ELE: European Language Equality

  • Completed
  • Programme: H2020
  • Start date: 01.01.2021
  • End date: 30.06.2022

Note: ELE (European Language Equality) is different from the other projects in this section as it is not about implementation or research. However, as it is a preparation project for developing an agenda and roadmap for future research projects in the field, we have decided to include it.

European Language Equality (ELE) is a project funded by Pilot Project/Preparatory Action (PP/PA). Pilot projects (PP) and Preparatory Actions (PA) are tools for the formulation of political priorities and the introduction of new initiatives that might turn into standing EU activities and programmes. ELE is a pilot project that aims to develop a Strategic Research, Innovation and Implementation Agenda and a Roadmap for achieving full Digital Language Equality in Europe by 2030.

Contact: Svetla Boytcheva

Project Overview

The current EU’s linguistic landscape consists of 24 official EU Member States languages and more than 60 regional and minority languages. Multilingualism is a key cultural cornerstone of Europe, but it also creates language barriers hampering communication and the free flow of information. On top of that, there is striking imbalance in terms of support through language technologies and this linguistic discrimination has social as well as economic impact. In this context, the recent breakthroughs in language technologies offer truly cost-effective multilingual solutions.

ELE aims to draw up a sustainable evidence-based strategic research agenda and roadmap setting out actions, processes, tools and actors to achieve full digital language equality of all languages (official or otherwise) used within the European Union through the effective use of language technologies by 2030.

The project consists of the following three main components:

  • The Agenda lays out the current state of language technologies and language equality within the EU and provide a detailed picture of what is needed to make sure that no languages are under-resourced.
  • The Roadmap then provides the path and the necessary means to implement the agenda and to ensure that digital language equality becomes a reality by 2030.
  • The Dissemination and awareness raising component includes events, consultations, social media, etc.

The type of work and activities to be performed in ELE includes: collaboration, desk research (including data collection and surveys), communication, dissemination (including social media), input curation and consolidation, strategy and roadmap development (input and document consolidation), event and workshop organization, project management. As a result, the project provides the specification and lay the foundation for a subsequent large-scale, long-term coordinated funding programme for research, development and innovation in the field of language technologies, at European, national and regional levels, tailored specifically to Europe’s needs and demands.

By creating the conditions to ensure that no European languages remain under-resourced, ELE has the potential to influence the European language technologies landscape for the next 10-15 years. In this way, the project contributes to establishing a fair, inclusive and sustainable Multilingual Digital Single Market based on equality. Putting all European languages (and, by implication, the regions and countries where they are used) on an equal footing also act as a multiplier of opportunities. Finally, it instigates regional, national and EU-wide collaboration among scientists from academia and industry.

The project works in synergy with European Language Grid (ELG) to help Europe secure its leadership in language-centric AI.

Ontotext’s Role

Sirma AI, trading as Ontotext, is part of Sirma Group Holding and provides a commercial suite of semantic technologies enabling better content management, knowledge discovery and semantic search.

Ontotext is part of the consortium of 53 partners from all over Europe with a coordinator ADAPT Centre, Dublin City University. The consortium includes all relevant scientific and industrial stakeholders from all Member States and Associated Countries and engages them in the process.

Ontotext participates in all work packages but their main contribution is to WP2: The Future Situation in 2030 (especially the work regarding the perspective of European language technology developers as well as the analysis of science, technology and society in the context of language technology in 2030) and WP3: Development of the Strategic Agenda and Roadmap. The latter includes evidence-based strategic research agenda (from the results of WP1 and WP2) and a roadmap (actions, processes, tools and actors) to prevent the digital extinction and full equality of all European languages through the effective use of language technology by 2030.

The European Language Equality Project has received funding from the European Union under the grant agreement № LC-01641480 – 101018166 (ELE).


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