From act to action: language legislation in Finland, Ireland and Wales
- Publisher: Fiontar
This report was submitted in February 2010 for consideration by Svenska Kulturfonden which was the lead agency in the commissioning process. The results were also shared with Foras na Gaeilge and the Welsh Language Board who co-commissioned the research. Beyond these agencies the details of the investigation have been shared with state governments and national parliaments, relevant ministries and selected EU bodies. Between 2010 and 2012 the findings of the in-depth cases studies and recommendations have been highly influential in informing the debate on language legalisation and the reform of the language strategies of Finland, Ireland and Wales respectively. In Finland it has been highly significant as a source of data and insights into the local government reform and restructuring process, especially in terms of the effect of amalgamation on the services provided to Swedish-speaking citizens. In Ireland the report’s results and recommendations have informed the regulatory and public service delivery sections of the 20 Year Irish Language Strategy. In Wales, the report’s investigations of the current operation of the Welsh Language Schemes and its recommendations that a more robust language policy regime be put in place, led to the development of national standards of Welsh language services being adopted within public administration. It also influenced the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011, especially in relation to the reach and functions of the Welsh Language Commissioner and the implementation of a stronger statutory basis for the interaction of Welsh speakers both with each other and with service providers.\ud \ud This Summary Report is now made available to the public. Despite some considerable reforms, such as the establishment of a Welsh Language Commissioner in April 2012, or changes in governments within polities and the introduction of revised language strategies, we have not seen fit to report on these changes between the submission of the confidential report in 2010 and now. That is beyond the scope of our remit. It is hoped that the Summary Report findings and recommendations will have some purchase for the exchange of best practice, ideas and processes within a range of official language communities in the EU and beyond.