Migrations and Cultural and Linguistic Minorities in Europe

Events / 26.5.16

Europe has great linguistic and cultural diversity. The European Union is home to more than 80 indigenous languages. The majority of them are minority languages, which do not have official status. A large number of migrants arriving in Europe poses a challenge, not only  for their reception, accommodation and social integration, but it can have also have unexpected consequences for specific groups or communities.

Evidently, the arrival of large numbers of migrants to an area where more than one language coexist – one of them being the socially dominant – carries with it a risk for the other language groups. Newcomers could attach themselves to the majority language as a means of social integration, ignoring the minority one. That situation could bring the minority language to an ever greater minoritization. Poor management of migratory flows, and their impact on minority languages and cultures could put some in danger of disappearing. It is clear that sound and sensitive policies should be pushed forward to avoid such risks.

The aims of the conference are to study the impact of migratory flows on the cultural and linguistic diversity in Europe, reflect on their consequences, propose policies for proper management migration and integration, and present success stories and best practices.


08:45 – Accreditation of participants

09:15 – Welcome words by organizers

09:30 – Opening lecture: “Complex diversity, immigration and language policy” Peter Kraus (University of Augsburg)

10:30 – Lecture: “Language, ethnic or civic element?” Nuria Franco Guillen (Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona)

11:00 – Coffee Break

11:15 – Panel: “Minority Languages and Migrants Throughout Europe”

  • Catrin Wyn Edwards (University of Aberystwyth, Wales)
  • Cor van de Mer (Fryske Akademie, Friesland)
  • Oriol Amoros (Generalitat de Catalunya)
  • Xabier Aierdi (University of the Basque Country)

12:45 – Panel: “Experiences in the Basque Country”

  • Petra Elser, “Workplace and language learning”
  • Leire Diaz Gerenu, “A school experience in Vitoria-Gasteiz”
  • Ainara Santaquiteria, “Auzoko and other experiences of the Basque revitalisation movement”

14:00 – Closure

Download the program here.


When: Thursday 26th May 2016, from 08:45 to 14:00
Where: Sala Azkue, Bizkaia Aretoa, Abandoibarra 3 (Basque Country)


Interpretation will be provided in English, Basque and Spanish.


Do you plan to attend? Please RSVP here. No registration fees.

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Media inquiries can be addressed to info@ideasforeurope.eu or via Twitter @IdeasForEurope

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This Conference is financially supported by the European Parliament. The European Parliament is not liable for the content of the conference or the opinions of the speakers.

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This conference is a joint initiative of Ezkerraberri Fundazioa, ehuGune and Centre Maurits Coppieters.