Multilingualism in Brussels Le Multilinguisme à Bruxelles Meertaligheid in Brussel
Huishoudelijk reglement goedgekeurd door de Raad op 7 oktober 2020
Art. 1 The “Brussels Council for Multilingualism”, hereinafter referred to as “the Council”, is a body set up by the Minister for the Promotion of Multilingualism in the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region, hereinafter referred to as “the Minister”, in accordance with his Policy Note of 9 December 2019, with the aim of “bringing all relevant players to the table in order to develop a clear action plan on multilingualism”.
Art. 2 In consultation with the Minister, the Council draws up strategic guidelines and helps develop a sustainable policy on all matters relating the promotion of multilingualism. It does so by sharing with policy makers both existing expertise and new insights stemming from the experience of its members. It thereby ensures that attention is continually paid to the topic of multilingualism in the Brussels Capital Region.
Art. 3 The Council is committed to the central objective stated in the Minister’s Policy Note: to promote, among the entire Brussels population, the ability to communicate in French, Dutch and English, while recognizing the importance and added value of learning and transmitting all the native languages spoken in our cosmopolitan capital city, and ensuring a good command of at least one of the school languages.
Art. 4 The activity of the Council includes three pillars: – Policy advice: the Council formulates non-binding recommendations to guide future policy on multilingualism.– Policy support: by being at the crossroads of research, practice and policy, the Council uses its expertise and networks to support government action in the service of multilingualism. – Information exchange: Council members are alert to what is happening on the ground and keep one another and policy makers informed about current and recent bottom-up projects.
2. Membership Art. 5 The composition of the Council is guided by the following considerations:– The Council consists of between 12 and 20 members.– The members of the Council are appointed by the Minister on the basis of their expertise, experience and commitment to the cause of multilingualism in Brussels.– The membership should be balanced and diverse in terms of gender, age, native languages, sectors, etc.– The members of the Council are expected to have at least a passive knowledge of French, Dutch and English.
Art. 6 Council members are appointed for a renewable term of three years. In the event of a member wishing to resign before the end of this term, the Minister must be informed in writing. The Minister may then appoint a new member, taking into account the considerations listed in article 5.
Art. 7 The mandate of the members of the Council is not remunerated.
Art. 8 The members of the Council perform their duties in their personal capacity and in complete independence. It is expected that they should not represent their organisation but rather work together to promote multilingualism in Brussels.
Art. 9The Minister appoints a chairperson and a vice-chairperson among the members of the Council for a renewable term of three years.
Art. 10 The Council meets at least three times per year.
Art. 11 The chairperson shall draw up the agenda, issue the invitations and chair, open and close the meetings. If the chairperson is unable to attend, the vice-chairperson shall take over these tasks. In the absence of the latter, the oldest member shall chair the meeting.
Art. 12 A member of the Cabinet of the Minister serves as secretary of the Council. The secretary attends the meetings, is responsible for their practical organisation, draws up the minutes and provides logistical support. The minutes contain an attendance list, important information shared during the meeting and all the decisions made. They do not attribute particular interventions to individual members. They are submitted for approval at the beginning of the following meeting.
Art. 13 At least ten days before each meeting, the chairperson shall send its agenda to all members by e-mail or by letter, together with the minutes of the previous meeting and any other relevant document.
Art. 14 At the beginning of each calendar year, the Council draws up an Annual Report on the activities of the previous year. The report must be approved by the Council at one if its meetings and sent to the Minister no later than 30 April.
Art. 15 The Minister is received by the Council at least once a year.
Art. 16 Depending on the agenda, the Council may, on an ad hoc basis, invite other persons to take part in its meetings. The Council may decide to set up working groups composed of Council members. Other persons may also be invited to these working groups on an ad hoc basis.
Art. 17 If a vote has to be taken in the Council, this will be done by simple majority.
Art. 18 Meetings of the Council shall not be public. The use of social media is restrained accordingly.
Art. 19 The recommendations of the Council, its annual report and a brief account of each of its meetings shall be made accessible online for the general public. The minutes, once approved, shall be available on request. Any proactive external communication on behalf of the Council shall be done in consultation with the Minister.
Art. 20 Council members and guests can express themselves in French, Dutch and English during the meetings. The agendas and minutes of the meetings will be provided in English, with parts in Dutch and French whenever convenient. Other documents that might be useful for the working of the Council will be provided in the language(s) in which they happen to be available.
4. Final provision
Art. 21 These internal rules can be modified by agreement between the Council and the Minister. Proposals for amendments must be sent to the members of the Council at least ten days before the relevant meeting. If they are approved by the Council, they become effective once they are endorsed by the Minister.