written the 31/10/2019
The Congress adopted a report on the use of languages by local and regional authorities on 31 October 2019 in Strasbourg, France, during its 37th Session.
“As the diversity of Europe’s towns and regions grows, local and regional authorities face more and more language issues, especially when it comes to ensuring access to public services to citizens”, stated rapporteur Andrew Dawson (United Kingdom, ECR). “When local or regional authorities are working on integration, social inclusion and citizen participation issues, it is not always useful to make a distinction between traditional minority languages and migrant languages”, he added.
The rapporteur stressed the need to take into account, as far as is reasonably possible, all linguistic diversity, in terms of minority languages, as defined by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, as well as languages spoken by citizens with a migration background. In fact, the Charter does not consider the current demographic profile of the citizens of a given territory, as it only applies to languages which have been present for over a hundred years.
The Congress invites the Council of Europe member States which have not yet done so to ratify the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. In addition, local and regional authorities are encouraged to “ensure adequate access to public services and democratic bodies to all linguistic minorities” through appropriate measures such as assessing citizens’ language needs, providing language training and interpretation services and recruiting officials competent at the linguistic level.