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Collection of written amendments (Revised version)

  • Doc. 14466
  • The protection and promotion of regional or minority languages in Europe

Draft resolution

1In European democracies, the use of regional or minority languages is critical in determining the personal and collective identity of all the European citizens concerned. Linguistic diversity is part of the common European cultural heritage; protection and support for the development of these languages is therefore a fundamental European value.

2Once again, the Parliamentary Assembly confirms that the protection of 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. In this connection, the Assembly draws attention to Recommendation 1201 (1993), Recommendation 1492 (2001), Resolution 1770 (2010) and Resolution 1985 (2014), all of which concern the rights of national minorities.

3The Assembly notes that language is in itself a value and one of our cultural assets. It is therefore fundamentally important that the use of language ensures a community’s cultural reproduction, enables individuals and the community to take part in political and cultural life, and in this way become integrated into economic and social processes.

4These objectives are the goals of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ETS No. 148), which has played a unique role in protecting and supporting regional or minority languages over the last two decades. The Assembly appreciates the work which the Committee of Experts of the Charter has carried out over the last two decades with this aim in mind.

5The Assembly regrets that, to date, only 25 of the 47 member States have ratified the Charter and eight have signed it.

6The Assembly is concerned about the fact that several States have still not submitted their reports on the application of the Charter; some States have even failed to carry out an entire monitoring cycle, which hinders the work of the Committee of Experts or the Committee of Ministers on protecting and promoting support for regional or minority languages.

7In the light of these considerations, the Assembly calls on the member States to:

7.1sign and/or ratify the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, if they have not already done so, and refrain from acts which would go against the principles defined by the Charter, irrespective of their status with regard to the Charter;

7.2take the necessary steps to ensure that the right to use regional or minority languages is recognised in all aspects of the life of the community and, wherever possible, that those languages are raised to the status of second official language in the regions where such languages are traditionally used, bearing in mind the particular conditions and historical traditions specific to each region;

Tabled by Mr Viorel Riceard BADEA, Mr Titus CORLĂŢEAN, Ms Alina Ștefania GORGHIU, Mr Ion POPA, Mr Ionuț-Marian STROE
In the draft resolution, paragraph 7.2, replace the words "and, wherever possible, that those languages are raised to the status of second official language in the regions where such languages are traditionally used, bearing in mind the particular conditions and historical traditions specific to each region" with the following words: "in accordance with the specific obligations undertaken by each State Party to the Charter".

7.3submit the national report without further delay, in accordance with Article 15 of the Charter, and take a constructive part in the monitoring carried out by the Committee of Experts;

7.4adapt the commitments relating to each language provided for in the Charter to the socio-linguistic situation of the languages concerned;

(If adopted, amendment 12 falls)
Tabled by Mr Viorel Riceard BADEA, Mr Titus CORLĂŢEAN, Ms Alina Ștefania GORGHIU, Mr Ion POPA, Mr Ionuț-Marian STROE
In the draft resolution, replace paragraph 7.4 with the following paragraph:
"respect the commitments relating to each language provided for in the Charter;"
(Falls if amendment 6 is adopted)
Tabled by Ms Elvira KOVÁCS, Ms Mónika BARTOS, Mr Gábor HARANGOZÓ, Mr Zsolt CSENGER-ZALÁN, Mr Boriss CILEVIČS, Mr Goran BEUS RICHEMBERGH
In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 7.4, add the following words: "in conformity with the spirit of the Charter".

7.5apply a structured approach to fulfilling these commitments, involving all levels of institutions, including local and regional authorities, and provide a clear definition of responsibilities and implementing powers;

7.6study and use States’ best practices.

Tabled by Mr Viorel Riceard BADEA, Mr Titus CORLĂŢEAN, Ms Alina Ștefania GORGHIU, Mr Ion POPA, Mr Ionuț-Marian STROE
In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 7.6, insert the following words: ", if they are in line with the legal system of the respective country and the specific commitments undertaken by each state party to the Charter".

8The Assembly invites the member States, pursuant to their commitments under the Charter, to:

Tabled by Ms Elvira KOVÁCS, Ms Mónika BARTOS, Mr Gábor HARANGOZÓ, Mr Zsolt CSENGER-ZALÁN, Mr Boriss CILEVIČS
In the draft resolution, paragraph 8, after the word "States" insert the following words: "parties to the Charter".

