European Union

European Commission

The European Commission is an executive body of the European Union responsible for legislation and laws. The Policy Areas section of the Commission’s website includes information about language-related policies and programs. In addition to more general multilingualism resources, one section is devoted to information about “regional and minority” languages in Europe. In addition, the site is a key source for relevant European Union reports and studies, including the Euromosaic Study that explored the state of minority languages in Europe.


The European Bureau for Lesser-Used Languages (EBLUL) is a non-governmental agency attached to the European Commission. The website includes information about the organization’s programs and initiatives. It also features links to information about endangered languages in Europe. In addition, reports and legislation relevant to minority languages produced by the EU and its agencies can be accessed. Navigation menus are available in many languages spoken in the EU, but not all documents are available in all languages (much of the text is still in English). Finally, the website links out to information sources provided by some of the individual countries. In this way, the website acts as a portal through which national language-related information can be reached.


Eurolang is a news agency operated by the European Bureau for Lesser-Used Languages. The website is an important source for general and governmental news related to language policy in Europe, including relevant legislation, meetings and conferences, opinion pieces, and current events (ranging from publications of interest to protests and political actions). The site also contains a language data section that gives a synopsis of the state of Europe’s endangered languages.

Many tongues, one family

The European Union, not surprisingly, has a strong commitment to multilingualism. Much of the attention in this regard is given to the 20 official languages, as seen in the Eurobarometer multilingualism study, but the minority languages of Europe are also protected by legislation. Many Tongues, One Family: Languages in the European Union is a 2004 official publication designed to present EU language policies and priorities to a wide audience and includes information about lesser-used languages.

Support for minority languages

Grin, F. & Moring, T. (2002). Support for minority languages in Europe: Final report (European Commission Contract No 2000-1288 / 001 – 001 EDU-MLCEV) (PDF file). This document, produced under the auspices of the European Bureau for Lesser- Used Languages and the European Centre for Minority Issues, presents a vast body of research on Europe’s minority languages and presents recommendations for official linguistic support and policies from the European Union. It is a key source of information about EU policies and programs for minority languages, including such detailed information as program budgets and evaluation of their effectiveness.

European Parliament

European Parliament session document A5-0271/2003 of July 14, 2003 (PDF file) is a “Report with recommendations to the Commission on European regional and lesser used languages – the languages of minorities in the EU – in the context of enlargement and cultural diversity.” The document is a proposal to the Committee on Culture, Youth, Education, the Media and Sport that outlines the rationale and actions whereby the government can provide legislative support to minority languages. It also provides information about the state of various languages and as well as official opinions about appropriate action for promoting language preservation.

%d bloggers like this: