Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
New EBLUL Member State Committee Established in Greece

Please note that since this press release was issued, EBLUL has dropped the use of the "Slav-Macedonian" term and now refers to the Macedonian language and minority by its proper name, Macedonian. See the related press release here:

Press Release

Brussels - Last Saturday, the European Bureau for Lesser-Used Languages (EBLUL) made the final step towards a new Member State Committee (MSC) in Greece. 16 representatives of linguistic and cultural associations elected the six future members of EBLUL's MSC in Greece and its Chairman, Athanasios Parisis from the Slavomacedonian group as well as his Deputy, Sotiris Bletzas from the Vlach community. After adopting the Bureau's statute and being accepted by EBLUL's Council, the new established MSC will represent four minorities in Greece: the Slavomacedonians, the Vlachs, the Turks and the Pomaks. 'Hopefully representatives of the Arvanite language - which were not present at the meeting only due to technical reasons - will join the Greek Member State Committee soon', says Bojan Brezigar, President of EBLUL.

After the meeting in Thessaloniki, Brezigar expressed his great satisfaction with the establishment of a new MSC in Greece, which could contribute to substantial changes of policies towards regional or minority languages in the country. 'The information exchanged in our meeting showed that within the European Union, Greece is undoubtedly a State, where linguistic diversity has not been considered a wealth so far. It will be the task of the new Committee, with technical and political support of the whole of EBLUL, to promote common EU understanding about this topic also in Greece. Furthermore, the MSC will contribute to assure a relevant level of dignity for minority languages in Greece, and real possibilities to survive and to develop' Brezigar adds.

So far, the European Bureau for Lesser-Used Languages is made up of 13 committees, which represent the interests of the various communities. The Member State Committees comprise cultural organisations, official institutions and other bodies active in the field of regional or minority languages and cultures. Through their activities and by their very existence, the Member State Committees encourage co-operation between the linguistic communities within a single State. Although the situations differ from one language community to the next, such collaboration has proven to be very valuable as it fosters the development of a concerted strategy at State and European level.

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