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3rd LEARNMe Workshop: Barcelona (8-9 April 2015)

On Wednesday the 8th and Friday the 9th of May, the third Workshop of the LEARNMe project took place in Barcelona. Under the title "Recent developments regarding the legal protection of minoritized languages: different European perspectives", the workshop brought together specialists from a wide range of European regions.

The workshop was organized by CUSC, the Centre Universitari de Sociolingüística i Comunacacío of the Universitat de Barcelona, which has replaced CIEMEN as a partner in the LEARNMe project. Aim of the sessions was to share a number of legal and political developments regarding a variety of European languages, and to explore the sociolinguistic consequences of these developments. Each session of two or three presentations included a discussion of the topics, moderated by an invited expert.

Each of the two days of the workshop had a separate thematic focus. The first day had as its description “Recent developments regarding the legal protection of minoritized languages: a legal approach”. Speakers included Dr. Vesna Crnic-Grótic, chair of the Committee of Experts of the ERML, who spoke about the role of the ERML in Spain, and Ms. Ania Rolewska, MA from Aberystwyth University, who discussed the role of nationalist and regionalist parties in driving minority language promotion, focusing especially on her home region of Wales. This day’s programme also included a visit to EAPC, the Catalan School of Public Administration, which publishes the Revista de Llengua i Drett. Explanations of the activities were given by the director of the school and the magazine’s editor-in-chief, followed by a tour of the historic building.

Presentations on the second day focused on the effects of legal changes on the sociolonguistic reality of different regions. Again, the range of topics was very diverse. Multiple presentations were given on the position of Catalan in three regions outside Catalonia (Aragon, Valencia and the Balearic Islands). Other speakers discussed sociolinguistic issues in Sweden, Brussels and the Crimea. The full list of presentations given can be found below.


Wednesday April 8th - Recent developments regarding the legal protection of minoritized languages: a legal approach

First session, moderated by Tom Moring (University of Helsinki)

·         Vicent Climent (​Network to Promote Linguistic Diversit, NPLD): Minoritized languages within the EU

·         Eva Pons (​Universitat de Barcelona): The legal protection of Aranese Occitan in Catalonia

Second session, moderated by Eithne O’Connell  (Dublin City University)

·         Anna Rolewska (Aberystwyth University): Nationalist and regionalist parties as drivers of minority language policy and planning

·         Alessia Vacca​ (University of Sassari): Minority languages in public administration in Northern Ireland

Third session, moderated by Jeroen Darquennes (University of Namur)

·         Vesna Crnic-Grotic, ​(Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages):  The role of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in Spain

·         Giovanni Poggeschi ​(Università del Salento): Recent developments with regards to minority language in Italy

·         Eneritz Zabalet​a (Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour): Recent developments with regards to minority language in France

Thursday April 9th – Impact of legislation on sociolinguistic reality

First session, moderated by  F. Xavier Vila (Universitat de Barcelona)

·         Rudi Janssens (​Vrije Universiteit Brussel): The impact Brussels & Brussels lingüistic regime on sociolinguistic Dynamics on Brussels and the Rand - recent developments.

·         Miquel Cabal​ (Universitat de Barcelona):  Crimea at a crossroads: perspectives for lingüístic diversity in Crimea in the light of the last year’s events

·         Jarmo Lainio (​Stockholm University): The interplay between the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, national authorities and NGO’s – The case of teacher education for national minority languages in Sweden

Second session, moderated by Vanessa Bretxa

·         Antoni Ignasi Alomar (​Universitat de les Illes Balears): The transformation of public language policies in the Balearic Islands during the last four years (in Catalan).

·         Avel·lí Flors​ (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya): From soft promotion to defencelessness? Sociolinguistic effects of changing language policies in València

·         Natxo Sorolla​ (Universitat de Barcelona / Universitat Rovira i Virgili): Changing policies with regards to minority languages in Aragon and its sociological and sociolinguistic impact


Video material of all presentations and short interviews with experts are now available on YouTube, and can be easily accessed through the website of CUSC-UB.

Position paper

LEARNMe Position Paper 3 (.pdf) presents the main contents of the presentations and discussions that took place during the third LEARNMe Workshop, held in Barcelona, 8-9 April 2015. In addition, it builds on the previous documents by providing a first analysis of all three Workshops and Position Papers together. It was written by Xavier Vila and Guillem Pujades, with support from multiple colleagues at CUSC – University of Barcelona.