Dr. Davyth Hicks is a specialist on regional, minoritised and endangered languages, the regeneration of these languages, and on linguistic rights. As Secretary-General and one of the founders of the European NGO for lesser-used languages, the European Language Equality Network (ELEN), he plays a key role in developing language policy and planning at the European, State and local level.

Dr Hicks has initiated and drafted numerous European Parliament and European Commission Reports in the field of multilingualism and linguistic diversity, and worked as the Secretariat for the European Parliament’s Intergroup for Traditional Minorities, National Communities and Languages.

Over the last 20 years his roles have included: Expert for the Council of Europe’s European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML) and Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM), Editor-in-Chief for Eurolang (originally part of the European Bureau for Lesser-Used Languages), advisor to national and autonomous governments, and non-governmental organisations on minoritised language issues.

While Dr Hicks’ primary responsibility is conducting ELEN’s advocacy work to the EU, Council of Europe, OSCE, the UN and UNESCO, he is also responsible for setting-up and managing EU-funded language projects between ELEN partners (academic and NGO), for example, the Digital Language Diversity Project, as well as keeping the public informed on current language issues via Eurolang.

From Cornwall, Dr. Hicks completed his MSc and PhD in Celtic Studies at Edinburgh University, lecturing in the subject for seven years. Prior to this he worked as a professional rock singer, guitarist and songwriter, touring worldwide with various bands and releasing several albums on Capitol Records and Factory. He is currently based in Brussels.

ELEN represents 45 lesser-used languages with 164 member organisations in 23 European states and has consultative status with the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, the UN and UNESCO.