Seventh Annual International Conference (Bilbao, Basque Country)

NEWS RELEASE - Seventh Annual Conference of the International Association of Language Commissioners

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 of Official Languages of Canada

Manuel Lezertua, Ombudsman for the Basque Country

10:50 Policy and Research Sub-group presentation

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

13:00 Lunch

14:30 Communications Sub-group presentation

"Social media – Challenges and opportunities for language commissioners"

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?"

Kelly Burke, French Language Services Commissioner of Ontario

Manuel Lezertua, Ombudsman for the Basque Country

Rónán Ó Domhnaill, Irish Language Commissioner

Raymond Théberge, Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada

11:00 Break

11:15 Panel: "A balancing act: The challenge of fulfilling our mandates"

Shirley C. MacLean, Commissioner of Official Languages for New Brunswick

Rónán Ó Domhnaill, Irish Language Commissioner

Gwenith Price, Deputy Welsh Language Commissioner

Slaviša Mladenović, Language Commissioner of Kosovo

12:45 Lunch

13:45 Panel: "How can we manage cases/investigations in an efficient and timely manner when dealing with outside pressures?"

Gwenith Price, Deputy Welsh Language Commissioner

Shirley C. MacLean, Commissioner of Official Languages for New Brunswick

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

Bart Weekers, Flemish Ombudsman

15:15 Break

15:30 Discussion on issues noted during the meeting

16:30 End of conference


Friday 9 September: Day 3

Annual General Meeting