The European Language Equality Network (ELEN), of which Plataforma per la Llengua holds a Vice-presidency, has called on the Italian Government and senators to ratify the Council of Europe's European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML). The Constitutional and Foreign Affairs Committees in the Senate are meeting this week to discuss Charter ratification.
It should be noted that the ratification of the ECRML by Italy would entail a better status for Catalan in l'Alguer, a Catalan-speaking city in Sardinia. To that effect, the Charter would recognize the right of the Algherese population to learn Catalan at school and would allow, according to the degree of compromise acquired by Italy, the translation of official documents and bills to Catalan. Furthermore, the ratification of the ECRML would boost the production of cultural works in Catalan and would guarantee regular audiovisual broadcasts in this language, among other improvements.
On the other hand, Plataforma per la Llengua highlighted that in addition to a legal framework guaranteeing the linguistic rights of the Algherese population, promotion and rebound of the Catalan language in l'Alguer requires that both Catalan-speakers and the territories making up its linguistic area are connected, so that Catalan can be used as a mean of communication by the Algherese population in locations other than their city. It is for this reason that the NGO of the Catalan language has recently launched a campaign named Volem volar ("We want to fly"), which calls for resuming regular flights between Catalonia and l'Alguer.
In a letter to the Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Government Ministers and Senators, ELEN stated that "the Charter has become a benchmark for the protection of European language diversity - a diversity that we all share in as part of Europe's rich cultural heritage."
ELEN underlined that by ratifying the Charter, "Italy will join the other leading European states that have made a commitment to protecting this vital part of their cultural heritage for future generations."
For that matter, Senator Francesco Palermo, one of the rapporteurs for ECRML ratification, said that "Italy has the unique chance to celebrate its linguistic diversity. While some languages are well protected, others are disappearing. "Senator Palermo continued to say that "ratification of the ECRML means not only to comply with a European commitment, but to make a step forward in the protection of the extraordinary cultural heritage of the country". If the Committees are able to conclude on the topic this week the Bill will be able move forward to Plenary where the chances for final Charter ratification are seen as fairly good.