Minority and minoritised languages as part of the European linguistic and cultural diversity

Tanulmány 01-06-2023

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs, at the request of the PETI Committee, inquires about the connection between the “Protection of European linguistic and cultural diversity” and the “Protection and promotion of European minority and minoritised languages” in Europe. The situation of the European minority and minoritised languages can be seen as a barometer of the current state of European linguistic and cultural diversity. The available data show that more than two thirds of linguistic minorities within the European Union have significantly decreased in number in recent decades (1991-2011). At the pan-European level, too, two thirds of minorities have declined over the same period. The same must be assumed as to the use of the languages spoken by these minorities. Some positive cases – all located in the European Union – show, however, that there are exceptions to this general trend and that there are indeed possibilities, with which the paper deals, for the successful protection and promotion of minorities and their languages, thus enhancing the linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe.