission of the endangered languages from generation to generation within families. It also recalls the importance of continuing the effort to standardise predominantly oral languages.

      Measures to mobilise the media should strengthened. The resolution states that Commission support for language revitalisation ought to focus particular attention on initiatives within the field of digital media, including social media, in an effort to ensure that younger generations engage with Europe's endangered languages. Parliament recommends that the Member States monitor the development of the most vulnerable languages, involving both state authorities and the authorities of territories which have their own languages, whether or not these are official languages.

      Cooperation with third parties: Parliament calls on the Commission to provide constant support, via its various programmes, for transnational networks and European-level initiatives and activities that are designed to promote endangered languages. It emphasises that active participation is needed in order to ensure that UNESCO’s Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger is rendered more complete and remains a permanent fixture. Moreover, the Commission is called upon to continue the research which began with the Euromosaic study (which establishes that European languages are dying out), and to identify examples of proactivity at national level that have resulted in a significant reduction in the threat of a European language becoming extinct.

      Parliament calls on the Commission to support research on the acquisition and revitalisation of endangered languages and on the cognitive and societal benefits of bilingual and multilingual European citizens.

      Members state that the Union should support linguistic diversity in its relations with third countries, in particular those wishing to join the EU.

      Promoting multilingualism: Parliament takes the view that programmes related to the promotion of multilingualism are essential for EU neighbourhood/candidate and potential candidate countries’ policy strategies. With this in mind, the Commission should pay attention to the fact that, with their policies, some Member States and regions are endangering the survival of languages inside their borders, even if those languages are not in danger in the European context. The Commission is called upon to consider whether it might lay down specific European measures to preserve, protect, and promote endangered languages.

      Lastly, Parliament calls on the Commission to issue a call to update the useful websites that provide information on EU programmes under which funding is available and to including the new programmes for the period between 2014 and 2020, and to provide more information on this subject, especially for the attention of the language communities concerned.

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© European Union, 2011 – Source: European Parliament