Ian Hudghton has joined colleagues from across the EU in calling for the
European Commission to ensure that minority languages are given adequate
protection ahead of EU enlargement next year. The demand was made at a
major conference on linguistic diversity held in the European Parliament
in Brussels. The event was organised by EBLUL (European Bureau for Lesser
Used Languages) and the European Free Alliance group, of which the
Scottish National Party MEPs are leading members.
Speaking after the event, Mr Hudghton said:
the 10 new member states join us next year, around 46 million minority
language speakers will live within the EU, including our own Gaelic and
Scots speakers. This is a substantial number of people who choose to
speak a language other than the official language of their nation state, a
language in which they may conduct their everyday life or which may well
be the main language of their communities.
languages are not only a precious feature of Europe's cultural heritage,
they are a fundamental part of the everyday lives of tens of millions of
people. This Conference aimed to put these languages into the spotlight
and to put in motion steps which should secure their future survival. The
SNP believes that this can only be guaranteed with the level of official
recognition and structured support such as that envisaged by the kind of
official agency proposed. The European Commission must not delay in
setting up the new Linguistic Diversity Agency so that we are ready for
the challenges and opportunities of the enlarged European Union."
Conference, which was chaired by Plaid Cymru MEP Eurig Wyn, was addressed
by a number of MEP’s from the European Free Alliance group and by Slovak
Deputy Prime Minister, Pal Csaky.