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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

4th European Charter Report

11th March 2014

Members of the Scots language community will be aware that Scots is represented within the Council of Europe Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML for short). The UK Government ratified this charter on behalf of Scots (and also Scottish Gaelic) on 27 March 2001 and it came into force on 1 July 2001. At various times a committee of experts is appointed to visit the various member EU states and report on the progress being made in relation to supporting the language communities within those member states.

The fourth periodic report of the committee of experts was adopted by the Council of Europe on 21 June 2013 and the final report dated Strasbourg 15 January 2014. The report is somewhat critical of the UK authorities for delaying their report by 10 months, and for the incompleteness of information, which is the second time this has occurred, and has commented that this “...hampered the process of timely and effective application of charter provisions throughout the UK.”  Despite this, it will be noted that the report is the most informative yet for Scots in Scotland, with several positive developments cited as tending to support the language, though there is concern over the lack of information or progress in relation to the Scots language in Ulster. The committee also notes that at the time of its initial report (June 2013) the first ever census figures for Scots were due to be released, but this did not in fact occur until September that year. If you would like to read the full report, its comments and recommendations, please download the PDF file below.