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The ELEN network asks the French State not to persecute councils that allow full meetings to be addressed in Catalan

The resolution, presented by Plataforma per la Llengua, has been approved at the General Assembly of the European Language Equality Network, held in Cardiff at the weekend

The text condemns the complaints made by the prefecture of Pyrénées-Orientales against Elna and Els Banys d'Arles town councils for allowing members to speak in Catalan at meetings of the full council on condition that their speeches were translated into French

Plataforma per la Llengua took part at the weekend in the General Assembly of the European Language Equality Network (ELEN), held in Cardiff (Wales), and succeeded in having a resolution unanimously approved condemning the prefecture of Pyrénées-Orientales for reporting Elna and Els Banys d'Arles town councils for allowing speeches in Catalan at municipal meetings (on condition that they were entirely translated into French). The resolution, promoted by the organisation, asks the prefecture and the French government to change their policy and cease to pursue the councils and violate the rights of Catalan speakers in France.

The text, presented to the General Assembly by the organisation's head of international affairs, Marga Payola, maintains that the prefect's complaint contradicts the French Heritage Code, which recognises Catalan as part of the French national heritage, and the Use of French Act 94-665, which specifies that the law places no obstacles in the way of the use and promotion of regional languages.

In addition, according to the resolution, the complaint also contravenes the Oslo Recommendations on minorities' language rights, specifically, recommendation 15, which explicitly states that elected representatives must be allowed to use minority languages.

Finally, French State's decision also contravenes Articles 26 and 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ratified by France; Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which includes a clause outlawing discrimination on the basis of language; and the articles of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union which prohibit discrimination on the basis of language.

The European Language Equality Network (ELEN) is a non-profit European network that aims to promote, protect and benefit the least-spoken European languages, and works for the linguistic equality of these languages as part of protecting human rights. ELEN is intended to be the voice of the speakers of these languages and has 174 member organisations representing 50 languages from 25 different European states.


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