Join the ECMI at a public lecture on language rights

The ECMI opens its doors for a lecture on language rights by special guests.

Join us at Kompagnietor on 25 January 2017 at 17:00 to discuss minority languages and language rights together with our special guests from the University of Bilbao and the University of Hamburg. The lecture and presentation will focus on the legal status of the Basque language, the Protocol of Donostia 2016 to ensure language rights, and minority languages in education in Europe (particularly the cases of Catalonia in Spain and Sorbian education in Saxony and Brandenburg in Germany). The event will be concluded by a discussion session moderated by the ECMI director Prof. Dr. Tove Malloy.

Special Guests:
Prof. Iñigo Urrutia Libarona (Professor at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao), Prof. Iñaki Lasagabaster Herrarte (Professor at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao), and Ms. Caroline Westphal (PhD students at the University of Hamburg and the ECMISuS16 alumna).

Practical details:
Time/Date: 17:00-19:00, 25 January 2017
Venue: Kompagnietor/ECMI at Schiffbrücke 12, 24939 Flensburg
Please RSVP at info@ecmi.de or +49 (0) 461 141490

About the lectures:

Public Lecture on “The legal status of Basque Language and the Protocol of Donostia 2016 to ensure language rights” by Prof. Iñigo Urrutia Libarona

Abstract
The Basque language, Euskara, is one of the most representative elements of the unique nature of the Basque people, of their national personality, as expressed by the Euskal Herria-Basque Country (the country of Euskara). A national language which, due to this fact, has been affected by negative political and historical factors which have placed it in a position of minority or restricted scope within its territory. The political persecution of the Basque language has been particularly intense in relatively recent times, leading to a serious process of minoritization. The main objective of this contribution is to analyze the legal recognition of the Basque language in the Spanish and French legal systems. At present, the recognition and guarantee of linguistic rights must be understood from the perspective of the guarantee of the principles of human rights, as a mainstay of democracy, which requires the language to be given a suitable legal status. The contribution will also deal with the new Protocol to ensure the language rights, launched this past December in Donostia. The protocol aims to become a novel foundation for building a new Europe based on equality between language communities.

Biographical note
Prof. Iñigo Urrutia graduated in Law in 1989 from the University of Deusto, Bilbao. He earned his Master’s degree in Public Law in 1994 and his doctorate in Law, with honors, from the University of the Basque Country, awarded Magna Cum Laude. Since 1998 he has held the position of senior lecturer of Administrative Law at the University of the Basque Country (accredited as full professor in 2014). He was appointed Secretary General of the Campus of Biscay of the University of the Basque Country in 2011. Prof. Urrutia is the author of nine books, one of which has been published by the Council of Europe, and over 70 articles on Fundamental Rights, Constitutional and Administrative law, EU Law, Cultural and Linguistic Diversity, Environmental Law and International, European and domestic standards of protection of minorities and languages.

Presentation on “Minority Languages in Education in Europe” by Ms. Caroline Westphal

Abstract
The presentation will focus on Minority Languages in Education in Europe. The educational system is the vehicle of transmission of the knowledge of languages. The educational system is fundamental concerning the continuity and the development of languages for future generations. Therefore education especially in regional and minority languages is crucial for their future survival. The presentation will focus on two case studies of education in minority languages. The first case study concerns Catalan education in Catalonia, Spain, and the second case study elaborates on Sorbian education in Saxony and Brandenburg, Germany. These are two differing examples of sociolinguistic contexts of minority education in Europe.

Biographical Note
Caroline Westphal has studied law in Heidelberg, Rome and Hamburg with specialization in European and Public International Law. After completing the First German State Exam in 2013, she started working as a research assistant at the Institute of International Affairs at the University of Hamburg and at the same time she embarked on a PhD project on Minority Protection in Europe. Her PhD thesis focuses on the Protection of Regional and Minority Languages in Europe. She is following a comparative approach and is specifically looking at the laws that guarantee education in regional and minority languages in Germany and Spain. Last year she was on research leave with a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service working for six months in Barcelona and in Bilbao in Spain. Caroline is an alumna of the ECMI Summer School 2016.

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