Council of Europe publishes opinions on minority protection in the Netherlands and Poland
The Council of Europe recently published two opinions on minority protection in the Netherlands and Poland. The first was issued by the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM). In its report, the Advisory Committee commended the Netherlands on efforts to ensure the rights of the Frisian minority in the country. It noted investments made in the fields of education, language, and culture in the province of Fryslân. However, it expressed concern over the lack of opportunities for accessing Frisian language rights at all levels of education. The Committee also noted that the protections guaranteed by the FCNM should be extended to other minority groups in the country, such as Roma, Sinti, and Dutch Travellers, and Papiamentu speakers.
The second opinion on Poland was published by the Committee of Experts on the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML). In their report, the experts noted that Poland needs to take a more structured approach to promoting and protecting regional or minority languages in the country. While Poland has a legislative framework for the use of regional or minority languages in various fields, and Polish authorities provide financial support for regional or minority languages, there are significant gaps in the implementation of the provisions of the ECRML. The ECRML applies to 14 regional or minority languages in Poland, including German, Romani, Tatar, Ukrainian, and Yiddish.