Conclusions of V World Congress of Overseas Basque Collectives

2011 November 4

The V World Congress of Overseas Basque Collectives ran over three days. The event was attended by representatives of 178 Basque centres hailing from 24 countries and 4 continents (Europe, America, Asia and Oceania). The Congress has served to analyse the situation of Basque citizens overseas and engage in debate in relation to their demands and needs. The conclusions of the Congress were presented today in the form of a joint declaration

1- Implementation of Law 8/1994, concerning relations with Basque collectives

We are in favour of maintaining and strengthening the current programs for the implementation of Law 8/1994

2- Subsidies for revenue expenditure, activities, infrastructure and equipment

We are in favour of the Basque Government maintaining its support for the Basque Centres and in favour of studying increasing support, insofar as the budget allows, in view of the growing number of official Basque centres, simultaneously increasing the human and economic resources required to face up to new realities. We request that all efforts be taken to shorten the time required to resolve and pay aid in order to ensure that projects that are underway can be finalised within the established deadlines. We request the removal of the restrictions on allocation applied to federations. We request that the evaluation criteria for projects to be subsidised are made simpler, more transparent and more objective in relation to the activities of each EuskalEtxea and each Federation.

3- Aid for families in situations of extreme need

As mutual aid represents the foundational objective of the majority of the historical Basque centres, we propose the continuity of the program of aid for these families. Furthermore, we request the study of the viability of adopting a system of private insurance to cover the aid needs of Basque centre partners.

4- Gaztemundu Program

We are in favour of establishing a quadrennial calendar in such a manner that each year the program focuses on the following areas: 2012: the Basque language 2013: Music 2014: traditional Basque dancing 2015: the management of cultural bodies, coinciding with the VI Congress.

5- Convening of cultural tours

We are in favour of maintaining the convening of tours in order to enable Basque centres to have access to modern cultural manifestations of the first order. In addition, we propose the possibility of inverse tours, in such a manner that the cultural manifestations that take place within the sphere of the Basque centres can also be presented in the Basque Country. Furthermore, the possibility of incorporating training in this area will be studied.

6- Celebration of regional congresses between the world congresses

We draw attention to the need to organise regional meetings, which could take place between the congresses, in order to maintain and strengthen contact between the Basque Government and the Euskal Etxeak. Moreover, we request technical visits for training and support in the formulation of subsidy requests for the various programs.

7- Financing of the Euskara Munduan program

We request that financing for the Euskara Munduan program be guaranteed, as it is a program that has generated the highest levels of interest amongst Basque collectives overseas.

8- Aid for returning individuals

We request the study of individual aid for returns and also more in-depth analysis of the services afforded to Basque citizens overseas and the role of “office” that currently must be undertaken by the present Directorate for Basque citizens and collectives overseas.

9- Historical Memory and publications

Continuing with the Urazandi program for the compilation of the historical memory, affording continuity to the phase of the Basques in the American press. We request that the necessary efforts be made to compile oral, epistolary and photographic testimonies, which may prove to be of great importance to the future of our Basque centres.

10- Platform for Basque companies

Drawing attention to the importance of the awareness that the Basque centres have of the countries in which they are established and of the Basque Country, in order to provide support to the dynamics of internationalisation, both for local enterprises and Basque companies.

11- Voting overseas

Making the Basque Government aware, in order to have them, in turn, notify the competent authorities, of the concerns of overseas Basque collectives in relation to the difficulties of exercising the right to vote.

12- Advisory Council Observers

Petition the Advisory Council to allow 3 young people attached to overseas Basque collectives to attend their meetings.

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Politicians attending the event
(IX term 2009 - 2012)