CoE – The Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages has published a new mid-term report
The rights of the Swedish speaking people should be ensured in the health and social services reform, long-term funding for promoting the Sámi languages should be provided and teaching in and/or of Romani should be developed
The Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML) has published a mid-term report on the 7th of October 2020 on the implementation of the Recommendations for Immediate Action contained in the 2018 Evaluation Report on Finland.
Many positive steps have been taken to enforce the status of the Swedish language. However, the availability of services in Swedish should be ensured in the regional and local administration especially in areas with a low share of Swedish-speaking population. The possibility to use Swedish in health and social services should be enforced in general and in the health and social services reform.
The Finnish authorities reported about several projects to increase education in and of the Sámi languages and access to health and social services in Sámi languages among other projects. Although there has been an increase in the annual appropriation to enhance the use of Sámi, the funding is often project-based which endangers the longevity of the actions taken. The Committee of Experts reiterates its recommendation to make funding available for longer durations and to institutionalise projects that have been successful, such as the language nests. In addition, the availability of health and social services in the Sámi languages should be ensured.
Although the Committee of Experts welcomes the National Policy on Roma, it encourages Finnish authorities to comprehensively secure teaching in and/or of the Romani language with established curricula, teacher training and pilot schools as well as awareness-raising efforts towards parents.
The Committee of Experts criticises Finland again for not reporting on any new actions regarding the Karelian, Russian, Tatar and Yiddish languages.
Finland has reported on the implementation of the ECRML in 2017 (5. reporting cycle). The Recommendations of the Committee of Experts were given in 2018. The reporting cycle has been renewed in 2018, and the states now report on the implementation of the ECRML every five years instead of every three years. The mid-term report by the Committee of Experts is part of this new process.