The European network FUEN has chosen Altafulla to host the meeting of the working group of stateless nations and minorities (Non-Kin State working group) organised every year in a European city. The Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN), the main defender of national minorities and native language groups in Europe, has chosen this town in the county of Tarragonès at the request of Plataforma per la Llengua, which, as a result, will act as the host organisation. The meeting will be held between Thursday 1st June and Friday 2nd June at the Altafulla Mar Hotel.
The working group of stateless nations and minorities consists of 29 organisations from 15 different states that share one characteristic: they are representatives of national, cultural, linguistic, ethnic and religious minorities that have neither a state of their own nor a neighbouring state in which they are the majority group. The group is chaired by FUEN Vice- President Bahne Bahnsen, former leader of Friisk Foriining, an association for the defence of Frisian culture in North Friesland in Germany. The meeting will be attended by representatives of the Aromanians from Bulgaria, Albania and Romania, the Ladins from Italy, the Pomaks from Greece, the Sorbs and Frisians from Germany, the Lesgians and Meskhetians from Russia and the Roma from North Macedonia.
Although the Altafulla meeting will be a closed event, restricted to the members of the working group, several experts in sociolinguistics from Catalonia and abroad, various authorities and other special guests will also attend. The main themes of the conference will be the provision of public services in minority languages and, therefore, the linguistic training of public workers, and the presence of these languages in new technologies.
The working tables will be introduced with presentations by experts such as Meritxell Llorente, head of the Functional Area of Language Planning of the Department of Business and Labour of the Government of Catalunya; Àlex Hinojo, digital coordinator of the Institut Ramon Llull; Marina Massaguer, a sociolinguist and author of a study on the use of Catalan in YouTube and Instagram content for young people; Montse Sendra, researcher at the Centre for Research in Sociolinguistics and Communication (CUSC) and lecturer at the University of Barcelona; Carlos Vieito, member of the board of A Mesa Pola Normalización Lingüística (Galicia); and Alma Hidalgo, creator of YouTube videos in Asturian and member of the board of Iniciativa pol Asturianu youth league. Also speaking on behalf of Plataforma por la Lengua will be Òscar-Adrià Ibàñez, head of the international and language rights and administration areas; and Maria de Lluc Muñoz, international technician. The event will have simultaneous interpreting between Catalan, English and German to make understanding easier and so that Catalan can be used normally.
The fact that the meeting will be held in Altafulla will allow representatives of other minorities not only to learn about the specific situation of the Catalan language in the field of new technologies and public services, but also to take a tour of Tarragona and Altafulla (accompanied by the Centre d'Estudis d'Altafulla), meet with the Tarragona Roma Association and attend a training session of the Altafulla castellers (Catalan "human towers").
Plataforma per la Llengua, associate member of FUEN since last October and supporting member since 2018
Plataforma per la Llengua has been an associate member of the Federal Union of European National Communities (FUEN) since last October, after being a supporting member since 2018. Since then, in fact, it has already participated in the Education Working Group and in the Non-Kin State Working Group of nations and stateless minorities, two of FUEN's five permanent working groups. The organisation is the only representative of the Catalan-speaking community and is present in all the working groups in which it can participate. The other three groups are for minorities from Germany, for Slavic minorities and for Turkish minorities or communities.
FUEN is the leading advocate for national minorities and indigenous linguistic groups in Europe, bringing together more than 100 organisations from 36 European states. The organisation began in 1949 in Versailles to give a proper role to different nations and minorities after the Second World War, and has recently coordinated initiatives such as the Minority Safepack, a Europe-wide legislative initiative to improve the protection of non-official languages in the European Union and minority rights in general. FUEN is currently the voice of native national and language groups and nationalities in international organisations such as the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations, where it has consultative status. The organisation also has a participatory status in the European Union and the Council of Europe.