Apr 26, 2016

Work on Language Rights Protocol Makes Headway

Steady progress was made throughout the last couple of months toward the development of the Language Rights Protocol. Being part of Donostia/San Sebastián’s year as European Capital of Culture, the Protocol will be a document defending language equality and outlining the minimum steps needed to safeguard all citizens’ language rights. The process of drawing up the Protocol consists of a Scientific Committee proposing the detailed steps to be laid down in the document during 2015 and the first half of 2016, so that the Organising Committee can then use this inputs to work out the concrete steps before the presentation in Donostia-San Sebastián in December 2016. The adoption of the Protocol at the European Language Diversity Summit will then open the way to a large awareness-raising process, aimed at sharing with national governments and international organisations this Protocol, expression of the civil society’s needs.

After a successful start of the project – facilitated by UNPO and five other organisations active in the field of minority and language promotion – the process of collecting input from grassroots bodies is now in full swing. The organising committee will meet again in Donostia on 21 June 2016 to discuss the latest draft of the Protocol and discuss the last details for the December event. More information on UNPO’s involvement in the process can be found here.


Below is the Newsletter published by Protocol to Ensure Language Rights: 


Collecting contributions for the Language Rights Protocol

Work on the Language Rights Protocol, backed by the Donostia 2016 Foundation and Kontseilua, is forging ahead. The project has already been presented in Euskal Herria and is currently being discussed in workshops. Meanwhile, work has begun across Europe to provide input for the document.

Paul Bilbao Secretary General of Kontseilua recently visited Belfast, Aberystwyth (Wales) and Oslo, and Ljouwert for talks with local language community representatives and public meetings.

Everywhere he has met with a warm welcome and enthusiasm for the Protocol project.

Find more information here.


It´s time for your input on the Protocol to Ensure Language Rights!

Input from grassroots organisations will also play an essential part in the process of drawing up the Protocol to make it a really effective instrument, because the men and women who work in a wide range of areas within society are this document’s main protagonists. This refers to all the people who work day in, day out to manage language use, whether it be in workplaces or organisations, government offices or schools, arts and culture, the media and the press. The Protocol is being written with all those people in mind who confront the difficult challenge of using their own language on a daily basis, and whose work consists of endeavouring and driving the development of resources to help face that challenge. This Protocol is for them!

Over the next three months we are going to be collecting input from organisations all over Europe.

For on-line input on the Protocol: www.online.protokoloa.eus.

For more information, please write to [email protected].


Presentation talks about the Protocol have aroused intense interest among grassroots organisations

Five talks were given in Bayonne, Donostia (San Sebastian), Gasteiz (Vitoria), Bilbao and Iruñea (Pamplona) between the 24th of February and the 4th of March.

Last Wednesday, March the 2nd, Paul Bilbao, the general secretary of Kontseilua, and Xabier Paya, director of the cultural programme of Donostia 2016, told an audience at Bilbao’s Kafe Antzokia about the Protocol to Ensure Language Rights and how citizen groups were involved in the project.

It was the fourth talk they have given since last week. In Bayonne, Donostia and Gasteiz, they had already met with local grassroots groups to talk about the project and the importance of the role of citizen groups in it.

Find more information here.