Mercator Network PictureMercator Network PictureMercator Network PictureMercator Network PictureMercator Network PictureMercator Network Picture

Second ECI on minority rights wins at EU Court of Justice

The Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) welcomes the judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the case Izsák-Dabas vs Commission. The Court states that the European Commission erred in law by refusing to register the European Citizens’ Initiative ‘Cohesion policy for the equality of the regions and sustainability of the regional cultures’, that is aimed at improving the situation of national minority regions. Therefore, the Court sets aside the judgment of the General Court and annuls the Commission’s decision. FUEN considers that after the judgement regarding the Minority SafePack Initiative, the current judgement of the Court is further proof that the European Union has the obligation to protect and promote the autochthonous minority communities.

Mercator Network Picture

AUOB Cymru: March for Welsh independence

Amid uncertainty over Brexit, different civil society organisations are calling for a march on the 11th of May in Cardiff in support of Welsh independence. United as AUOB Cymru (Wales - All Under One Banner), they hope to attract thousands of people. AUOB Cymru and AUOB Scotland consider working together. "We think this will really upset the British establishment."

Read more

Mercator Network Picture

New report on national minorities in Albania

In its fourth opinion on Albania, the Council of Europe’s Advisory Committee on the FCNM urges Tirana to make operational the county’s law on the protection of national minorities through the adoption of further legislation. Recommendations include the expanding of public broadcasting in minority languages, and the empowering of community councils to decide on the use of minority languages.

Read more

Limburgish recognized as official regional language

Limburgish is recognized by the Dutch government as an official regional language. In a covenant that will be concluded after the summer, municipalities, province and central government agree that they will work together to preserve and stimulate the use of the Limburg language. Interior Minister Kajsa Ollongren: “If we do nothing, we run the risk that the language will eventually disappear completely." The dialect must be given a place in education and in preschools. Critics responded that this could be at the expense of Dutch language proficiency. According to Ollongren, a bilingual education is good for children's development. "My mother is from Sweden and I speak Swedish with my own children. They can switch flawlessly from Swedish to Dutch." A similar covenant was concluded on Lower Saxon, last October.

Mercator Network Picture

Catalan Wikipedia wants to complete shorter articles

The Wikipedia in Catalan reached the 600,000 articles already. But they could use some new writers for the basic entries. The objective is to improve the quality of Wikipedia in Catalan and to multiply the number of 'reference articles'.

Read more

Mercator Network Picture

First International Day of Multilingualism

The 27th of March is from now on the International Day of Multilingualism, commemorating the date engraved on the Rosetta Stone (a granodiorite stele from 196 BC, inscribed with a decree in three languages).

Read more


COMBI Conference


Theme: Migrants and minority languages in health and social care

Mercator Network Picture

UN Forum on Minority Issues in Brussels

On 6-7 May 2019, the European Parliament in Brussels hosts a UN Forum on Minority Issues, discussing education, language and the human rights of minorities. This conference is organised by the UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues and the Tom Lantos Institute, in partnership with ELEN and other NGOs. Register before the 12th of April.

Read more

Mercator Network Picture

Languages in an Open World (LOW 2019)

You are cordially invited to join the international conference 'Languages in an Open World' in Graz, Austria, from 20-22 November. Topics are, e.g., changes in the linguistic landscape as a consequence of migration and globalisation, and the role and status of languages in pluralistic societies. Submission deadline is 30 June 2019.

Read more

Book-reading is more important for Frisian than for Dutch


The quantity of language input at home is more important for the development of the minority language than for the development of the majority language. Evelyn Bosma and Elma Blom examined whether the same holds true for the frequency of specific language activities at home. The results showed that reading in Frisian predicted both Frisian vocabulary and morphology, while reading in Dutch only predicted Dutch vocabulary. This shows that reading at home is most important for the development of the minority language. The study is published in the Journal of Child Language.

Mercator Network Picture

Plurilingual approach in classroom on video

The team of the Erasmus+ project Virtual Language App (VirtuLApp) has started with the recordings of the didactical videos, part of the Toolkit they are developing. The videos are intended for sharing best practices of plurilingual approaches across European schools. The first recordings took place at a school in Joure, Friesland (The Netherlands). The Belgian partners from ATiT came to Friesland for a full day of class recordings and interviews with teachers and pupils. All videos will be published on the VirtuLApp website. If you would like to participate, please email the project coordinator.

