Politics & Civil Society Cluster Representatives Attend ELEN General Assembly in Cagliari

Image courtesy: European Language Equality Network (ELEN)
Sergiusz Bober visiting representatives of the municipality of Carbonia. Image courtesy: Comunu de Carbònia

The European Centre for Minority Issues, through its Politics & Civil Society cluster, participated in the European Language Equality Network’s (ELEN) General Assembly held in Cagliari. ELEN, a network dedicated to promoting and safeguarding European lesser-used languages, hosted the assembly in the presence of esteemed international organizations, calling for Italy to ratify the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML).

The General Assembly saw the presence of influential figures, including the UN Special Rapporteur for Minorities, representatives from the Council of Europe, the European Union, and Italian Senator Elena Testor. ELEN's President, Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones, and Secretary-General, Davyth Hicks, made a resounding call for Italy to ratify the Charter, which was originally signed by Italy in 1998 but remained unratified.

ECMI Cluster Representatives' Role

Sergiusz Bober and Craig Willis, representing the ECMI's Politics & Civil Society cluster, actively participated in the assembly. They presented the Cluster and its work to the delegates, whilst through networking activities looked for synergies involving research and advocacy initiatives.  Sergiusz Bober, in particular, was invited to meet with representatives of the municipality of Carbonia in south-western Sardinia. This interaction occurred within the delegation of participants representing various bodies, entities, and organizations working toward the revitalization and maintenance of the Sardinian language.

ECMI's Commitment to Linguistic Diversity

The ECMI's involvement in the ELEN General Assembly emphasizes the organization's dedication to the preservation and promotion of linguistic diversity and minority languages across Europe. With the Politics & Civil Society cluster as a new member of ELEN, the ECMI continuously engages in research, advocacy, and networking initiatives aimed at supporting minority languages and their communities.

Future Collaborations and Networks

The ECMI's participation in the ELEN General Assembly has laid the groundwork for potential collaborations with the municipality of Carbonia. The visit by Sergiusz Bober, a senior researcher at ECMI, highlighted the innovative model of bilingualism initiated by Carbonia's municipal authorities. This model, focused on efficient communication and the use of contemporary IT tools, has the potential to inspire similar initiatives in other sociolinguistic contexts. The possibility of collaborative research concerning bilingualism at the local level is being explored, further strengthening the ties between ECMI and the municipality of Carbonia. (More about the visit in this FB post)

The General Assembly also witnessed the adoption of several resolutions by member organizations, underscoring the collective commitment to linguistic diversity and protection of regional and minority languages in Europe.

For more information on ELEN and the General Assembly, please the press release.

For more information about our research on minority language media, please see the cluster's subpage.

Sergiusz Bober visiting representatives of the municipality of Carbonia. Image courtesy: Comunu de Carbònia
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