[lg policy] EU CoE calls on Cyprus to promote Armenian and
djh514 at YORK.AC.UK
Sun Sep 27 19:58:17 UTC 2009
Just for clarity, the Council of Europe is not part of the European Union.
This therefore isn't an EU Committee of Experts but a Council of Europe
one. It's entirely expected for anyone who hasn't studied European politics
to get caught by this, but the essential difference between the European
Union and the Council of Europe is that some texts of the European Union
(Directives and Regulations) have legislative force in its 27 Member
States, whereas no Council of Europe texts have legislative force in any of
its 41 Member States (unless the states independently decide to incorporate
the text into their own law, but the Council of Europe can't oblige them to
do so, unlike the European Union). The European Union has a legal framework
and money, whereas Council of Europe is an organisation of common
endeavours but no legal force and no funding.
This is confusing because:
- The names of the various bodies of the European Union and the Council of
Europe coincide to a great extent. The meetings of Ministers responsible
for various policy areas in the European Union are called the Council of
Ministers, whereas the same sorts of meetings under the aegis of the
Council of Europe are called the Committee of Ministers. To cap it all,
meetings of Heads of Government in the European Union are called the
European Council, which is not at all the same thing as the Council of
Europe (_vide supra_).
- The European Union and the Council of Europe have almost identical
iconography. They have exactly the same flag because, when the European
Union's predecessor was created in 1957, it purposely adopted the flag of
the already-existing Council of Europe (created in 1949) in order to carry
across the theme of European unity.
- The European Union has three seats, Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg;
the Council of Europe also sits in Strasbourg. Again, I believe this was on
purpose when the European Union's predecessor was created.
The moral of this story is that the initiative described in this
press-release is admirable, necessary and hopefully appreciated, but not
binding or enforceable. In fact, the Council of Europe (it seems to me)
does more work than the European Union does on language-policy issues, and
a lot of it is excellent, to the point and necessary. Also, it's almost
necessarily more comprehensive than the European Union's work because the
Council of Europe covers much more of the continent of Europe. Their stuff
should be followed, but no-one should be under the illusion that it will
necessarily have an effect!
>> On Sep 27, 2009, at 1:22 PM, Harold Schiffman wrote:
>>> CoE calls on Cyprus to promote Armenian and Cypriot Maronite Arabic
>>> September 25, 2009 - By Nicos Rousis Strasbourg, (CNA)
>>> The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe calls on Cyprus to
>>> adopt a structured policy to protect and promote the Armenian and
>>> Cypriot Maronite Arabic languages on the island.
>>> The position is outlined in the second report on the situation of
>>> minority languages in Cyprus. It has been drawn up by a committee of
>>> independent experts which monitors the application of the European
>>> Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.
>>> It also proposes that Cyprus should also strengthen Cypriot Maronite
>>> Arabic-medium education and language courses and provide teacher
>>> training for Armenian and Cypriot Maronite Arabic languages.
>>> In detail, it is noted that the Representative of the Armenian
>>> Community demanded that any new constitution should recognize the
>>> minority groups as national minorities or communities in accordance
>>> with international legal instruments and not as religious groups as is
>>> the case at present.
>>> The report encourages the authorities to make the funding procedure
>>> more transparent and to find a satisfactory solution to the allocation
>>> process of funds, in cooperation with the speakers. It also notes that
>>> any action plan should be embedded within a comprehensive language
>>> The Committee of Experts commends the authorities for initiating the
>>> process of codifying Cypriot Maronite Arabic which will enable its use
>>> in other areas of public life.
>>> It also encourages the authorities to assist the Maronites in
>>> establishing a Culture and Youth Centre.
>>> Furthermore, it regrets the termination of the annual Christmas
>>> television programme in Armenian and encourages the Cypriot
>>> authorities to facilitate the broadcasting of television programmes in
>>> Armenian and Cypriot Maronite Arabic.
>>> With regard to the Melkonian Educational Institute, the Committee of
>>> Experts asks the Cypriot authorities to provide further information on
>>> new developments on the issue and remained concerned about the future
>>> existence of Armenian education in Cyprus. It further underlines the
>>> need to provide teacher training in Armenian.
>>> On the Turkish language, the Committee of Experts invites the Cypriot
>>> authorities to give more information on the situation of the Turkish
>>> language, noting that it would welcome more information on the use of
>>> Turkish in hospitals and public services in the next periodical
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