Partnership for Diversity - ‘Europe comes to Skye’

The European Bureau for Lesser Used Languages ‘Partnership for Diversity’ conference takes place this week (29th – 30th June) at Sabhal Mor Ostaig on the Isle of Skye.

The theme of the conference which is hosted annually in a country which has a lesser used language, is “Implementing Language Legislation”.

A variety of educationalists, politicians, experts and specialists in linguistics from various European Countries which have European Lesser Used Languages, will give papers at the event. The speakers and participants will highlight the theme from their respective linguistic situations as well as from the comparative perspectives in the domains of the public authorities.

The Conference will focus not only on the language legislation which has been achieved in the various regions with a lesser used language. The participants and experts from all over Europe will also discuss recommendations for linguistic communities without sufficient legal protection so far as well as funding possibilities for the smaller language groups within the new European Union budget period of 2007-2013.

The speakers include Ms Siv Sandberg, Professor in Public Administration at the University of Abo Akademi in Finland and speakers from the South Tyrol in Italy, Dublin, Wales, Slovakia, Catalonia, and the Chief Executive of Bord na Gàidhlig.

Mr Tom Band, President of the UK MSC of the European Bureau of Lesser Used Languages will also be present.

Councillor Hamish Fraser, Chairman of The Highland Council’s Gaelic Select Committee said: “I am delighted that we are hosting such an important and prestigious conference. The theme of the conference ‘Implementing language legislation’ is very appropriate given that we now have a Gaelic language Act, and public authorities have a major role to play in implementing the Gaelic Act.

“The Gaelic Act requires public agencies to develop Gaelic Language and Culture Plans, it is therefore important that Gaelic is included on the lesser used language European agenda. The conference will give all the participants who have lesser used languages the opportunity to exchange ideas and to learn from other European nations. I am really looking forward to meeting the delegates again, and discussing any resolutions which may arise.”

Bòrd na Gàidhlig Chief Executive Allan Campbell said: “This is a particularly auspicious time for Gaelic with the Gaelic Language Act being commenced and our first ever National Plan for Gaelic being prepared. Bòrd na Gàidhlig is breaking new ground for Gaelic with a focus on language planning, and we look forward as always to hearing the experience of other linguistic communities across Europe.

“Bòrd na Gàidhlig is delighted to welcome the Partnership for Diversity conference to Skye. This event is all about sharing knowledge and experience and the Bòrd is happy to be supporting the event and participating in it.”


28 Jun 2006