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Endangered languages report wins strong support

Press release from François Alfonsi MEP

A report calling for more support for Europe's endangered languages by Corsican MEP François Alfonsi has won unanimous support in the European Parliament's Culture Committee.

This is the European Parliament's first major work on language diversity in many years.

The report regrets the drastic cuts to EU funding available for promoting language diversity over the past decade. It calls on the EU and its Member States to 'commit wholeheartedly to a policy of protection and promotion that is up to the job of preserving the diversity of the EU's linguistic and cultural heritage by supporting ambitious protection policies within the language communities concerned.'

It also calls on the EU to support a language policy that 'enables children to acquire two mother tongues from the very earliest age.'

The committee considered over 170 amendments to the report, before approving it by 30 votes to zero in a rare display of unanimity on what is often a politically contentious issue.

François Alfonsi said:

"This unanimous vote underlines the European Parliament's commitment to cultural diversity.

"Whilst Europe fights for cultural diversity on an international level, we owe it to ourselves to be a shining example of diversity here in our own communities.

"That commitment to cultural diversity certainly exists in some European countries, though less so in others. All European member states should evolve and adopt the best European standards in this area.

"This is particularly true for France which refuses to adopt the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages despite assurances given by François Hollande."

The final report will be voted upon by the full Parliament in July or September.

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