Report on linguistic diversity in Europe

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Today, the 19th of October the Council of Europe’s Congress for Regional and Local Authorities is discussing the report on linguistic diversity in Europe  Rapporteurs are Lelia HUNZIKER, Switzerland, and Anna MAGYAR, Hungary.  The issue of Ukrainian education law is a part of the discussion.

Summary of the debate:

The report takes stock of the situation as regards the implementation of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages on the occasion of the 25th anniversary since its opening to signature and in light of new developments in our societies, including digitalisation. It underlines that local and regional authorities should be guided by the principle that diversity is an enriching element of society and that the protection of historical regional or minority languages constitutes the firmest protection of said diversity, with a positive outcome from both an economic and cultural perspective. It invites them to take measures, where and when possible, to consolidate and develop regional or minority language teaching and education in these languages in their regions.

Read more: Ukraine should not Help Authoritarian Countries in Cracking down on Freedom of Expression

The report also draws the attention of member States to the fact that in many countries austerity measures have resulted in cutbacks in education and in services provided to minority language speakers. It calls on member States to refrain from bringing the weight of austerity measures to bear on language policies. Noting that, regrettably, only 25 States have ratified the Charter and 8 have signed it, without ratification, it invites the remaining 14 member States to sign and ratify the Charter.

The debate can be watched online at http://bit.ly/2hPVsLE (English). GU

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