European Parliament Conference on Language & Education

18 May 2022

ICEC and VVB bring concerns to the European Parliament.

In recent months, you could read various contributions on the ICEC website, Twitter and Facebook page about the education and language situation in the ICEC countries. 

With this knowledge built up over months, we are now going to the European Parliament in Brussels.

European Conference on Language & Education

In recent months, you could read various contributions on the ICEC website, Twitter and Facebook page about the education and language situation amongst ICEC countries.

Valuable articles from Euskal Herria, Scotland, South-Tyrol, Wales and Veneto have already been published, the one from Catalonia will be next, and last but not least, 1st of June will be Flanders' turn. Galizia, Britanny and many others related to different language topics will come after that.

With this knowledge built up over months, we are now going to the European Parliament in Brussels!


Pre-talk on Monday 13 June

As the time allotted to us in the European Parliament (EP) is limited to 2 hours, only three speakers from as many countries (Flanders, the Basque Country and Catalonia) can speak. In order to give the other countries the opportunity to be discussed and for those who cannot be there on the Tuesday afternoon, we will hold a preliminary meeting the evening before.

Pre-talk on Monday, June 13, everyone is welcome at 8 p.m. in the Vlaams Huis, Drukpersstraat 20 in Brussels!

We will discuss the subject of Language & Education without time limits. Please note that the language of instruction that evening will be English. Everyone is free to participate in the conversation, but a notification in advance to to make it easier from an organisational point of view.


Tuesday 14 June: the program

Hosted by EFA

We have the opportunity to address this issue in the EP thanks to the Catalan MEP Jordi Solé. He sits on behalf of ERC (Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, the Catalan Social Democrats) and is part of the European Free Alliance, which forms one political group with the Greens. He will provide the introduction.

Three language and education experts

Following Mr Solé, the experts each have the floor for 15 minutes. For the Basque Country, that is Paul Bilbao. He is the chairman of Euskalgintzaren Kontseilua. It is the most important organisation in the whole of the Basque Country working in favour of the development of the normalisation of the Basque language. They also have a website in English, easy for non-Basque speakers:

Who better than An De Moor to explain the situation in Flanders to an international audience? An De Moor is a language and education expert. She is also Vice-President of the National Reading Strategy and was advisor of the Commission Better Education, both by order of the Flemish Government. She is the Language Policy Co-ordinator for all 25 professional Bachelor’s programmes at Odisee University of Applied Sciences and for the Master's programs at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven campus Brussels. Ms De Moor is also a member of the board of directors of the Flemish-Dutch Cultural House DeBuren in Brussels. In addition to being the President of the non-profit association ‘Movement Flanders-Europe’, An has received numerous awards such as the 'Frans Drijversprijs', the 'Order of the Golden Dragon', 'Academic of the year 2016' from the Flemish Association of Academics, the 'Lion Medal' from the Waas Davidsfonds association and in 2018 she received the 'Praise of the Dutch Language Award’ in the Brussels parliament. On 11 July 2020, as chair of the Flanders-Europe Movement in the Errerahuis in Brussels, she received a Decoration of Honor from the Flemish Community on behalf of the Flemish government.

Enric Gomà will speak on behalf of the Catalan Countries. This linguist and teacher is both writer, screenwriter, and director. Temps de silenci (2000), a series of fiction about the history of Catalonia during the 20th century, and Poble Nou (1992), the first daily series on Catalan television, are some of his best known works. He has made many television and radio programs on linguistic and literary dissemination, on TV3, the national television of Catalonia, and BTV, the municipal television of Barcelona. He has also worked for many years at Catalunya Ràdio, where he currently collaborates on “La tarda de Catalunya Ràdio” with a section on the Catalan language. In contrast to the lamentation that often arises from Catalan circles, he conveys a realistic but positive message about the state of Catalan.

Our common voice

Then the spokespersons for Flanders and Catalan Countries, Bernard Daelemans and Anna Arqué, will speak for 10 minutes. They will reflect on the conversations from the night before and will express our common concerns. Flemish lives in a relative luxury position, but the majority of Europeans do not realise the difficult situation in which many Peoples live in terms of language.

The public speaking

A panel of experts and spokespersons will answer questions from the public for 45 minutes. Our in-house expert Wilfried Haesen is the moderator and presenter of the conference. Because politicians will eventually have to act on our comments, the panel is supplemented by two politicians, namely the Corsican François Alfonsi (EVA) and Mark Demesmaeker (N-VA).

After this discussion, decisions are formulated and presented to the participants who can vote on them. The approved decisions are then sent later to all MEPs so that they can take them forward.



At a conference on Language & Education we do not opt ​​for a uniform language. There will be interpreters into Dutch, Basque, Catalan and English so that the vast majority can already speak in their own language.

The conference practical

You must register in advance to attend as the number of places are limited and the security measures in the European Parliament are strict.

You can register by sending an e-mail to .

Your registration must reach us at the latest on Sunday 5 June.

Please include the following information in the message:

- Your official first name and surname

- Your nationality

- Your date of birth

- The number of your identity card (for Flemish people this is the card number on the front of your ID card) or your passport (for international visitors)

The conference will take place in room A5E1 and will start at 11 am and last until 1 pm. For the sake of control and security, we ask all participants to gather on the stairs of the Altiero Spinelli building at 10 am. Parliamentarians will be waiting for you there.

The easiest way to reach the European Parliament is by public transport. Train to the EP via Brussels-Luxembourg station.

For those who cannot attend, the entire conference may be followed live via Facebook.

We will keep you informed via the website 


Thank you very much and please keep your language loud and clear!!

#Freedom #IntlSolidarity @ICECintl