In 1981, the European Parliament adopted the Arfé Resolution, providing 100K ECUs (euros) to be used for minority and regional languages.1 Since then, the EU has become more and more active in promoting local language use. One ally in those efforts is the Mercator Network (founded in 1987) and its branch the Mercator European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning.
The Mercator European Research Centre’s “expert in the spotlight” for 2011 is Jeroen Darquennes, an associate professor at the University of Namur in Belgium. In the late 1990s, he did his PhD on German language revitalization in Belgium. Today, he is co-preparing his third volume of the Sociolinguista series and a few years back co-founded the research group Groupe de recherche sur le Plurilinguisme (Pluri-ll).
Read the interview with Darquennes at “Expert in the Spotlight in 2011: Jeroen Darquennes” on the Mercator European Research Centre website.
1. O’Reilly, Camille. Language, Ethnicity and the State: Minority Languages in the European Union, vol. 1, p. 24. Palgrave Macmillan: 2001.