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Fifty million Europeans speak a non-official language in the EU

The international director of the Plataforma per la Llengua, Marga Payola, attended the presentation of the Protocol to Ensure Language Rights on December 17 in San Sebastian.

Last Saturday, The Catalan language NGO signed the Protocol to Ensure Language Rights, a document that constitutes a tool for the renewal and adaptation of the Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights drafted in 1996. This protocol seeks to guarantee linguistic diversity as one of the foundations of peace and coexistence, as an effective tool in linguistic equality and to present linguistic communities as subjects laying claim to their social role.

The international director of the Plataforma per la Llengua, Marga Payola, was entrusted with signing the document on behalf of the Catalan language NGO. Payola emphasised that "we shall have the same rights, regardless of language", and that currently "there are 50 million Europeans that speak a non-official language of the European Union, with the negative consequences this has for our language and our rights, since all the European laws are regulated on the basis of the official languages". For this reason, she feels that "Europe will be fairer and more equal once it respects its own linguistic diversity". Payola also congratulated Paul Bilbao for having promoted and coordinated this document.

The Language Platform also provided several insights in areas related to the law and justice to the Protocol. She expounded how a favourable legal framework can be generated, how to guarantee, in the laws that regulate the Judicial Power of each State, the preferential use of one's own language in all legal actions and in the drafting of labour laws, for land registries and place names, cultural productions and the media.

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