Catalan, Basque and Galician win EU thumbs up

13th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

13 June 2005, MADRID – European foreign ministers have given the green light to Spanish politicians and citizens who want to communicate in Catalan, Basque or Galician in the EU institutions.

13 June 2005

MADRID – European foreign ministers have given the green light to Spanish politicians and citizens who want to communicate in Catalan, Basque or Galician in the EU institutions.

However, the 25 member states have rejected a request from Spain that they be designated as "official" EU languages.

On Monday, at a meeting in Luxembourg, foreign ministers voted to accept a proposal by Luxembourg, which has the EU presidency.

Luxembourg said it wasn’t possible to change the rules on official languages which were agreed in 1958, as the Spanish government wanted, because that would involve changing the treaty.

Instead, Luxembourg came up with an "administrative solution" which would allow the use of Catalan, Basque and Galician in the European Council and, eventually, in other EU institutions and organisations.

The agreement means Spain can produce literature on European laws in those languages, the languages can be used in Council meetings and in letters from citizens to EU institutions.

In the case of literature, Spain would have to send the Parliament and the Council a certified translation in Spanish of the documents and they wouldn’t have any judicial value.

When it comes to those wishing to address the EU in Catalan, Basque or Galician, a request must be made for a translator within a reasonable time limit and will only be granted if the resources are available.

The plan also foresees that Spain creates a body to translate Catalan, Basque and Galician documents for the EU and vice versa.

All translation costs will have to be met by Spain, rather than the EU.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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