Language diversity. A challenge for Europe

Papers / 12.10.10
Language diversity. A challenge for Europe

Language Diversity. A Challenge for Europe is the transcription of the conference hosted 4th March 2010 by the European Parliament and organized by EFA.

The book is a transcript of the most relevant contributions of the seminar and it intends to give an overview of the different kinds of unresolved problems concerning the situation of languages in Europe. It follows the same structure as the one from the speeches of the conference and it is divided in three parts. The first one (Languages without a State) refers to the languages that suffer unfair discrimination within the Union. The prime example is Catalan, which is spoken by more than 10 million Europeans and can not be called a ‘minority language’ despite the fact that it bears no official status at a European level. Galician and Basque are in a similar situation, they are not under direct threat but actions should be taken to ensure its
survival. The second (Minority languages within Member States) describes the situation of European lesser used languages and pays special attention among other endangered European languages to the Occitan, Breton, Franco-Provençal Frisian, Welsh and Corsican cases. Finally, the last part describes the situation of those languages bearing no legal protection outside the borders of the state that considers them official yet they do not risk to disappear. A classic example is Hungarian: Official in Hungary, but with no recognition in Slovakia, Romania and Serbia where Hungarian speaking communities are not entitled to its official use.

This paper is also available in French: Diversité linguistique. Un défi pour l’Europe.