Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Call for proposals: Promoting and safeguarding regional or minority languages and cultures

The European Commission, DG XXII, has published an open call for proposals for actions aimed promoting and safeguarding regional or minority languages and cultures in the European Union.

The European Parliament has adopted a number of resolutions aimed at encouraging a European Union which respects linguistic and cultural diversity, and calling for steps to be taken in favour of regional or minority linguistic communities.

In accordance with these resolutions, the Commission is implementing an action in favour of regional or minority languages and cultures. The languages able to benefit from this action are the autochthonous languages traditionally spoken by part of the population of a European Union Member State. This definition excludes both immigrants' languages and artificially created languages.

Considering the competences of the Member States and in respect of the principle of subsidiarity, any activity with a political or statutory impact will be excluded.

The principal objectives of this action are to:

- Encourage initiatives in the fields of education, culture and information;
- Safeguard and promote regional or minority languages and cultures;
- Strengthen the European dimension and stimulate cooperation between all those seeking to preserve and promote said languages and cultures;
- Improve the exchange of information and the transfer of experience;
- Systematize, improve or promote the teaching of regional or minority languages in all education channels, from nursery school to adult training.

Priority will be given, within the limits of available resources, to activities and projects in the following areas:

- Pilot teaching projects in the different levels of education;
- Initial pilot and continued teacher training; adult training;
- Publications for children and adults;
- Production of teaching material;
- Work on standardization of language, lexicographical work and terminology;
- Research action;
- Conferences, colloquiums and seminars;
- Cultural events;
- Use of language through the media: production of films, videos, radio and TV programmes;
- Information networks and documentation centres;
- Meetings between speakers of a same language situated in different European Union countries. The meeting must have a cultural content and aim at promoting and safeguarding the language.

As funds are limited and demand high in this sector, the Commission will base selection on the following criteria:

- a. The European dimension: projects involving the participation of at least two linguistic communities or Member States, or else capable of generating the transfer of experience and knowledge from one region to another;

- b. The multiplier effect:
. The project has links with existing projects or initiatives, or will have lasting and widespread effects;
. The envisaged beneficiaries will be language planners, belonging to research centres or voluntary institutions or organizations promoting regional or minority languages;
. The project will use the latest methods for designing teaching media and for the widespread dissemination of information (new information, communication and teaching technologies);

- c. The need for urgent action: the project involves a sensitive region or local community;

- d. Quality and presentation of the application:
. The project is innovatory and of renowned quality;
. Sound organization has gone into the project, especially in terms of commitment of participating establishments, real and transparent management structures, clear coordination procedures, work schedules and a precise budget;

- e. Cost-effectiveness ratio: the proportion and financing level sought are reasonable, appropriate and properly justified.

Generally speaking, these criteria are cumulative. They are not necessarily all applicable; whether or not they are applied will depend on the nature of the project as well as the circumstances.

The Commission envisages only part funding, Community aid being complementary and subsidiary to own contributions and/or national, regional or local aids.
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