ECRML Language Guides

The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML) is the only convention in the world devoted to the protection and promotion of languages used by traditional national and ethnic minorities.

Since its opening in 1992, 25 states, members of the Council of Europe, have ratified the convention. After the ratification, the convention is entering into force and is being implemented in the respective State. The Charter obliges its States Parties to actively promote the use of regional or minority languages in virtually all domains of public life: education, courts, administration, media, culture, economic and social life, and transfrontier co-operation. However, due to its ‘menu’ system, no language can be covered by the whole Charter. Rather, the states apply to each language Part II and to certain language groups also an individual selection of provisions from Part III of the Charter in accordance with the situation of the language.

In order to make it more practical, the Council of Europe is issuing special language guides. The language guides were conceived to provide an overview of the provisions applying to languages covered by the Charter and to structure and intensify the dialogue between the minority language speakers/their NGOs and the authorities of the states concerned. This citizen’s guide does not replace the Charter. For the authentic wording of all the provisions accepted by the Parties and the list of regional or minority languages covered by them, please refer to the Council of Europe’s website here.

The ECRML Language Guides portal is a project and a standing agreement between the ECRML Secretariat at the Council of Europe and ECMI. These guides are entirely produced by the Council of Europe.

Currently the language guides exist for the following languages:

ECMI founders:

The German Federal GovernmentThe German
Federal Government
The Danish GovernmentThe Danish
The Federal State Schleswig-HolsteinThe Federal State