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Study on the Devolvement of Legislative Power & Provisions

The Dutch government has decided to study the possibilities of devolving political power from the central government in The Hague to the provincial government of Fryslân, in particular with regard to the Frisian linguistic and cultural affairs. In preparation of the political debate on these matters the provincial government of Fryslân requested the Mercator Research Centre to do a study on four bilingual and three trilingual regions in Europe where the central governments have devolved some of the political powers to the concerned regions.

Mercator Research Centre has written a report ‘Study on the Devolvement of Legislative Power & Provisions’ focused on six detailed questions related to the legislation and the implementation of language policy. The heart of the report consists of the presentation of eight case studies of bilingual or trilingual regions, including the Frisian case study. The presentations are based on the answers each country has given to six questions. The findings of these questions are summarised in a synoptic table which provides a comparative analysis in a glance. The conclusions of the study are also presented in the report.

Mercator Research Centre asked experts from abroad to help answering some questions. The experts have got the necessary knowledge about their Regional Minority Language [short: RML] to amend and update the report. Those reading the report enhanced its value, as they added a lot of relevant information which gives a better insight into the complexity of this matter.

Hopefully the report can give a substantive contribution to the debate about the possible transfer of political powers and means from the Dutch government to the provincial government of Fryslân.