• Date: Wednesday June 1st
  • Hosts: GUE-NGL and EFA in partnership with ELEN.
  • Location: European Parliament, JAN 2Q2, Brussels, Belgium.
  • Interpretation: Irish, Welsh, Catalan, French, Spanish, English.

8.30 -9.30 Registration and Signing In.

9.30 Opening session.
Welcome speech
Liadh Ní Riada MEP, Davyth Hicks (ELEN Secretary-General).

Introductory Remarks
Jordi Sebastia MEP, Josep-Maria Terricabras MEP, Josu Juaristi MEP, Marina Albiol MEP, Ramon Tremosa MEP (Moderator Davyth Hicks).

10.10 Language Rights Issues Keynote: “Making the minority language invisible, the evasion of the minority language crisis in policy.” Mr Conchúr Ó Giollagáin (Soillse, Oilthigh na Gàidhealtachd agus nan Eilean). (Moderator, Liadh Ní Riada)

10.25 Language Rights and discrimination in Europe (Moderator, Liadh Ní Riada)

Language Rights Issues: “Respecting linguistic diversity? Language discrimination in the EU.” Mr Davyth Hicks (ELEN Secretary-General).

  • “Language speakers’ rights, revisiting the 1998 OSCE Recommendations,” Mr Miquel Strubell, (Linguapax International).
  • “Protecting Irish language rights,” Mr Rónán Ó Domhnaill (An Coimisinéir Teanga/ Irish Language Commissioner).
  • “Linguistic supremacism,” Mr Ferran Suay (Acció Cultural del País Valencià (ACPV) / Universitat de València, ELEN Vice-President).

11.30 COFFEE

11.45 Case studies on language discrimination (Moderator Marina Albiol)

  • Breton: Mr Tangi Louarn (President, Kevre Breizh and ELEN-EBLUL France).
  • Catalan: Ms Neus Mestres (Director, Plataforma per la Llengua)
  • Irish: Mr Ciarán Mac Giolla Bhéin (Advocacy Manager, Conradh na Gaeilge)
  • Welsh: Ms Tamsin Davies (Cymdeithas Yr Iaith Gymraeg).
  • Basque: Mr Paul Bilbao-Sarria (Secretary-General, Kontseilua)
  • Hungarian in Slovakia: Mr János Fiala (Szlovákiai Magyarok Kerekasztala)
  • Hungarian in Romania: Ms Krisztina Sándor (Erdélyi Magyar Nemzeti Tanács).
  • Occitan: Mr Alexis Quentin (Institut Estudis Occitan).
  • Galician: Mr Paolo Filgueiras (A Mesa pola Normalización Lingüística)

13.30 LUNCH 

15.00 European and International Norms on regional or minority language rights: are they sufficient? (Moderator Josu Juaristi)

  • Mr Sixto Molina, Council of Europe, European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML), Head of Secretariat.
  • Ms Belen Rodriguez de Alba, UN OHCHR, Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Section.
  • Ms Iryna Ulasiuk, OSCE High Commissioner National Minorities.
  • Ms Kristina Cunningham, EU Commission, DG Education and Culture.

16.00 Language Rights Issues Keynote: “Overcoming language discrimination, the global development of language rights.” Mr Rob Dunbar, Roinn na Ceiltis is Eòlas na h-Alba, Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann (Moderator, Liadh Ní Riada).

16.15 Case study on the cultural importance of language in terms of linguistic rights
Mr Liam Ó Maolaodha, Oireachtas na Gaeilge (Moderator Liadh Ní Riada)

16.25 COFFEE

16.35 Solutions (Moderator, Liadh Ní Riada)

  • A new alternative, “the Protocol to ensure language rights” created by civil society – the way forward for establishing substantive linguistic rights – Paul Bilbao-Sarria (Kontseilua).
  • Better implementation of existing mechanisms, the ECRML, FCNM, ECHR.
    Sixto Molina (CoE ECRML), Kristina Cunningham (EU Commission), Belen Rodriguez de Alba (UN OHCHR).
  • Languages Directive, new legislation
  • Mr Rob Dunbar: Best practices in protecting languages against discrimination.
  • Mr Davyth Hicks: An EU Directive for regional, minority or endangered languages?
  • Mr Conchúr Ó Giollagáin: EU Emergency Commission on Language Endangerment:a proposal.
  • Better promotion in the media of linguistic rights
  • Páidí Ó Lionáird (TV Presenter 7 Lá, TG4).
  • Mr Maitiú Ó Coimín (Tuarisc.ie).

17.40 Discussion. (Moderator, Liadh Ní Riada).

17.50 Concluding Speech “Dealing with language discrimination and ensuring linguistic rights in the EU, recommendations to the EU.” Liadh Ní Riada MEP (Moderator Davyth Hicks)

17.45 Close.

Registration: The hearing is open to the public, in order to gain entry participants must register at least seven working days before the event at: http://www.greens-efa.eu/events/registrations/796-respecting-linguistic-diversity.html

Media, websites, webstreaming

The event will be webstreamed live in six languages on this page: http://efa.greens-efa.eu/respecting-linguistic-diversity-15524.html

Alternatively it can be viewed directly at the service page: http://web.greensefa.streamovations.be/index.php/event/stream/respecting-linguistic-diversity-language-discrimination-in-the-eu

EFA –Group http://efa.greens-efa.eu/respecting-linguistic-diversity-15524.html

EFA-Greens http://www.greens-efa.eu/respecting-linguistic-diversity-15524.html

ELEN https://elen.ngo/2016/04/15/elen-hearing-respecting-linguistic-diversity-language-discrimination-in-the-european-union/

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/935043269948258/

Video Intro Clip: https://www.facebook.com/LiadhNiRiadaMEP/videos/770116863089850/

Press Release: https://elen.ngo/2016/05/12/respecting-linguistic-diversity-language-discrimination-in-the-eu/

Hashtags #LanguageRights #ELEN

Twitter coverage: https://twitter.com/EUROLANG

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Eurolang-174907085047/

Contact phone numbers

Liadh Ní Riada MEP Office: +32 (0)2 284 5322

ELEN Office: +32 (0)2 473 683 290

Jordi Sebastia MEP Office: +32 (0)2 284 5743

E-mail: davyth.hicks[at]eurolang.net (ELEN) or Liadh.NiRiada[at]europarl.europa.eu