The Chair of the European Network to Promote Linguistic Diversity (NPLD) and Vice-minister for Language Policy in the Basque Country, Patxi Baztarrika, has met today with the Head of the Secretariat of the Charter for Regional or Minority Languages at the Council of Europe, Sixto Molina, to present the work of the Network to the highest authority in regional and minority language issues at the Council of Europe. The meeting, held at the Council of Europe premises in Strasbourg, has served to initiate a dialogue between the NPLD and the Charter Secretariat and to explore potential avenues for collaboration in the promotion and dissemination of the Charter and to raise awareness of the importance of promoting Europe’s regional and minority languages.
Baztarrika highlighted the work undertaken by the NPLD and advocated for the need to adopt an inclusive approach to multilingualism, an approach that incorporates all the languages of Europe, regardless of number of speakers, political or economic status of languages. Mr. Baztarrika has put special emphasis on the work being currently developed by the NPLD: the European Roadmap for Linguistic Diversity.
As stated by Baztarrika, “the European Roadmap represents the core guidelines of the NPLD over the next five years and wishes to adopt a new approach on multilingualism in Europe. All the languages, and not just the 24 official EU languages, must be able to contribute on equal footing to the European project. They must be able to participate in all European programmes, projects and initiatives and they must be the fundamental base for the social cohesion and the economic boost of European societies. It is only by adopting this inclusive and respectful approach with all the language communities that we will be able to build a common Europe” – he said.
Baztarrika highlighted the need to build bridges between the different institutions working on the promotion of linguistic diversity in Europe at an EU level. For his part, Molina expressed the willingness to cooperate in the promotion and dissemination of the Charter for Regional or Minority Languages with the different stakeholders working in the field and showed an interest in following the development of the NPLD Roadmap for Linguistic Diversity.