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Tomaszewski: EP issues strong voice in defense of traditional languages ​​and cultures

11 September 2013

Tomaszewski: EP issues strong voice in defense of traditional languages ​​and cultures

“The Commission should pay attention to the fact that, with their policies, some Member States and regions are endangering the survival of traditional languages inside their borders, even if those languages are not in danger in the European context.”

The Commission should pay attention to the fact that, with their policies, some Member States and regions are endangering the survival of traditional languages inside their borders, even if those languages are not in danger in the European context.” – said Waldemar Tomaszewski MEP (ECR) leader of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania.

Today, the European Parliament adopted a resolution whose main purpose in line with the Treaty of Lisbon, is the preservation and promotion of the cultural and linguistic heritage of the European Union with due regard for diversity. At the same time, the report refers to art. 22 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, which states that the Union shall respect cultural, religious and linguistic diversity, which is that any attempt to introduce the exclusivity of the language is a restriction and violation of the fundamental values of the Union.

Such a resolution is even more important in the context of the ongoing Lithuanian presidency of the EU.

“Article 167 of the Lisbon Treaty clearly states that “the Union shall contribute to the flowering of the cultures of the Member States, while respecting their national and regional diversity” and therefore encourages action intended not only to preserve and safeguard the richness of the Union’s linguistic heritage as part of its diversity, but also to take a step forward in enhancing and promoting this heritage in addition to Member States’ policies. – said Waldemar Tomaszewski MEP (ECR) – The main problems before Polish and other traditional ethnic minorities in Lithuania, who recognize Polish as their native language are: the prohibition of Polish names of towns and streets, Lithuanian spelling of Polish names in official documents, and failure to introduce Polish as an auxiliary language in public offices. All of these factors in the long run, unfortunately, do not serve the linguistic diversity, pluralism, knowledge of historical, social, and cultural purpose of the European Union as an integral basis for European identity. Linguistic diversity should be seen as an asset, not a burden and should therefore be encouraged and promoted, and should not be treated as a tool for achieving political, ethnic or geographic targets.”

In its adopted resolution, the European Parliament calls on the Union and the Member States to fully engage in the protection and promotion of the diversity of the unique cultural and linguistic heritage of the Union based on common best practices now available in many European language communities; Calls on the governments of the Member States to condemn practices of linguistic discrimination; calls on Member States and the Commission to honour the commitments that they have entered into upon accession to the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, be it on their own territory or in connection with international agreements; calls on the EU authorities to ensure an effective protection of linguistic diversity, and calls on the Member States which have not yet done so to sign and ratify the European Charter for regional or Minority Languages (1992) and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (1995).

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