The EU should officially recognise and use regional, minority and lesser-used languages, and should enforce measures to promote them, such as immersive education.
A person’s mother tongue is an integral part of their identity and that of their community. But not all EU member states sufficiently protect this vital aspect of cultural heritage. The European Charter on Regional and Minority Languages has not been ratified by all, while member states continue to pursue centralising policies that diminish the role of lesser-used languages or reduce their status to a merely tokenistic one.
In the education system, for example, schools in bilingual areas should be able to provide immersive teaching. Under this model, regional or minority languages are used throughout the school day, not only for a few hours a week. Securing the linguistic abilities of young people in this way is the only way to protect Europe’s cultural diversity in the long term.