Georgia and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

The first part of this paper looks at the issue of preserving those regional or minority languages that are in danger of falling into disuse. This applies also to three regional Georgian (Kartvelian) languages, Megrelian, Svan and Laz, which are politically contentious because to grant them recognition as distinct languages would be seen as a threat to the coherence of the Georgian nation. The first part of the paper looks at ways of protecting all these languages through the mechanisms provided by Part II of the ECRML.

The second part of the paper turns to those languages spoken by large, territorially compact national minorities, namely the Azeris and the Armenians. There is a need for concrete measures to support these languages in those areas in which they are widely spoken. The challenge here is to promote their use in public life without undermining Georgian as the state language or impeding the integration of the Azeri and Armenian minorities into Georgian public life. For these languages we must consider how the provisions of Part III of the ECRML can be applied.


Author: Jonathan Wheatley

Publisher / organisation: European Centre for Minority Issues, ECMI

Date of publication: 06/01/2009

Total number of pages: 53

Link: Publication URL




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