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Conference on Language Rights

From 5.-7. December 2013 a conference on „Substance and Practice of European Language Rights“ will take place in Cottbus/Chóśebuz (Germany).

Language rights are a key element of European minority protection. For that reason these rights play an important role both in the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and also in the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Both treaties of the Council of Europe entered into force in 1998 and for both treaties a monitoring procedure was introduced that monitors and evaluates the implementation of the obligations by the signatory states.

After 15 years of experience we should strike a first balance: in what state are language rights in Europe? What are the weak points that can be noticed, in the treaties and/or in practical implementation? Did monitoring proof its value? How can it be made more effective, how can its impact on national minority legislation be strengthened? Do the (language) minorities have sufficient resources to participate in the procedure? Are the Council of Europe and the EU coordinating their policies? What is the relation between the European level and the national or regional minority- and language policies? The conference will bring together experts and representatives of the administration, regions and minority organisations, in order to discuss the perspectives for further development of the legal protection for minority and regional languages.

The event is organized by the Council of Europe, the Sorbian Institute, Hamburg University, and the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN).