Developments in the Field of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages: June 2003-June 2004

In: European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online
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  • 1 Lawyer, co-secretary of the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

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  • 1 On 30 June 2004, therefore at the very end of the relevant period, the Committee of Ministers examined and made public the second report concerning Hungary. The Committee of Ministers also adopted its own recommendations to the Hungarian authorities. However, for editorial rea- sons, this report will be commented on in the next volume, together with all the other reports of the first series of second reports.

  • 2 The reports of the Committee of Experts made public by the Committee of Ministers are avail- able on the Charter's website http://www.coe.int/minlang. 3 In this respect see Jorg Polakiewicz, Treaty-Making in the Council of Europe (Strasbourg, 1999), 43-7. 4 See Article 3(2) of the Charter. 5 Report of the Committee of Experts on the application of the Charter, ECRML (2004)1, paras. 36-7. 6 Ibid., para. 37. 7 For a general presentation of the Charter and particularly for the different scope of Parts II and III of the Charter, see Antonio Bultrini, "Developments in the Field of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages", 2 EYMI (2002/3), 435-43. This approach was specifically praised by the Committee of Experts in finding A. of the report.

  • 8 See paras. 33-5 of the report for some introductory remarks to this aspect. See also the British government's comments on this point, at page 63 of the report. 9 See finding C. of the report. 10 Ibid., infine. 11 See finding B. of the report. 12 See finding A. of the report. 13 Ibid. 14 See also the factual clarifications provided by the British government, at page 69 et seq. of the report.

  • 15 See finding F. of the report. 16 See finding K. of the report.

  • 17 See paras. 131-4 of the report as regards Welsh. See also paras. 232-4 of the report, concerning Scottish Gaelic (this provision was not chosen for Irish). 18 See the second report on the application of the Charter in Norway, ECRML (2003)2, paras. 14, 23, 29-31, 38, 40, findings D. and F., the Recommendation RecChL (2003)2 adopted by the Com- mittee of Ministers on 3 September 2003, point 2, the first evaluation report on the application of the Charter in Norway, ECRML (2001)6, paras.11,19-20, 28, 32, 35, 38, 42, 45, 47, 49, finding D., and the Recommendation RecChL (2003)2 adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 21 November 2001, point 2. Cf. also the first evaluation report on the application of the Charter in Sweden, ECRML (2003)1, paras. 30-32, concerning the different issue of Scanian. The Commit- tee of Experts has not really taken the view that Scanian should be considered as a language in its own right. As the Committee of Experts has stated in the report in question, "(w)here there exists a linguistic continuum with persons in adjacent territories speaking variants similar to one another, the distinction between a language and a dialect can be a difficult question" (ibid., para. 31). It has therefore confined itself to expressing its concern for any form of prejudice against a specific dialect or language, irrespective of the official status.

  • 19 See the first evaluation report on the application of the Charter in Slovenia, quoted above, para. 36. 20 Ibid., para. 37. 21 Ibid., para. 38, as well as finding C. and Recommendation RecChL (2004)3 adopted by the Com- mittee of Ministers on 9 June 2004, point 1. 22 Ibid., paras. 39-40, as well as finding C. and Recommendation RecChL (2004)3 adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 9 June 2004, point 1. 23 Ibid., especially paras. 43-44, as well as finding D. and Recommendation RecChL (2004)3 adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 9 June 2004, point 2. 24 Ibid., especially paras. 47-54, as well as finding H., and Recommendation RecChL (2004)3 adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 9 June 2004, point 5. 25 Ibid., para. 52.

  • 26 Ibid., paras. 83-91, as well as finding E., and Recommendation RecChL (2004)3 adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 9 June 2004, point 3. 27 Ibid., especially paras. 155-9, as well as finding F., and Recommendation RecChL (2004)3 adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 9 June 2004, point 4. At para. 158, the Committee of Experts has even quoted the position of the European Commission of the European Community con- cerning the benefits of linguistic skills in the economic sphere. 28 Ibid., paras. 69-73. 29 Ibid., para. 76. 30 Ibid., para. 78. 31 Ibid, para. 79. 32 Ibid., para. 65.

  • 33 Ibid., paras. 94 and 168. 34 Ibid., paras. 151 and 226. 35 Opinion of 22 September 2000, made public on 31 October 2001, especially at para. 22, available on the Framework Convention website (www.coe.int/T'/E/human rights/minorities/).

  • 36 See the first evaluation report on the application of the Charter in Denmark, ECRML (2004)2, paras.15, 28-9, and 49. 37 Ibid., paras.13-4, 22-6, as well as finding C. and Recommendation RecChL (2004)2 adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 19 May 2004, point 2. 38 Ibid., para. 27. 39 Ibid., finding B.

  • 40 From the name of its promoter, an Italian member of the European Parliament from the German- speaking minority in the North-East of the country (Alto-Adige/Sudtirol), A5-0271/2003. 41 See recommendation 2.11 and point 17 of the additional detailed recommendations. 42 See point 6 of the additional detailed recommendations; see also point 7 concerning the Frame- work Convention. 43 See point 26 of the additional detailed recommendations; see also point 27 concerning the Framework Convention. 44 See point 28 of the additional detailed recommendations. 45 See point 30 of the additional detailed recommendations.

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