The Intergroup met on Thursday 17th March to hear a presentation from the Network to Promote Linguistic Diversity (NPLD). The group also welcomed the Alsacian deputy in France’s National Assembly, Armand Jung, who is leading on one of the regional language bills recently tabled in the Assembly.
Representing the NPLD was Mr. Meirion Prys-Jones, CEO of the Welsh Language Board. He described the activities of the network which gathers together the language planning boards of Member-States (Ireland, Estonia) and autonomous jurisdictions (Wales, Catalonia) in order to share best practice and to set up projects in language development.
Mr Prys-Jones noted the success that the network has had in bringing together language planners from the ‘constitutional’ languages such as Catalan with smaller state languages such as Estonian, and in promoting regional languages as ‘success stories’. However, he noted his concerns regarding EU funding for regional languages which has seen a sharp decline in real terms since 2001.