The Riga Summit on the Multilingual Digital Single Market (April 27-29) gathered over 350 representatives from a range of sectors: businesses, technology providers, researchers, localisation service providers, media, policy makers from the European Commission, the European Parliament, national public administrations, and national parliaments.
The Riga Summit also gathered representatives from the major community associations and networks – META-NET, LT Innovate, CITIA/ROCKIT, CLARIN, BDVA, GALA, EFNIL, ELEN, ELRA, NPLD, TAUS, the Multilingual Web Initiative – who expressed their support and intent to cooperate on achieving the strategic vision of multilingual digital Europe.
At the Riga Summit, the assembled stakeholders – collectively, the European language community – discussed the pressing challenge of multilingualism in the Digital Single Market to provide equal digital opportunities in all EU languages.
The community also explored the various solutions, developed by researchers and technology providers that are currently enabling EU languages in the digital age.
As the presentations demonstrated at the Riga Summit, these solutions are already being implemented by European industry, media outlets, governments, and service providers. These solutions are being used to provide multilingual content, break language barriers in cross-border public services, and enable European business.
The successful implementations of language solutions should be supported and communicated broadly to European citizens and policymakers, as these solutions are the key to crossing language barriers in Europe.
The Riga Summit participants commend the first draft of the Strategic Agenda for the Multilingual Digital Single Market and pledge to support its continued elaboration. In order to provide a firm strategic basis for establishing the multilingual Digital Single Market, the community further pledges to work together to finalise the Strategic Agenda and cooperate on its implementation.
The Strategic Agenda should be a broad, community-wide initiative, as it presents the very best that the community can offer to fellow citizens in the EU, fostering growth, job creation, and the flourishing of a vibrant knowledge-based society.
In moving forward, we must combine not only our support and our visions, but also aggregate our language technology solutions. Scaled to a pan-European level, our community can develop technology solutions to establish the infrastructure for the multilingual Digital Single Market.
The community has also authored an open letter to the European Commission, available at www.multilingualeurope.eu, which we encourage the members of community to spread as widely as possible. The more signatures are appended to the letter, the louder our voices will be heard.
The language community strongly urges the Vice President of the European Commission, Mr. Andrus Ansip, to respond to the call of the Open Letter and include multilingualism in the Digital Single Market strategy.
From the community side, we commit to communicate to the European Commission the need for a multilingual Digital Single Market, the benefits to European citizens, and also the specific solutions available for making the Digital Single Market truly multilingual.
Only by working together and drawing on our collective experience, talents, and skills, can we address this challenge and make a truly multilingual Digital Single Market a reality.
Riga, April 28, 2015