Munich Personal RePEc Archive

European Union Structural and Investment Funds and Celtic Language: An analysis of the 2007-2020 funding period in relation to Breton, Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Welsh

Herault, Romain and Willis, Craig (2021): European Union Structural and Investment Funds and Celtic Language: An analysis of the 2007-2020 funding period in relation to Breton, Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Welsh.

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Abstract

The European Structural and Investment Funds are distributed to the regional level within the EU, targeting primarily regions which are ‘less developed’ in terms of GDP as a percentage of EU average. At the same time, many of the national and linguistic minorities within the EU lie in geographically and economically peripheral areas, such as the traditional areas where Celtic languages are spoken. This working paper uses a qualitative method to examine projects in the regions in which four Celtic languages are or have been traditionally spoken, covering Breton, Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Welsh. Whilst the four languages and their heartland communities varying greatly in terms of numerical size and also economic marginalisation, all have received structural funds which can be linked directly to projects using the language or indirectly through projects in areas where there are a large percentage of speakers of the language. The findings show that the direct links are more prominent in the Scottish Highlands and Islands and West Wales, than the Irish Gaeltacht or Brittany. This is of course concerning in light of the UK’s recent departure from the EU and thus ending of applicability for ESIF.

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