The Network to Promote Linguistic Diversity (NPLD) is launching a roadmap for protecting linguistic diversity. Through a number of strategic recommendations, it presents a well structured plan which would ensure that the languages of Europe are able to survive and prosper. The draft document was presented on Thursday, February 5th at the European Parliament in Brussels.
During the presentation RMDSZ MEP Csaba Sógor said: this draft document is highly important since it serves the protection of both national, regional, and minority languages as well as the endangered and immigrant languages. The roadmap aims to strengthen the European Union's commitment to promote linguistic diversity and to support this common European value with practical lines of action. The preparation of the draft document started two years ago, being based on a report on the protection of endangered languages adopted by the European Parliament in September 2013, which points out the necessity for supporting the survival of minority languages on a national and community level, and the need to strengthen language rights.
The Roadmap identifies four major practical lines of action. First, it emphasizes the creation and expansion of the European Union legislation in this regard, and it states that EU programs should be made available in all languages. In the opinion of MEP Csaba Sógor one of the most important aspects of the document is that it states that minority languages are not a disadvantage, but a plus for social and economic development. “For us, minority communities, it is vital that this roadmap is elaborated and enacted, as it emphasises the protection of vulnerable languages such as regional, minority or endangered languages. It states that the European Union and its institutions should encourage Member States to support these languages, recognise their official status and strengthen them at a national level” - explained the MEP. Csaba Sógor believes that all means should be used so that the EU Member States search and find a satisfactory solution to address this issue. “On the official day of the mother tongue, on the 24th of February we will organise a professional conference entitled Language, identity, power at the European Parliament. It will be a good opportunity to keep the issue on the agenda”- explained the RMDSZ MEP.
There will be a wide consultation on the European Roadmap for Linguistic Diversity in the upcoming months, its the final version being scheduled to be presented in October 2015. The roadmap is expected to be enacted in 2016 and the objectives should be reached by 2019. The NPLD will start assessing the outcomes and impact of the project in 2018.