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PfD 2009
Formal launch of National Minority Intergroup
The European Parliament Intergroup for Traditional National Minorities, Constitutional Regions and Regional Languages had its first constitutive meeting in Strasbourg on Thursday (17th December), electing two co-chairs and three vice-chairs.

Catalans in trial independence vote

200,000 people, over 30% of the potential electorate, from 168 towns and villages across Catalonia voted on Sunday in an emblematic referendum organised by civil society on whether Catalonia becomes independent.

EU funded project to develop language vitality barometer

An EU-funded team of researchers is targeting the development of a vitality barometer for European languages. This barometer would offer Europeans a reliable method to determine which languages are in danger of becoming extinct. The ELDIA ('European language diversity for all') project has received EUR 2.7 million in EU support.

Commission will ‘closely monitor’ Slovak language law situation

In Tuesday’s Parliament debate with Commissioner for Multilingualism Leonard Orban, initiated by acting national minority and regional language Intergroup leader Kinga Gal, the Commissioner said that the Commission will “closely monitor” the situation with the implementation of the controversial Slovak language law. The law restricts the usage of languages other than Slovak in the public sector, backed with the threat of fines up to 5,000 euro set to be imposed after January. 

EBLUL at the UN Forum on Minorities

The UN Forum for Minorities was held in the UN at Geneva last week (12th-13th November) and gave the opportunity for a broad range of minority organisations and UN Member States to contribute to discussions on best practice in obtaining effective minority political participation.

PfD 2009, EBLUL calls for abolition of language based discrimination

Communicating in minority languages equips people for the modern world by encouraging an openness to diversity and an aptitude for multilingualism, said President Neasa Ní Chinnéide to CNN news on the closing day of the Partnership for Diversity conference. It summed up the spirit of the conference which dealt with the topics of multilingualism and linguistic rights and led to a resolution calling for the abolition of language based discrimination in Europe.

Sámi rockband SomBy wins Liet International 2009

somby_liet.jpgThe young Sámi rockband SomBy has won the sixth edition of the European minority song contest, Liet International, in the Frisian capital of Ljouwert / Leeuwarden.

The average age of the five members of SomBy is eighteen with lead singer, Miira Suomi, the eldest at 20. SomBy qualified for Liet International by winning the Sámi Grand Prix in Kautokeino, Norway, at Easter. In Friesland they managed to impress both the jury and the audience with the strong and powerful live performance of their rock song ‘Ii idit vel’.

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