The Basque Government presents its strategy for linguistic policy and the language industry before the EU
A delegation from the Basque Government's Vice-Ministry for Language Policy has travelled to Brussels to present the efforts made in terms of the Basque Language in recent years before the Multilingual Unit of the European Commission. The European Commission has drawn attention to the excellence and European exemplum afforded by the linguistic policy of the Basque Government and the cutting-edge initiatives carried out by the Basque language industry.
In collaboration with the Basque Delegation in Brussels, the Basque Government's Ministry for Culture and representatives of the six bodies linked to the language industry, the delegation has carried out a business mission to the institutions of the European Union, with the objective of raising awareness of the actions of Basque linguistic policy and its sector and to consolidate collaboration with European institutions and partners.
The Basque Government's Director for Research and Linguistic Coordination, Iván Igartua, accompanied by representatives of LANGUNE (the Basque Association of Language Industries), the UPV/EHU Basque Language Institute, Komalingua, Eleka, Elhuyar and UZEI, maintained a working meeting with the European institutions and was afforded the opportunity of acquiring first-hand knowledge of the European networks linked to multilingualism and linguistic diversity.
The representative of the Basque executive, in collaboration with Langune, presented the efforts made on behalf of the Basque language in recent years, particularly since the passing of the General Plan for the Promotion of Basque Usage (1998), before Belén Bernaldo de Quirós, the head of the European Commission's multilingualism policy unit. The Basque delegation provided information on the most significant advances that had been made, the socio-linguistic situation and the collaboration between different Basque language territories. Furthermore, they informed of the steps taken in the field of Information and Communication Technology, as this sphere is directly linked with the efforts undertaken by Langune.
The European heads drew attention to the role of European reference point played by the current linguistic policy of the Basque Government and the cutting-edge initiatives of the Basque language industry. The European institutions have shown considerable interest in all points raised by the Basque Government's Vice-Minister for Linguistic Policy, opening up the possibility of having the Basque Country present its good practices before the European Platform for Multilingualism.
Other topics were also debated during the meeting. Amongst other areas, current and future action and plans in the field of Linguistic Policy were discussed along with initiatives relating to linguistic policy coordination carried out between Autonomous Regions, the promotion of the Basque language overseas and the implication of the Basque language in various European networks.
The working sessions with European institutions took place at a key point: today, the European Commission presented the future packet of EU programs for cultural and creative industries, drawn together under the so-called Creative Europe 2014-2020 program. Via Creative Europe, the European Union recognises the decisive role of creative and cultural industries in terms of the EU economy. The "economy of culture" represents 4.5% of European GDP and accounts for approximately 3.8% of EU employment (8.5 million people).