8.1with regard to education:

8.1.1comply with paragraphs10.4.2 to 10.4.5 of Resolution 1985 (2014) on the situation and rights of national minorities in Europe;

8.1.2evaluate, where possible before children begin school, what the child’s mother tongue is and ensure that both the regional or minority language and the official language are taught by using appropriate methods;

8.1.3ensure that it is possible to study in the regional or minority language for the entire duration of schooling, from preschool, primary and secondary education through to vocational training and higher education, at least for pupils whose families so wish;

8.1.4ensure that those who speak a regional or minority language as their mother tongue have the opportunity to learn the official language sufficiently, by incorporating good practices from the teaching of foreign languages into the methodological approach adopted for teaching the official language;

(If adopted, amendments 14, 15 falls)
Tabled by Mr Boriss CILEVIČS, Mr Damien THIÉRY, Mr Manuel TORNARE, Mr Killion MUNYAMA, Mr Jordi XUCLÀ
In the draft resolution, paragraph 8.1.4, replace the words "by incorporating good practices from the teaching of foreign languages into the methodological approach adopted for teaching the official language" with the following words: "by improving the quality of education in the official language and promoting access to bilingual education".
(Falls if amendment 20 is adopted)
Tabled by Ms Elvira KOVÁCS, Ms Mónika BARTOS, Mr Gábor HARANGOZÓ, Mr Zsolt CSENGER-ZALÁN, Mr Boriss CILEVIČS, Mr Goran BEUS RICHEMBERGH
In the draft resolution, paragraph 8.1.4, after the word "foreign" insert the following words: "and second".
(Falls if amendment 20 is adopted)
Tabled by Ms Elvira KOVÁCS, Ms Mónika BARTOS, Mr Gábor HARANGOZÓ, Mr Zsolt CSENGER-ZALÁN, Mr Boriss CILEVIČS, Mr Goran BEUS RICHEMBERGH
In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 8.1.4, add the following words: "of the State".

8.1.5ensure that people living in widely scattered settlements receive appropriate education in the language in question;

8.1.6define preferential thresholds in the learning of regional or minority languages and apply them with the necessary flexibility in light of the interests of the community;

Tabled by Mr Viorel Riceard BADEA, Mr Titus CORLĂŢEAN, Ms Alina Ștefania GORGHIU, Mr Ion POPA, Mr Ionuț-Marian STROE
In the draft resolution, delete paragraph 8.1.6.

8.1.7guarantee that young people speaking regional or minority languages can sit exams in appropriate conditions, offering them the same opportunities as the majority in the public and higher education system;

8.1.8organise systems with suitable funding for training highly committed teachers, and apply specific incentives to ensure that pupils opt for the regional or minority languages in question or for training courses provided in these languages;

8.1.9endeavour in a proactive manner to produce textbooks that meet the requirements of the speakers of regional or minority languages, and – if that proves to be impossible – enable such people to use textbooks from other countries published in those languages, in co-operation with educational regulation bodies of the countries where regional or minority languages are used;

8.1.10ensure that education reforms do not impact on teaching in regional or minority languages or on the teaching of these languages in a disproportionately disadvantageous manner;

Tabled by Ms Elvira KOVÁCS, Ms Mónika BARTOS, Mr Gábor HARANGOZÓ, Mr Zsolt CSENGER-ZALÁN, Mr Boriss CILEVIČS, Mr Goran BEUS RICHEMBERGH
In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 8.1.10, add the following words: "and that they fully respect the level of acquired rights".

8.1.11allow communities which speak a regional or minority language to organise teaching in that language under their own authority and in their own institutional system, in the context of a given education system, as is already the case in several countries of Europe;

Tabled by Mr Viorel Riceard BADEA, Mr Titus CORLĂŢEAN, Ms Alina Ștefania GORGHIU, Mr Ion POPA, Mr Ionuț-Marian STROE
In the draft resolution, delete paragraph 8.1.11.

