Recommendation 1043 (1986)

Europe's linguistic and literary heritage

Author(s): Parliamentary Assembly

Origin: Assembly debate on 19 September 1986 (12th Sitting) (see Doc. 5624, report of the Committee on Culture and Education). Text adopted by the Assembly on 19 September 1986 (12th Sitting).


  • linguistics
  • literature
  • cultural heritage
  • literary profession
  • European language
  • minority language
  • living language

The Assembly,

1. Drawing attention to the significant fact thatEurope has developed as a cultural unity based on a diversity of interconnected languages, literary and cultural traditions ;

2. Recalling that language is not only a means of communication, but essentially a necessary way for countries and regions to maintain their identity and personality, and also a creative art, and thereby abasic medium of cultural expression of individuals and communities ;

3. Wishing to ensure the survival and continued creative richness of the European linguistic and literary heritage ;

4. Recalling earlier Council of Europe action relating to books, libraries and modern languages in Europe ;

5. Aware, however, of the new challenges andpossible threats posed for many European languages by the rapid industrialisation of natural languages and the increased commercialisation of language products, as a consequence of the growing interface between these natural languages on the one hand and informatics and electronics on the other ;

6. Concerned also at the prospect of a more general decline in literacy in Europe as a result of increased reliance on the audiovisual as a means of communication ;

7. Recommends that the Committee of Ministers :

a. defend and encourage multilingualism inEurope, both in written material (whether in book or other form) and the audiovisual media ;
b. take active steps to safeguard Europe'slinguistic and literary heritage, and encourage its continued creative development ;
c. encourage reading in Europe, while also combating illiteracy ;
d. urge the governments of member states to support through appropriate measures the development of the language industriinitiate specific projects to further European co-operation in these fields
e. initiate specific projects to further European co-operation in these fields.