Recommendation RecChL(2008)3 of the Committee of Ministers on the application of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages by Germany

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 9 July 2008 at the 1032nd meeting of the Ministers‘ Deputies)

The Committee of Ministers,

In accordance with Article 16 of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages;

Having regard to the instrument of ratification submitted by Germany on 16 September 1998;

Having taken note of the evaluation made by the Committee of Experts on the Charter with respect to the application of the Charter by Germany;

Bearing in mind that this evaluation is based on information submitted by Germany in its third periodical report, supplementary information given by the German authorities, information submitted by bodies and associations legally established in Germany and the information obtained by the Committee of Experts during its on-the-spot visit,

Having taken note of the comments made by the German authorities on the contents of the Committee of Experts' report;

Recommends that the German authorities take account of all the observations of the Committee of Experts and, as a matter of priority:

  1. adopt specific legal provisions, where their absence hinders practical implementation of the undertakings which Germany has entered into under the Charter;

  2. adopt and implement a structured policy for the promotion and preservation of North Frisian, Sater Frisian and Lower Sorbian, including in particular measures which ensure as a matter of urgency that primary and secondary education is available in these languages.

    1. take action to improve provision and allocate adequate resources for regional or minority language teaching and in particular: -ensure that the current schools rationalisation programme in Saxony does not jeopardise the provision of education in Upper Sorbian; -increase the number of hours devoted to, and provide clear guidelines for, Low German teaching in the Länder concerned;

    2. - adopt a structured policy with respect to Romani in the field of education, in co-operation with the speakers;
  3. ensure that an effective monitoring mechanism exists in the field of education for all regional or minority languages covered under Part III;

  4. take resolute action to establish a structured policy for making it possible in practice to use regional or minority languages in dealings with the administration and, where relevant, in the courts;

  5. take measures so that adequate radio and television broadcasting are available in Sater Frisian, North Frisian, Lower Sorbian and Danish.