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Sociolingüística internacional

Bai Euskarari Ziurtagiria. The Bai Euskarari Certificate, by Roberto Gutiérrez


Another campaign was being carried out at the same time as this one. The campaign was called "An hour of work in favour of the Bai Euskarari Agreement" and its objective was to obtain the initial financing needed for the process. Both unions and businessmen participated in the campaign in which there were thousands of companies and tens of thousands of workers. Actually, the entire process has been financed principally by social contributions. Along with the social agents, the Agreement Follow-up Commission was created to watch over the proper development of the process. The commission is made up of the following organizations: ANEL (Navarrese Association of Labor Businesses), Association of Women Directors and Businesswomen of Navarra, Athletic Club of Bilbao, BBK- Bilbao Bizkaia Kutxa, Basque Regional Government Chambers, Basque Economist Association, Daily News, EHNE, ELA, Federation of Spanish Regions, MCC- Mondragón Corporación Cooperativa, and Kontseilua.

1.3.3 The Design of the Bai Euskarari Agreement's Strategic Plan

Over a period of six months, the 899 organizations that signed the agreement, organized in workgroups by sector, drew up a strategic plan whose objective in the final phase was to define the linguistic revitalization commitments that each organization must assume. The final result of the plan was published in the publications of each of the 33 workgroups (23 in the South state and 10 in the North state). You will also find summaries of the final result on the internet. The types of proposed agreements vary from sector to sector, but many of them are very similar. They are:

  • To promote motivational and awareness campaigns among the members of the organization and among organizations in the same sector.

  • To use Euskera in the organization's signing.

  • To put all the organization’s advertising in Euskera.

  • To evaluate the knowledge of Euskera of new hires and provide incentives (economic or in work hours) to the workers that want to learn it.

  • To take Euskera into account in the organization’s plans for training.

  • A greater use of Euskera in internal and external communications of the organization.

  • To communicate with institutions in Euskera only.

  • To establish the internal functioning of the organization in Euskera.

  • To draw up and carry out an integral plan for Euskera.

In addition, each workgroup of social agents defined in each workgroup which set of commitments was of "minimal" character that would not defraud the process.

1.3.4 Assumption of agreements

Once the Plan was designed, each organization was given a period of a few months to decide, depending on their linguistic situation, which set of commitments they would voluntarily accept among those proposed by the workgroups. Therefore, each organization had sufficient time between February and June of 2000 to calculate the costs and organizational solutions before making their final decision known. During this time, Kontseilua laid out a plan of action determined to stimulate any sensitivity in favour of the language that might exist in the social agents.

529 of the 899 agents that initially participated in the process accepted important commitments (previously referred to as "minimal" agreements). Of these 520, 85 were from the North and 435 from the South. The Bai Euskarari Certificate was offered to the organizations from the Southern Basque Country in June of 2000. The organizations in the North assumed the commitments in 2001 and will be awarded the certificate shortly.

2. The Bai Euskarari Certificate

Nowadays, Euskera is a major social factor, being understood as a key element in advanced management of organizations, a competitive advantage, a factor for internal and external satisfaction for organizations, as well as an element of cohesion and broadmindedness. An important key to success for organizations is the internalization of factors that the society values, independently of the organization’s structure or operating environment.

The Bai Euskarari Agreement establishes as a foundational premise the participation of every social field in the revitalization process and establishes the Bai Euskarari Certificate as an element to set it into motion. Getting this certificate underway is a fruit of the demand of the social agents that delegated the design of the certification system of the agreement process at Kontseilua, as the main exponent of the responsibility that each organization accepts. Kontseilua has established the conditions for the creation and awarding of the certificate, a proposal that was approved by the Bai Euskarari Agreement Follow-up Commission.

2.1 Objectives of the Certificate

The objective of the Certificate is to endorse the linguistic revitalization process that is bound to the application of the measures that were approved in the Strategic Plan of the Bai Euskarari Agreement whose intent was to:

  • Provide the opportunity of accrediting the language revitalization work being carried out before the society,

  • Respond to a growing social demand to be provided services in Euskera, and

  • Enable the organization of a linguistic revitalization process in the heart of each organization.

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