The EU has a positive policy towards regional and minority languages, enshrined in Article 22 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, which states, “The Union respects cultural, religious and linguistic diversity”.
In 1992, the European Commission initiated a detailed study of regional and minority language communities in the EU. As new countries joined the Union, the scope of the study was widened. For more information visit the Euromosaic page.
In addition, the European Commission provided support to the ADUM project (2004-05). ADUM informs people and organisations working to support regional or minority languages about European funding opportunities.
Other recent projects include CRAMLAP (Celtic, Regional and Minority Languages Abroad Project), which has undertaken an audit and evaluation of Higher Education provision of Celtic and other regional and minority languages in Europe, and the Network of European Language Planning Boards, established to promote co-operation between minority language planning boards in Europe.
The Network to Promote Linguistic Diversity (NPLD) is a pan-European Network which covers regional, minority, indigenous, cross-border and smaller national languages to promote linguistic diversity in Europe. The main focus is providing information about and easy access to a large network of organisations that can share ideas, information and best practice regarding the promotion of less widely used languages.
For an overview of regional and minority language projects supported by the European Union, see the “Regional and Minority” Language Products page.