11/04/2013: Minister of State Dinny McGinley launches European Roadmap for Linguistic Diversity
Dinny McGinley T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, will launch the European Roadmap for Linguistic Diversity in the Embassy of Ireland in Brussels today (Thursday, 11th April 2013). This new roadmap is an initiative of the Network to Promote Linguistic Diversity (NPLD) which aims to promote all languages used today in Europe and to outline a series of positive actions to safeguard their future.
Speaking at the launch Minister McGinley said: “This roadmap aims to conserve, promote, and enhance the status of all the languages of Europe. It is a timely initiative.”An alarming decline in the number of languages spoken throughout the world has been predicted in recent years, and it has been estimated that between 60% and 90% of the world’s languages may be at risk of extinction within the next 100 years. The NPLD covers state languages which are also official languages of the EU, e.g. Irish and Estonian; languages with official recognitions in regions of some member states, e.g. Basque and Welsh; and endangered languages such as Corsican and Breton.
The NPLD will raise awareness of the positive aspects of language diversity and highlight the role languages can play in the personal, social, and economic development of Europe. In this way the network creates bonds among the different peoples of Europe, in the spirit of the motto of the EU “United in Diversity”.
The European Roadmap for Language Diversity will create a high-level vision of a multilingual and linguistically diverse Europe and will outline future developments for all the languages of Europe, including state, regional, lesser-used, cross-border and migrant languages. The Minister of State said: “I congratulate the NPLD for highlighting the need for a more concerted strategy to promote the use of these languages. The Irish proverb ‘Ní neart go cur le chéile’ is very fitting: strength comes from working together.” Irish has been an official language of the EU since 2007.
The Minister continued: “As a native speaker of Irish and as Minister of State for the Gaeltacht, I am delighted to have the opportunity to learn about and to lend my support to the efforts that are being made to promote linguistic diversity on the European stage. The Irish Government are currently supporting another roadmap, that is, the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language. I note with interest that some of the features of the European Roadmap are also found in our 20-Year Strategy such as use of language in the home; education and training in the mother tongue; supporting young people; use of social media and new technology; and using languages to promote economic development.”