European integration is a linguistic challenge insofar as it brings into ever closer contact peoples who had lived until quite recently immersed in a monolingual discourse. In that context the minority language communities, for once, are in a privileged situation. First, because they know what it means to have to coexist in a plurilingual context, they are not scared by the idea. Second, because a number of studies show that early bilingualism produces cognitive effects that make it easier to learn third and fourth languages. And third, because more than one language community —and I am thinking of communities separated by their kin-state, such as Alsatians, South Tyrolese or Albanians—, whose language, sidelined or questioned for a long time, makes them natural links for the purposes of trade, tourism and, in short, interstate communication.
As a main favourable factor we find the urgent need for Europe to create a far more tolerant atmosphere towards language diversity, not just as a theoretical concept, but also as an everyday phenomenon.
At the same time, however, we are under increasing linguistic pressure which does not come only from the metropolis in question, but also from a wide range of contacts. In some cases, and thinking of how things are in Catalonia, that pressure will push back Catalan in the face of Spanish; in others Spanish will be the language under pressure, from English.
I am aware that a document like this which aims to keep to an academic register should not leave room for the author to express feelings of optimism or pessimism, but I have no doubt that European integration will represent a good opportunity for language communities in the future. So far, the experience of state integration of most minority communities has been negative: they have lost members and, when they have been able to conserve a differentiated identity, that conservation has dispensed with fundamental elements such as language and culture and has been limited to the cruder folklore aspects of the cultural heritage.
Our challenge, then, is to find ways of defending a framework in which positive discrimination, however you care to label it, is accepted as legitimate and necessary and is applied with firmness and common sense.
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A N N E X 1
EDUCATION, TRAINING AND YOUTH36
To promote European multilingualism by promoting the early teaching of European Union languages, while maintaining Europe's cultural and linguistic diversity.
2) COMMUNITY MEASURE
Council Resolution of 16 December 1997 on the early teaching of European Union languages.
1. The White Paper "Teaching and learning: towards the learning society" advocates proficiency in three EU languages for every European citizen.
2. The early learning of one or more languages in addition to one's mother tongue(s) may contribute to achieving this objective since flexibility and receptiveness are greatest at a young age.
The integration of learning and increased awareness of this kind into compulsory schooling would also enable all pupils to have access to it.
3. The Council calls upon the Member States:
• to encourage the early teaching of languages and diversify the languages taught;
• to encourage cooperation between schools providing this type of education and foster pupils' virtual mobility and, if possible, their physical mobility;
• to promote the continuous provision of teaching of several languages;
• to increase awareness among all those involved, particularly parents, of the benefits of early language learning;
• to develop and distribute the most suitable teaching materials, including multimedia resources;
• to prepare teachers working in the field of early language teaching to meet these new needs.
4. The Council invites the Commission to support measures taken by the Member States to achieve the above objectives and to promote early language teaching within the framework of existing Community programmes:
• by providing support for measures aimed at strengthening European cooperation and measures for disseminating and exchanging experience and good practice;
• by promoting transnational cooperation in the development of teaching materials and means of evaluation;
• by supporting the distribution of suitable, high-quality teaching materials via European networks;
• by supporting measures aimed at increasing teacher mobility and at updating and improving the skills required to teach languages to pupils at an early age;
• by fostering cooperation between teacher training institutions;
• by encouraging contacts between pupils, in particular by means of virtual mobility.
The Commission is also invited to bear early language teaching in mind when considering future cooperation in the field of education.
4) DEADLINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE LEGISLATION IN THE MEMBER STATES: Not applicable
5) DATE OF ENTRY INTO FORCE (if different from the above)
6) REFERENCES: Official Journal No C 1 of 3 January 1998
A N N E X 2
Council Regulation (EEC) No 2392/89 of 24 July 1989 laying down general rules for the description and presentation of wines and grape musts37
Official Journal L 232, 09/08/1989 p. 0013 - 0037
5. The information specified:
- in Article 2 (1) shall be given in one or more other official languages of the Community so that the final consumer can easily understand each of these items of information,
- in Article 2 (2) and (3) shall be given in one or more other official languages of the Community.
