European Language Equality Network General Assembly 2019 held in Brittany with UN Special Rapporteur for Minorities

This year’s European Language Equality Network (ELEN) General Assembly, bringing together civil society language organisations from across Europe, was held in Roazhon-Rennes, Brittany, on 26th October with the UN Special Rapporteur for Minorities Dr. Fernand de Varennes and the Breton Deputy for Morbihan, Paul Molac.

Ferran Suay (ELEN President, Acció Cultural del País Valencià), Tangi Louarn (Kevre Breizh, ELEN Vice-President) and Davyth Hicks (ELEN Secretary-General) opened proceedings with the UN Special Rapporteur being welcomed to the General Assembly to address the ELEN membership.

For 2019, Dr. de Varennes has focused on minority language education and human rights globally with the Forum for Minority issues, holding successful regional meetings and collecting recommendations on the issue before the final meeting at the UN in Geneva in November.  Dr. de Varennes discussed his work under his current mandate and gave an incisive analysis on the effective use of the UN Treaties for minoritised language rights. He underlined how NGOs must be strategic in their advocacy work and emphasized the importance of civil society campaigns in achieving protection and rights.

Paul Molac, the Morbihan Deputy who leads the Working Group on regional languages and cultures in the French National Assembly, discussed his work and campaigns for lesser-used languages in the French state, and announced a demonstration on November 30th in Paris over threats to immersion education.

Stéphanie Stoll, President of the Diwan schools organization, discussed the successes and challenges faced by the Breton immersion school organization, as well as the recent issue of the tilde in Fañch.

Read more here. (elen.ngo, 20.10.2019)

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