10 May 2004
MADRID – The Spanish government is to recognise Catalan as a language of the European Union, it was announced Monday.
In a statement made to television channel Telecinco, Josep Borrell, Spain’s Socialist candidate in the 13 June European elections, said the government is considering recognising Catalan as an official language of the European Union.
Borrell added that the new Socialist administration has agreed to the ‘institutional use’ of the language.
This had been a campaign promise made by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero at the request of Catalan nationalist party Esquerra Republicana.
Borrell said the Socialist party would defend the participation of regional organisations in the European parliament, because they make up its diversity and plurality.
He also said he believes the upcoming elections will be decisive for the future of the Union.
Borrell went on to say that the European model proposed by the PSOE Socialist party must be based on social and secular foundations, not following US foreign policy.
“If Europe does not counterbalance the US, China will; and it would preferably be Europe since our democratic values have contributed to our own prosperity,” he said.
Borrell explained that the Socialists will negotiate the future of Europe based on the “Convention proposal” which was unlike the Nice Treaty, which proves that Europe “is unable to cope with expansion”.
Instead, Borrell claimed, the Socialist model favours a democratic construction of Europe, with power-sharing according to population.
When asked about the possibility of holding a referendum on the acceptance of the European Constitution, Borrell said there is “a parliamentary agreement from the former government, which is a text that all Spaniards should be informed about”.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news