Nov 10, 2015

Breakfast Presentation of the European Language Diversity Summit at the EP


10 November 2015

10:00 – 12:00

Room ASP 5E1

European Parliament, Brussels

On an average, every two weeks, a language spoken somewhere in the world disappears. In theory, language rights are formally enshrined in several international treaties, yet in practice their protection is not sufficient. In consideration of this, a group of civil society organisations, assisted by experts in the field have come together to plan a Summit on Language Diversity in Europe, which will take place in December 2016. A Protocol on Language Diversity, an effective tool supporting language equality and diversity in Europe, will be presented at the event. The project is part of the 2016 Donostia/San Sebastian European Capital of Culture.

A presentation of the project will take place at the European Parliament in Brussels on 10 November 2015 from 10:00 – 12:00, Room ASP 5E1, hosted by Jordi Sebastiá MEP (EFA/Greens), Co-Chairman of the Intergroup for Traditional Minorities and National Communities and Languages. Coffee, tea and a generous breakfast will be provided at the beginning of the event.

The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), as well as representatives from Kontseilua, the Council of Basque Language Entities, and from the Donostia/San Sebastian 2016 Capital of Culture Foundation, will present the structure, objectives and achievements of the project, and the role that they foresee for States, international and transnational organisations, including the EU, at a later stage.

UNPO is part of the organising committee of the summit,  alongside PEN International, LINGUAPAX International, the European Language Equality Network (ELEN), the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) and Centre Internacional Escarré per a les Minories Ètniques i les Nacions (CIEMEN). The project sees as its main promoter KONTSEILUA, The Council of Basque Language Entities and the Donostia/San Sebastian 2016 Capital of Culture Foundation.  

The breakfast will bring together those that understand the value language diversity provides to communities and to the wider society, opening up a dialogue for civil society organizations and experts as they seek to create conditions that guarantee equality within communities. It is vital that the conditions are created now, to ensure that cultural and language heritage is preserved for generations to come.

The 1996 Barcelona Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights was a contribution by social entities drawing attention to the issue of language rights. Twenty years on, the organisers hope to achieve a new step forward in Donostia. This project, whose purpose of which is to empower the agents of social activism to achieve agreement on a far-reaching social compact which can then be adopted by a variety of different bodies, originates from the initiative of a few grassroot entities.

The Summit’s objectives are: (1) to declare that guaranteeing language diversity and ensuring language development are keys to peaceful coexistence; (2) to create an effective instrument for language equality and revitalizing languages in unfavourable situations (Protocol on Language Diversity in Europe); (3) to ensure that language communities are the actors in this process and assert that civil society’s involvement guarantees fair play; and (4) to constitute a milestone in Donostia and its year as a European Capital of Culture.

The 1996 Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights was a contribution by social entities drawing  attention to the issue of language rights. Twenty years on, we hope to achieve a new step forward in Donostia.

Registrations for the breakfast are now closed.

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For questions regarding the programme please contact:

Tommaso Nodari

+32 251 31459 • t.nodari@unpo.org

For media enquiries please contact

Johanna Green

+32 251 31459 • j.green@unpo.org