In addition to the 24 European oficial languages, there are a further 90 labelled as "regional or minority" languages in the European Union (Report on Endangered European Languages and Linguistic Diversity in the European Union, 2013) and around 50 million EU citizens, or 10% of the population, speak regional or minority languages (Strasbourg Manifesto, 2014). Currently, the linguistic rights of these language communities and these people are not guaranteed.
This is the context in which UNESCO Etxea, in collaboration with the Donostia-San Sebastián Foundation , 2016, is organising the European Language Diversity Forum: an event that will take place in Donostia-San Sebastián on 15th and 16th December this year and that will bring together partners, organisations and specialists from civil society on a European level, as well as organisations from the world of research and culture, and government bodies, to reflect on and debate the different aspects of the development of minoritized languages in Europe.
The Forum aims to create a large-scale opportunity to set up agreements on specific strategies that allow vulnerable languages to be revitalised and standardised. It is also hoped that it will boost collaboration between the public and private sectors, and between the different European levels of participation: social organisations, the world of research and culture, and governmental organisations (regional, national, European and multilateral).
The European Language Diversity Forum will also work on the attitudes and discourses that have a negative impact on language diversity and contribute to the reduction of non-dominant languages, on the basis that linguistic rights are considered fundamental rights of individuals and their communities.