Throughout Europe, language communities have taken steps to enable people to live their lives in their own languages. There are hundreds of community-based organisations acting in different fields with the goal of supporting minoritised languages. The project of the Protocol to Ensure Language Rights proposes to create a meeting place where civil society in Europe could take charge of the process of nurturing European linguistic diversity. This project will be the start of a process undertaken by social entities, non-governmental organisations and specialists to establish a new proposal to ensure language rights collected in the Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights. This document has the ambition to be a useful document, a tool for all the civil society across Europe.
The Protocol to Ensure Language Rights is a novel foundation for building a new Europe based on equality between language communitiesThe Protocol to Ensure Language Rights is the fruit of a series of discussions over preceding years by numerous work groups; an instrument bringing together scientific perspectives, academic opinions and social viewpoints; and a novel foundation for building a new Europe based on equality between language communities. Therefore the protocol which emerges from the project will be taken to international fora and institutions to allow entities of all kinds to use it to regulate their commitment to language diversity.
The project was presented all over Europe in the Basque Country, Catalonia, Galicia, Ireland, Wales, Friesland, Flensbourg, Brussels, Asturias, Norway and Estonia, with presentations elsewhere via video conference with entities in Sardinia, Corsica, Brittany, Scotland and Friuli. Workshops were organised to deepen in each sector of the society where language rights should be defended. This led to a phase of more intensive work with most of the attendees through specialized sessions involving representatives of labour interests, the media, education, technicians, actors, writers, cultural figures, leisure activity organisers, trade unions, academics, information and communication technology experts and others.
More than 400 contributions were received from civil entities that are involved in the support of minoritised languages throughout Europe. A Scientific Committee reviewed and gave the finishing touch to the textMore than 400 contributions were received from civil entities that are involved in the support of minoritised languages throughout Europe. A Scientific Committee reviewed and gave the finishing touch to the text, which is to consist of between 185 specific measures together. The organising committee has finalized the text of the Donostia Protocol and ratifications from social entities are due. A presentation event will be held in Donostia/San Sebastián (Basque Country), European Capital of Culture 2016, at the Kursaal Palace in December the 17th.
It is going to be a new step forward on the road to peaceful coexistence of all citizens in Europe. In Donostia, Europe will receive from its civil society a Protocol to Ensure Language Rights, an effective tool to fulfil the rights of all speakers all over Europe, an effective tool for the development of minoritised languages.