8.2vis-à-vis the administrative authorities and public service organisations, allow the use of the language, irrespective of the language threshold, in the areas where its speakers are traditionally present and where there is an interest in using the language, in line with good practices in many countries, and in this context:

Tabled by Mr Viorel Riceard BADEA, Mr Titus CORLĂŢEAN, Ms Alina Ștefania GORGHIU, Mr Ion POPA, Mr Ionuț-Marian STROE
In the draft resolution, paragraph 8.2, replace the words "irrespective of the language threshold in the areas where its speakers are traditionally present and where there is an interest in using the language, in line with good practices in many countries," with the following words: "according to the language threshold in force in each State Party to the Charter,".

8.2.1ensure that citizens are informed of the possibilities of using the language and to actively promote users’ real exercise of this right;

8.2.2ensure that the employees of public administrations or services which communicate with users are able to provide information and services in the respective regional or minority languages;

8.2.3promote and encourage the use of regional or minority languages at local and regional level; with this aim in mind, actively encourage municipal authorities to ensure the use of the language in practice;

Tabled by Ms Elvira KOVÁCS, Ms Mónika BARTOS, Mr Gábor HARANGOZÓ, Mr Zsolt CSENGER-ZALÁN, Mr Boriss CILEVIČS, Mr Goran BEUS RICHEMBERGH
In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 8.2.3, add the following words: "in particular through an adequate employment policy, providing language training for employees and making information and services available on the internet in relevant languages".

8.2.4ensure that place names and all topographical indications are written in their proper form, including on signs indicating entry into or exit from built-up areas and on all other road signs providing information;

8.2.5ensure that companies and bodies offering public services also use the regional or minority language in question; ensure, even in cases where the member State has made the weakest undertaking defined in Article 10.3 of the Charter, that a sufficient number of employees speak the language in question in the institution offering the service and that the necessary information for obtaining access to the service is also provided in the language in question; if none of the above-mentioned solutions is possible, the user should be offered the assistance of an interpreter;

8.3with regard to the media:

8.3.1promote the use of regional or minority languages by adopting legal and regulatory standards, as well as by means of appropriate incentives in their media policy;

8.3.2refrain from prescribing restrictive legal and political measures, such as subtitling/translation obligations and mandatory quotas for programmes in the official language, etc.;

Tabled by Mr Volodymyr ARIEV, Mr Kostiantyn USOV, Mr Boryslav BEREZA, Mr Serhii KIRAL, Ms Iryna GERASHCHENKO, Mr Mustafa DZHEMILIEV, Ms Mariia IONOVA, Mr Leonid YEMETS, Mr Sergiy VLASENKO, Mr Serhiy SOBOLEV
In the draft resolution, paragraph 8.3.2, delete the following words: "such as subtitling/translation obligations and mandatory quotas for programmes in the official language, etc.".

8.3.3ensure appropriate funding or grants for organisations or media which represent minorities to enhance the quality of content, so that they can draw the attention of the majority community to the identity, language, history and culture of the minority;

8.3.4allow and promote the presence of regional or minority language media on online interfaces;

8.4with regard to culture:

8.4.1take into consideration the national and regional proportion of speakers and the number of communities of regional or minority languages when preparing the part of the budget allocated to culture and, depending on possibilities, also provide the necessary resources for developing the cultural life of the minority(ies) in question;

Tabled by Ms Elvira KOVÁCS, Ms Mónika BARTOS, Mr Gábor HARANGOZÓ, Mr Zsolt CSENGER-ZALÁN, Mr Boriss CILEVIČS, Mr Goran BEUS RICHEMBERGH
In the draft resolution, paragraph 8.4.1, after the words "budget allocated to culture", insert the following words: ", consult these communities when allocating budgetary means".

8.4.2ensure that a reasonable proportion of places in national and regional bodies responsible for the cultural content of the media are allocated to representatives of regional or minority languages;

8.4.3take into consideration, when drafting legal norms and other regulations concerning cultural grants, all artistic works written in the minority language and not make it compulsory for such publications to be translated into the national language;

8.4.4ensure the availability of staff speaking the language in question in cultural institutions in areas where the speakers of regional or minority languages are traditionally present;

8.4.5consider speakers of regional or minority languages as a factor enriching the national culture, and consequently take them into consideration and include them in decisions concerning the thrust of their foreign cultural policy.

