Committee of Ministers celebrates 40 years of the Dutch Language Union

  • December 7, 2020

On 7 December, the Committee of Ministers of the Language Union met for the 93rd time since its creation 40 years ago. Ministers Weyts, Jambon and Van Engelshoven congratulated the organisation on this anniversary and expressed their gratitude for the diversity of the activities of the Language Union and its partners.

Anyone who uses, learns or researches Dutch can count on the support of the Taalunie. Not only in Flanders and the Netherlands, but also in Suriname and the rest of the world. For the first time, Yuro Dipotaroeno, deputy director of the development department of the Surinamese Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, took part as a representative of the Surinamese government. This affiliation to the Committee is a translation of the worldwide commitment of the Language Union and the elaboration of the Association Agreement with Suriname. In the coming years, among other things, more intensive cooperation will be developed around multilingualism in education.

 The enrolment of students and lateral enrolments in the Dutch programmes in Flanders and the Netherlands is a major cause for concern. The ministers further discussed with the Taalunie the rescue plan for the Dutch-speaking community and expressed their full support for the elaboration of this plan. The Committee further discussed in detail the efforts and visions of the Taalunie regarding language competence. Attention to reading, reading comprehension and reading pleasure are approached from a broader vision of contemporary Dutch education. The ministers also endorse the importance of the Digital Library for Dutch literature. It is a digital collection of texts that belong to Dutch literature, linguistics and cultural history from the earliest times to the present. The collection represents the entire Dutch language area and is the result of collaboration between the Language Union, the Flemish Heritage Libraries, the Koninklijke Bibliotheek and the national library of the Netherlands.

 Dutch is Europe's eighth language with 24 million speakers, and more than half a million people worldwide learn Dutch.

Nederlandse Taalunie

Algemene afvaardiging van de Vlaamse Regering in Nederland