Victory for language equality in the European Parliament
Press release from EFA MEP Jill Evans (Wales)
The European Parliament has overwhelmingly endorsed a report by Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans which calls for action at the EU level to bridge the digital language divide.
The report looks at the use of languages in digital technology and makes a number of recommendations for action by the European Commission.
Although the Commission acknowledges that the Digital Single Market must be multilingual, no comprehensive EU policy has been proposed to address the problem of digital language barriers.
The report was endorsed by 592 MEPs with only 45 against and 44 abstentions, giving a substantial boost to the campaign for the digital protection of lesser-spoken languages.
Jill Evans MEP said:
"I am pleased that the European Parliament agrees with my view that action needs to be taken to address the digital gap between European languages.
"European citizens must be able to access and use the digital world in their own languages, including in minority languages. This will require investment and leadership at the EU level.
"This is a huge opportunity for the EU to demonstrate a real commitment to language equality, for the speakers of all of Europe's languages, including Welsh.
"My report calls for a series of measures that will go a long way towards achieving that."
The report calls on the EU to:
(1) improve the institutional frameworks for language technology policies,
(2) create new research policies to increase the use of language technology in Europe,
(3) use education policies in order to secure the future of language equality in the digital age,
(4) increase the support for both private companies and public bodies to make better use of language technologies.