We warmly welcome all European regional, minoritised and endangered language (RML) organisations to join ELEN. Currently we comprise 150 civil society member organisations, ranging from single language organisations to umbrella groups comprising several member organisations, as well as universities, and research institutes working in the field.
We also have close working relations with several governments and welcome governments as supporters to work with us.
ELEN acts to share best practice in language promotion and protection and to set up joint, funded language projects between its members. It means that Breton activists, for example, are able to work together with Basque organisations, Catalans with Welsh speakers, Irish speakers with Hungarians.
In addition, ELEN is the only effective advocacy organisation for regional, minoritised and endangered languages at the EU, Council of Europe and UN level, ensuring that RML issues are addressed and acted upon.
Working with ELEN means that members will be working with some of the most highly qualified experts in the field. ELEN comprises experts who have, for example, written the ECRML, academics specialised in revitalising Finno-Ugric languages, been successful in bringing discrimination cases to the European Court of Human Rights, teachers from regional language immersion schools awarded for excellence, specialists in language psychology, as well as leading European figures in national and linguistic minority advocacy work.
Moreover, ELEN member organisations comprise the thousands of activists at the local level who are active in protecting their languages and who are vital in driving revitalisation. ELEN members are, therefore, able to network with other language communities, set up joint language projects, share experiences, develop best practice in regional or minority language protection, as well as disseminate this best practice globally.
Furthermore, because of ELEN’s long-standing working relations with the UN, the Council of Europe and the EU it means that members have access to these international institutions via the network. One example of this direct contact is that the Head of the Secretariat of the Councl of Europe’s European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages regularly attends ELEN meetings in order to meet and brief the ELEN membership. ELEN is also registered with the UN’s ECOSOC which gives our members the opportunity to engage with all of the UN’s Treaty bodies and to attend relevant meetings and conferences.
One of ELEN’s roles is to act as a watchdog for our languages and ELEN membership means that we share intelligence and information on all of the latest political developments at the European level which may affect your language and work with you to take the appropriate action.
In addition, ELEN members have access to all of the latest news on EU funding, information on how to access it, and guidance on making applications, for example with the EU’s Erasmus Plus. Importantly, ELEN is a network, which means that members have access to a vast range of potential project partners from different European states, all of which have their own expertise in working on language projects.
For further details on membership and fees please contact: elen.secretariat (at) elen.ngo