Euskalgintzaren Kontseilua (its founding name was Euskararen Gizarte Erakundeen Kontseilua/Council of Social Organisation of the Basque language) was set up on December 6 1997 during the celebration of The Durango Fair. Nine months previously, 400 experts had gathered at the Euskararen Unibertsoa/Basque Universe conference. One of the most important conclusions was that there was an urgent need to bring organisations together in order to collaborate with each other in favour of the standardization of the Basque language. Euskalgintzaren Kontseilua was set up to address that need.
Xabier Mendiguren-Bereziartu was appointed secretary general and the Bai Euskarari (yes to the Basque language) campaign was launched. This was an initiative designed to achieve a broad social commitment in favour of the Basque language, and it left unforgettable images: in December 1998, 120,000 people gathered in the five stadiums across Euskal Herria to mark the end of the campaign events highlighting ‘bai euskarari’. Previously, eleven events had been organised in different municipalities and various entities signed up to the Bai Euskarari Agreement.
In 2010 Paul Bilbao-Sarria took over as secretary general. One of the major milestones of this new period was the 2016 Protocol to Ensure Language Rights. More than 100 social bodies and entities working in favour of 30 minoritised languages signed up to the largest consensus ever reached in language policy in both Europe and Euskal Herria.
Since then, Euskalgintzaren Kontseilua has been continuing to work to bring about social cohesion and guarantee language rights.