COMPENDIUM CULTURAL POLICIES AND TRENDS IN EUROPE
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Linguistic Diversity and Media Programming

For more information see individual country profiles: 

Chapter 4.2.4 "Cultural diversity and inclusion policies"
Chapter 4.2.5 "Language Issues and Policies"
Chapter 5.1.9 "Language Laws" 
 

 

Official
Language(s)

Legally Recognised
Languages of Minority
Cultural Groups

Legal Provisions to Promote
the use of Languages of
Minority Cultural Groups in
Radio/TV Programming

Albania

Albanian

Tosk, Gheg (both dialect)

NO

Armenia

Armenian

Russian, Yazidi and Assyrian

YES

Austria

German

Croatian, Hungarian and Slovene

YES

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani

All languages including those of minorities
(more than 15)

YES

Belgium

Flemish, French and German

NO

NO

Bulgaria

Bulgarian

Turkish, Romani

YES

Canada*

English and French

NO

YES

Croatia

Croatian

Czech, German, Hungarian, Italian, Serbian, Slovenian and Ukrainian.

YES

Denmark

Danish

German

YES

Estonia

Estonian

NO

NO

Finland

Finnish and Swedish

Sami, Roma, Sign language

YES

France

French

NO

NO

Georgia

Georgian and Abkhazian

NO

NO

Germany

German

Sorbian, Danish

YES

Greece

Greek

NO

NO

Holy See

Latin

NO

NO

Hungary

Hungarian

Croatian, German, Romanian, Romani, Ruthenian, Polish, Serbian, Slovakian, Bulgarian, Greek, Armenian, Ukrainian and Slovenian

YES

Ireland

Irish and English

NO

NO

Italy

Italian

German, Ladin, French and Slovenian, Albanian, Catalans, Greeks, Croatians, Friulan, Occitan and Sardinian

YES

Latvia

Latvian

Livonian language

YES

Liechtenstein

German

NO

NO

Lithuania

Lithuanian

NO

YES

FYR of
Macedonia

Macedonian

Albanian, Turkish, Serbian, Romani, Vlach

YES

Malta

Maltese and English

NO

NO

Moldova

Romanian and Russian

Russian

YES

Monaco

French

NO

NO

Netherlands

Dutch

Friesian

YES

Norway

Norwegian with two forms, Bokmål and Nynorsk

Sàmi, Kvensk, Romanes and Romani

NO

Poland

Polish

National minorities' languages: German, Ukrainian, Armenian, Belarussian, Lithuanian, Slovak, Czech, Russian, Hebrew/Yiddish; Ethnic minorities' languages: Karaitic, Lemkos, Romani, Tatarian and one regional language: Kashubian

NO

Portugal

Portuguese

NO

NO

Romania

Romanian

19 minority languages are recognised by law

YES

Russia

Russian for the Russian Federation, respective languages for the Republics of the Federation

All languages including those of minorities (more than 150)

YES

San Marino

Italian

NO

NO

Serbia

Serbian

In those areas where significant numbers of ethnic minorities live, the minority languages are in official use concurrently with the Serbian language.

YES

Slovakia

Slovak

Hungarian, Roma, Czech, Ruthenian, Ukrainian, Polish, German, Croatian, Bulgarian

YES

Slovenia

Slovenian

Hungarian, Italian and Romani

NO

Spain

Castilian
Basque: co-official in the Basque Country and in some areas of Navarre.
Catalan: co-official in Catalonia and Balearic Islands.
Occitan, called Aranes in the Aran Valley: co-official in Catalonia. **
Galician: co-official in Galicia.
Valencian: co-official in Valencia

Catalan and Aragonese are recognised minority languages in Aragon.
Bable in Asturias.

YES

Sweden

Swedish

Sami (all forms), Finnish, Meänkieli (Tornedal Finnish), Romani Chib (all forms) and Yiddish

NO***

Switzerland

German, French, Italian, Rhaeto-romanic

NO

NO

Ukraine

Ukranian

YES

YES

United Kingdom

English

Gaelic, Welsh, Ulster Scots, Manx, Cornish, Irish, Scots

YES

Source:     Council of Europe/ERICarts, Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe, 12th edition, 2011.
*               (Canada) No laws but CRTC Regulations in effect regarding licensed non-official language services over radio and television.
**              (Spain) This is according to the new regional law, which is being examined by the Constitutional Court. In the previous regional law the aranes
                 was recognised as a minority language in Catalonia, subject to special protection.
***             (Sweden) No laws - but rules and contracts with media and minority cultural groups/communities.