ECMI contributed to the “Information Seminar on the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML) for Associations of Minorities”.
Under the auspices of the European Union-Council of Europe Joint Programme on “Minorities in Russia 2009-2011”, aiming at the assistance to the ratification of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML) by the Russian Federation, the ECMI has contributed with the presentation of the substance of the ECRML at the consultations with the associations of various minorities. Although the Russian Federation has a long tradition of enhancing its 186 officially registered languages, the seminar had a practical dimension to explain the process of decision-making by minorities at which level of protection their languages will be covered using which measures provided by the Charter.
The European Charter for Regional or Minority languages is a unique international convention that aims at the protection and promotion of the languages in Europe as a cultural heritage and expression of the cultural diversity. It is constructed in such way that in principle it covers all traditional languages that have historical presence on the territory of the ratifying state, but also allows for additional measures for the use of particular languages. The role of the minority organizations in making decisions on scope of use of their respective languages in the public sphere such as education, media, cultural activities, administration as users of the languages is critical for the development of the language not only with its status at the moment of ratification but also in the future.
The seminar gathered over 17 organisations of different language groups and regions, including representatives of small languages of the North Caucasus, Siberian groups such as Komi, Mari, Finno-Ugric languages but also associations of German minorities, Azeri, Ukrainian, Polish and Assyrians. The seminar was one of the series of activities in different regions of the Russian Federation that deals with so many languages on its territory.
Place and Date/Ort und Datum: Moscow/Moskau, 14-15 April 2010Further information/Weitere Informationen: Chylinski@ecmi.de