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Seventh Annual International Conference (Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain)

The Ombudsman of the Basque Country will host the seventh annual Conference of the International Association of Language Commissioners in Bilbao, Spain on September 7 and 8, 2022. Members will then gather for their Annual General Meeting on September 9.


Venue: Euskadiko Artxibo Historikoa (Historical Archive of the Basque Country), basement room

Address of the venue: María Díaz de Haro no. 3, Bilbao


Tuesday 6 September

Participants’ arrival in Bilbao (please note that this is a bank holiday)


Wednesday 7 September: Day 1

10:30 Welcome and Opening remarks

Raymond Théberge, Exiting Chair and Commissioner for Official Languages, Canada

Manuel Lezertua, Ombudsman for the Basque Country

(15 minutes)

10:50 Policy and Research Sub-group presentation

"The impact of COVID on our work, operations and official and minority languages"

(2 hours)

13:00 Lunch

Meeting with President of Basque Government and Minister for Culture and Language Policy

(Commissioners Théberge and Price and Ombudsman Lezertua)

14:30 Communications Sub-group presentation

"Social media – Challenges and opportunities for language commissioners"

(2 hours)

16:30 End of day 1


Thursday 8 September: Day 2

09:30 Panel: "What role do official languages play within the context of the Ombudsperson's functions in your respective jurisdictions?"

(1.5 hours)

Kelly Burke (Ontario)

Manuel Lezertua (Basque Country)

Rónán Ó Domhnaill (Ireland)

Raymond Théberge (Canada)

11:00 Break

11:15 Panel: "Biggest challenges in relation to parliaments and governments"

(1.5 hours)

Shirley C. MacLean (New Brunswick)

Rónán Ó Domhnaill (Ireland)

Gwenith Price (Wales)

Slavisa Mladenovic (Kosovo

12:45 Lunch

13:45 Panel: "How can we manage cases/investigations/other in an efficient and timely manner when dealing with outside pressures - i.e., non-responsive organizations?"

(1.5 hours)

Gwenith Price (Wales)

Shirley C. MacLean (New Brunswick)

Roberto Moreno (Basque Country) and Agurne Gaubeka (Behatokia, Basque Country)

Bart Weekers (Flanders)

15:15 Break

15:30 Discussion on issues noted during the meeting

(1 hour)

16:30 End of conference


Friday 9 September: Day 3

Annual General Meeting