Tabled by Ms Elvira KOVÁCS, Ms Mónika BARTOS, Mr Gábor HARANGOZÓ, Mr Zsolt CSENGER-ZALÁN, Mr Boriss CILEVIČS, Mr Goran BEUS RICHEMBERGH
In the draft resolution, paragraph 8.4.5, replace the words "of their" with the following words: "and priorities of the State's".

9The Assembly calls on member States to ensure mutual comprehension between all linguistic groups in each country in order to foster the broadest possible co-operation and cohabitation among communities of member States.

Tabled by Mr Volodymyr ARIEV, Mr Kostiantyn USOV, Mr Serhii KIRAL, Ms Iryna GERASHCHENKO, Mr Oleksii GONCHARENKO, Mr Mustafa DZHEMILIEV, Ms Mariia IONOVA, Mr Leonid YEMETS, Mr Serhiy SOBOLEV
In the draft resolution, before paragraph 9, insert the following paragraph:
"The Assembly urges all member States to resolve bilateral controversial issues with regard to minority language rights by means of democratic dialogue and to refrain from the use of such issues as an instrument of political pressure within the broader international agenda. The Assembly recalls that any activities aimed at promoting and defending the rights of national minorities should not contradict the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of States."
Tabled by Mr Attila KORODI, Ms Elvira KOVÁCS, Mr István HOLLIK, Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Ms Mónika BARTOS, Mr Jenő MANNINGER, Mr Gábor HARANGOZÓ
In the draft resolution, after paragraph 9, insert the following paragraph:
"The Assembly invites national parliaments to consider creating a special working group with the task of studying practical solutions to better protect and promote regional or minority languages."
Tabled by Mr Serhii KIRAL, Ms Nino GOGUADZE, Mr Georgii LOGVYNSKYI, Ms Olena SOTNYK, Mr Boryslav BEREZA
In the draft resolution, after paragraph 9, insert the following paragraph:
"The Assembly draws the attention of its member States to the need to regulate the majority (state) language by adopting relevant national legislation.".

Draft recommendation

1In accordance with the European principle “Unity in diversity”, the Parliamentary Assembly considers the protection and use of minority languages to be an integral part of the process for the extension of democracy.

2With reference to Resolution … (2018) on the protection and promotion of regional or minority languages in Europe, the Assembly considers it important to raise awareness of the fact that, in all countries, people belonging to regional or minority linguistic groups are citizens with the same rights as the speakers of the majority language.

3The goal that should be achieved by the member States of the Council of Europe is to ensure that the speakers of regional or minority languages can freely use their mother tongue in individual or social communication without discrimination, and consequently that they receive all the support required during their schooling from official bodies and local communities.

4The Assembly therefore calls on the Committee of Ministers to:

4.1encourage each member State to take the necessary steps to ratify the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ETS No. 148), if they have not already done so, or in the event that they have already ratified the Charter, to ensure that it is put into practice and that they broaden the scope of their commitments;

4.2devise a procedure under which it authorises the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages to carry out, after issuing a preliminary warning, the monitoring procedure in respect of States which lag far behind in submitting the report provided for under Article 15 of the Charter;

4.3report to the Parliamentary Assembly on the procedure for monitoring the application of the Charter, paying particular attention to the execution of States’ obligation to present a report, as well as the results obtained;

4.4create a prize, to be awarded once a year by means of a competition, for countries which actively promote the use of regional or minority languages, with the conditions relating to the award of the prize being decided upon jointly by the Committee of Experts of the Charter and the Parliamentary Assembly;

4.5implement further solutions for the application of the Charter, hold regional seminars on good practices and obstacles to its effective use, promote scientific co-operation between national research workshops, and suggest that working groups specialising in issues relating to the situation of regional or minority languages be set up;

Tabled by Mr Attila KORODI, Ms Elvira KOVÁCS, Mr István HOLLIK, Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Ms Mónika BARTOS, Mr Jenő MANNINGER, Mr Gábor HARANGOZÓ
In the draft recommendation, at the end of paragraph 4.5, insert the following words: "in the member States".

4.6co-operate with the relevant institutions and bodies of the European Union, in particular the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture and the European Parliament, on the subject of the protection and promotion of regional or minority languages within the European Union.