Giving a regional and minority languages a say (2013)
The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages is a unique treaty between states that have signed up to a language-friendly future.
Language decline can be stopped and even reversed, as examples from many countries have shown, where the younger generation are learning to use the languages traditionally spoken in their families and regions. In this way, entire cultures have been saved and are prospering once again.
However, this is not the case for all European languages. Indeed for some languages the number of speakers is continuously decreasing.
If not reversed, this trend will inevitably lead to the extinction of languages in regions where they have been traditionally used for centuries and where they represent an integral part of regional identity.
Countries that join the Charter family have decided to protect and promote languages that are at risk of becoming marginalised in countries where these languages have a traditional presence.