Lough Derg: the spirit of a holy place

IMAGE Wednesday, 04 April 2012
A small island in a lake called Lough Derg is one of the most famous of Ireland's places of pilgrimage. About 35,000 pilgrims come to it each year intent on doing penance for their sins or seeking divine intervention in their lives. Read More...

Nantes-Brest Canal, Brittany's popular leisure waterway

IMAGE Friday, 07 October 2011
The Nantes-Brest Canal is a 364 km long waterway connecting the city of Brest, on the west of Brittany, to the city of Nantes in the south east. Read More...

The shrine of the Cailleach at Glen Lyon

IMAGE Wednesday, 07 September 2011
Each year, in one of the most remote areas of Scotland, a family of stones are brought out of the house in the spring and returned to the house for the winter. The tradition stretches back thousands of years and the site is believed to be the only surviving shrine to the Celtic goddess Cailleach. Read More...

Newport Celtic Festival and Highland Games, Oregon

IMAGE Tuesday, 17 May 2011
A cultural celebration of the seven Celtic nations, the new festival on the Oregon coast features Celtic music, dance, food, drink, crafts, vendors, kids events, family histories and Highland Games. Read More...

World's largest tidal power project

IMAGE Thursday, 07 April 2011
The world's largest tidal stream energy array will be built in the Sound of Islay on Scotland's west coast. Read More...

Wales' new devolution settlement

IMAGE Thursday, 03 March 2011
Following the 'Yes' victory in the 3 March 2011 Referendum, Wales will now be able to pass its own laws in twenty policy fields. Read More...

The Giant's Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

IMAGE Thursday, 03 March 2011
The Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland has an unparalleled display of polygonal columns of basalt rock resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago. Read More...

Constitutional recognition for Breton and Gallo languages achieved in French senate U-turn

Breton and Gallo languages finally recognised in France's Constitution as French Senate unexpectedly lifts veto to contitutional reform.
Breton and Gallo languages finally recognised in France's Constitution as French Senate unexpectedly lifts veto to contitutional reform.


In an unexpected U-turn, the French Senate agreed to pass a reform to France's Constitution on 21st July after a series of amendments were introduced to the original proposed text.

On 18th June 2008 the French Senate had voted against a historical amendment to the French Constitution which would have acknowledged France's linguistic diversity.

The Upper House veto to recognise France's regional languages sparked anger and resignation amongst Breton and Gallo language supporters.

But in a second round of amendments to the French Constitution presented to the French Senate on 21st July, the Upper House decided this time to accept the proposal for constitutional reform.

The new French Constitution will finally acknowledge that “Regional languages are part of France's cultural heritage.”

In the previously rejected text, the mention to France's regional languages was proposed to be included in the Article 1 of the French Constitution. Under the amendment passed on 18th June, the acknowledgment will now be moved down to Article 75 at the section of "Territorial Administration".

The constitutional amendment was passed by a narrow majority of only one vote, with the support of the governing party UMP (Union pour un Mouvement Populaire). The main opposition party, Parti Socialiste, voted against the reform.

Breton UMP politician Marc Le Fur, who played a key role in pushing the constitutional reform forward, said: "This is a great victory. I pay tribute first of all to those who for so many years have been campaigning for a formal recognition for the Breton and Gallo languages."

"We have overcome all obstacles in our way, despite many people thinking that we would end up giving up. In any case, this is not finished yet as there is still much more left to do in our struggle for the regional languages", told the Breton politician, who also expressed his disappointment over the negative vote canvassed by the Breton socialist senators.

Although the constitutional recognition will not create any legal rights for minority language speakers in France, Breton and Gallo language supporters welcomed the recognition which is widely considered to be a small but important step forward for a State with a long tradition of hostility against minority languages.

A CSA poll published by Breton newspaper Ouest France on June 18th showed that 68% of the French population agreed with a constitutional recognition of France's regional languages.


Previous news:
» Disappointment as constitutional recognition for Breton and Gallo languages is rejected

Search the Magazine

POPULAR IN THE SOCIAL MEDIA

Celtic Countries is the online magazine for people who enjoy the Celtic nations, their natural splendour, culture, and lifestyles.

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Sign up for our monthy Celtic Countries Magazine email newsletter for the latest stories from our website.