On April 11, the Network to Promote Linguistic Diversity launched the European Roadmap for Linguistic Diversity, an initiative aimed at providing new ideas on the promotion of all languages of Europe, including official, Constitutional, regional and migrant languages. The initiative was part of the Irish Presidency of the European Union and counted on the support of the Government of Ireland, the European Commission and the European Parliament.
The NPLD’s Chair, Ms Jannewietske de Vries, gave an overview of the main issues to be covered by the Roadmap and highlighted the need for all language communities to participate on equal footing. For their part, the ambassador of Ireland to Belgium, Mr Eamonn Mac Aodha, and the Irish Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Mr Dinny McGinley, exposed the situation of Irish and emphasized the economic and social benefits of being a multilingual Europe.
As for the European institutions, Ms Kinga Gal, Member of the European Parliament and former Chair of the Intergroup for Traditional Minorities, National Communities and Languages expressed the continuous support and commitment of the Parliament to the promotion of languages and announced her direct involvement in the elaboration of the Roadmap. And finally, Mr Jonathan Hill, Deputy Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Vassiliou welcomed the initiative and encouraged the NPLD to continue the promotion of Europe’s linguistic diversity.
Over the next few months, the Roadmap for Linguistic Diversity will develop a high level vision of a multilingual and linguistically diverse Europe and will provide some guidelines which will outline future developments for all the languages of Europe, including state, regional, minority, lesser used, cross border and migrant languages. It will also outline the collective responsibility of the European Union and its members to preserve, promote and enhance the use and status of all the languages spoken in Europe today.The event was attended by a high number of representatives from a wide variety of institutions, including Think Tanks such as the Migration Policy Group or the Yuste Foundation, Permanent Representations of European States, Members of the European Parliament and European Associations working in the field of language and culture such as the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC), among others.