Read more


First CSLW multiplier event for toolkit feedback

On 14 March, 2019, the Fryske Akademy/ Mercator organised the first CSLW multiplier event. The Erasmus+ project CSLW developed a curriculum that supports highly educated refugees in their search for work. This teacher's toolkit consists of two modules: one for teachers which can be used in the classroom, and one for students with which they can work independently. After a short introduction and an evaluation workshop, the partnership had a fruitful discussion with the 18 teachers and learners about the materials. The consortium is grateful for the useful input, and will use it to improve the toolkit materials.

Read more


4 - 6 April 2019, Moscow (Russia)
Linguistic Forum 2019: Indigenous languages of Russia and beyond
Organized by the the Institute of Linguistics of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the CIPL.

8 - 10 April 2019, Jönköping (Sweden)
Multilingualism, Diversity and Democracy (MuDD) Conference 2019
Organized by the School of Education and Communication, Jönköping University.

12 April 2019, Swansea (United Kingdom)
Language learning of migrant health care workers in bilingual workplaces (Multiplier event COMBI project)
Organized by Swansea University.

9 - 11 May 2018, Corfu (Greece)
Multilingual Language Theories and Practices (MLTP2019)
Organized by MultiLingNet and Ionian University.

15 - 16 May 2019, Hamar (Norway)
Multilingual Childhoods: Education, Policy and Practice (MC 2019)
Organized by Inland Norway University and Oslo Metropolitan University.

21 - 23 May 2019, Bielefeld (Germany)
International Conference on Multilingualism and Multilingual Education (ICMME 19)
Organized by Bielefeld University.

22 - 24 May 2019, Leeuwarden (The Netherlands)
17th International Conference on Minority Languages (ICML XVII)
Organized by Mercator European Research Centre.

29 - 30 May 2019, Västerås (Sweden)
Interactional Competences and Practices in a Second Language (ICOP-L2)
Organized by Mälardalen University.

17 - 19 June 2019, Jyväskylä (Finland)
Thinking, Doing, Learning: Usage based perspectives on second language learning (TDL4)
Organized by University of Jyväskylä.

26 - 28 June 2019, Leeuwarden/ Ljouwert (The Netherlands)
International Conference on Language Variation in Europe (ICLaVE 10)
Organized by Fryske Akademy.

1 July 2019, Ghent (Belgium)
Symposium: The various guises of translanguaging
Organized by the Ghent University and Lancaster University.

2 July 2019, Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Ninth Cambridge Conference on Language Endangerment
* Deadline Call for Papers: 7 April 2019
Organized by the University of Cambridge.

3 - 5 July 2019, Soria (Spain)
Fifth International Colloquium on Languages, Cultures, Identity in Schools and Society
Organized by the Loyola Marymount University School of Education.

4 - 5 July 2019, Lisbon (Portugal)
2nd International Symposium on Endangered languages and language varieties in the Iberian Peninsula (LAPI 2019)
Organized by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Social and Language Documentation (CIDLeS, SOAS World Languages Institute and the project FRONTESPO.

8 - 11 July 2019, Athens (Greece)
12th Annual International Conference on Languages & Linguistics
Organized by the Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER) and the Athens Journal of Philology.

27 - 28 August 2019, Chania (Crete, Greece)
International Symposium on Monolingual and Bilingual Speech 2019 (ISMBS 2019)
Organized by the Institute of Monolingual and Bilingual Speech.

17 - 20 September 2019, Barcelona (Spain)
6th Barcelona Summer School on Bi- and Multilingualism (BSBM)
Organized by Pompeu Fabra University.

26 - 27 September 2019, Stirling (United Kingdom)
Languaging in Times of Change (tlang#2)
Organized by University of Stirling.

14 - 15 November 2019, Udine (Italy)
2nd International Colloquium on Plurilingualism (2nd ICP )
* Deadline Call for Papers: 30 April 2019
Organized by Udine University / Centro Internazionale sul Plurilinguismo.

20 - 22 November 2019, Graz (Austria)
Languages in an Open World 2019 (LOW 2019)
* Deadline Call for Papers: 30 June 2019
Organized by SOAS World Languages Institute (UK), Mercator European Research Centre (NL), the Interdisciplinary Centre for Social and Language Documentation (CiDLeS), and the University of Graz /Plurilingualism Research Unit – Treffpunkt Sprachen (AT).

Please send us your comments and suggestions!

twitter link

Please add us to your contacts to ensure the newsletters land in your inbox.