The longest-running partnership of the Mercator Research Centre is the Mercator Network. This Network was founded in 1987, and at that time consisted of three institutions: Mercator Education (the forerunner of Mercator Research Centre), Mercator Legislation (at CIEMEN, in Barcelona) and Mercator Media (at the University of Aberystwyth, Wales). Each focused on a different aspect of multilingualism and the position of minority languages. Since then the network has existed in various forms, and gradually expanded. In its most recent cooperative project, LEARNMe (2013-2016), the network consisted of:
- CIEMEN, Barcelona, Catalonia
- Centre Universitari de Sociolingüística i Comunicació (CUSC), University of Barcelona, Catalonia
- Mercator Institute for Media, Languages and Culture, University of Aberyswyth, Wales
- Institute for Slavic and Baltic languages, Finnish, Dutch and German, University of Stockholm, Sweden
- Research Institute for Linguistics – Hungarian Academy of Sciences (RIL-HAS), Budapest, Hungary
- Mercator Research Centre, Leeuwarden/Ljouwert, Netherlands
SOAS World Languages Institute
For almost ten years, the Mercator Research Centre has maintained a standing cooperation with the SOAS World Languages Institute, part of the University of London. More recently, CIDLeS (Centro Interdisciplinar de Documentação Linguística e Social) from Minde, Portugal, has joined this partnership. Every year, one of the institutes hosts an expert seminar. A recent example is the seminar on Language documentation, teaching materials and didactics, held in Leeuwarden/Ljouwert in December 2016. The next seminar will be held in Lisbon in October 2017.
Mercator is, through the Fryske Akademy, an associative member of the NPLD – Network to Promote Linguistic Diversity. The NPLD brings together national and regional governments, universities and associations from around Europe that are involved with language planning for minority languages. Mercator is currently one of the associative members elected to sit in the Steering Committee of the NPLD.
On a regular basis, Mercator Research Centre confers with the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN), concerning future projects and events.
Cooperative research projects
The Mercator Research Centre is continuously involved in international cooperation projects. Over the years, Mercator has taken part in many such projects, often as the coordinating partner. Current examples of international multi-partner projects are COMBI and Teaching in Diversity.
Partnerships at home
Aside of its international networks, the Mercator Research Centre is also proud of its partners closer to home. This of course includes the provincial government of Fryslân, as a major subsidizer. In recent years, Mercator has also cooperated with or carried out work for:
- the municipal government of Leeuwarden;
- the municipal government of Het Bildt;
- EBLT, the umbrella of organisations striving for the position of Frisian, Low Saxon and Papiamentu in the Netherlands;
- Afûk, the official promotion organisation for the Frisian language;
- CEDIN, the educational support provider for the northern Netherlands;
- University of Groningen, in particular the Department for Frisian Language and Culture and its Minorities & Multilingualism master programme;
- Leeuwarden-Fryslân European Capital of Culture 2018.