At the initiative of the Council of Europe, Strasbourg, the European
Day of Languages is celebrated since 2001 on 26 September.
European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
800 million Europeans throughout the Council of Europe
47 member states are encouraged to learn more languages,
at any age, in and out of school. Being convinced that linguistic
diversity is a tool for more intercultural understanding,
the Council of Europe promotes cultural richness and plurilingualism in whole Europe.
On the occasion of the day, a range of events
are organised across Europe: happenings for children,
television and radio programmes, language classes, conferences, etc.
Member states and potential partners, in particular schools,
are given a free hand to organise activities. To coordinate the activities organised at national level,
the Council of Europe asks participating countries to nominate "National
Relay Persons" who also disseminate promotional material produced by the Council of Europe.
year 2008 marks the 10th anniversary of the entry into force of the European
Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.
"This Charter is designed to protect and promote regional and minority
languages as a key aspect of cultural heritage in Europe and to allow people
who speak a regional or minority language to use it in private and public
life", Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe said
at a press conference. Up to 2008, in order to protect their linguistic
diversity, 10 Member-states have signed the Charter and 28 have ratified