Notwithstanding the first subparagraph:
(a) an official language of the Member State of origin shall be used:
- for the name of a geographical unit which is smaller than the Member State, as referred to in Article 2 (3) (a),
- for the information in respect of bottling, as referred to in Article 2 (3) (f), and
- for the name of the vineyard or group of vineyards referred to in Article 2 (3) (g).
Such information may:
- be repeated in one or more other official languages of the Community for table wines originating in Greece, or
- be given solely in another official language of the Community, where the latter is equated with the official language in the part of the territory of the Member State of origin in which the geographical unit referred to is situated, where these practices are traditional and customary in the Member State concerned;
(b) one of the terms mentioned in Article 2 (3) (i) shall be indicated in accordance with the provisions laid down therein.
Such an indication may be repeated in one or more other official languages of the Community for table wines originating in Greece;
(c) it may be decided that the information as to:
- the type of product or a particular colour, as referred to in Article 2 (2) (h),
- the method of production of the table wine, as referred to in Article 2 (3) (d), and
- the natural or technical conditions governing the production or the ageing of the table wine, as referred to in Article 2 (3) (h), shall be provided solely in one official language of the Member State of origin.
(d) Member States may permit:
- the information referred to in the first indent of (a) or in the first sentence of (b), in the case of table wines produced and put on the market in their territory, and
- the other information referred to in the first subparagraph, in the case of table wines put on the market in their territory, to be given also in a language other than an official language of the Community where the use of such language is traditional and customary in the Member State concerned or in a part of its territory.
For the description of table wines intended for export, provision may be made under the implementing rules for other languages to be used.
Article 4 1. In the description of a table wine on the labelling, the name of a ‘geographical unit which is smaller than the Member State', as referred to in Article 2 (3) (a), shall be taken to mean the name of:
- a small locality or group of such localities,
- a local administrative area or part thereof,
- a wine-growing subregion or part thereof,
- a region other than a specified region.
The geographical units referred to in the first subparagraph shall constitute production areas within the meaning of the first subparagraph of Article 72 (3) of Regulation (EEC) No 822/87.
2. In the case of table wines produced in their territory and described in accordance with Article 72 (2) and (3) of Regulation (EEC) No 822/87, the producer Member States may prohibit the use of one or more names of geographical units which are smaller than the Member State, as referred to in paragraph 1.
A N N E X 3
Council Regulation (EC) No 1493/1999 of 17 May 1999 on the common organisation of the market in wine38
Official Journal L 179 , 14/07/1999 p. 0001 – 0084
DESCRIPTION, DESIGNATION, PRESENTATION AND PROTECTION OF CERTAIN PRODUCTS OTHER THAN SPARKLING WINES
D. Languages which may be used for the labelling
1. The information on the labelling must be given in one or more other official languages of the Community so that the final consumer can easily understand each of these items of information.
Notwithstanding the first subparagraph:
- the name of the specified region,
- the name of another geographical unit,
- the traditional specific terms and the additional traditional particulars,
- the name of the vineyards or their associations and bottling particulars,
shall be given solely in one of the official languages of the Member State in whose territory the product was prepared.
The information referred to in the second subparagraph may be repeated in one or more other official languages of the Community for products originating in Greece.
The information referred to in the first and second indents of the second subparagraph may be given solely in another official language of the Community, where such language is equated with the official language in that part of the territory of the Member State of origin in which the specified region referred to is situated, if use of that language is traditional and customary in the Member State concerned.
In the case of products obtained and put on the market in their territory, Member States may allow the information referred to in the second subparagraph also to be given in a language other than an official language of the Community, if use of that language is traditional and customary in the Member State concerned or in part of its territory.
Member States of production may allow, in respect of their products, the information referred to in the second subparagraph also to be given in another language if use of that language is traditional for such particulars.
2. Further exemptions from paragraph 1 may be decided on.