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MULTILINGUAL ROAD FOR EUROPE?
The European Parliament (EP) rejected the chance this week to adopt a report that would have put the EU onto the road of becoming a more multilingual society. The original text of A New Framework Strategy for Multilingualism was supported by the Celtic League in October 2006 before its presentation to the European
Cathal Ó Luain pour Celtic League le 30/11/06 20:34

The European Parliament (EP) rejected the chance this week to adopt a report that would have put the EU onto the road of becoming a more multilingual society.

The original text of A New Framework Strategy for Multilingualism was supported by the Celtic League in October 2006 before its presentation to the European Parliament CULT Committee on Education and Culture. However, at the committee meeting Committee Members rejected or modified many of the reports recommendations and proposals.

The Strategy document, headed by Catalan MEP Bernat Joan - and written by Cornishman Dr Davyth Hick's - expressed his disappointment over the decisions taken by the Committee, but remained hopeful that the situation could change at the Plenary Session at the EP, where the Strategy would be voted on.

At the beginning of the week the mood among the supporters of the Strategy remained buoyant. The European Parliament Vice-President, Gérard Onesta strongly represented the report and told Eurolang that :

"More than ever, the defence of cultural diversity is the keystone to the construction of Europe. It is not a mere decoration in any way, it is a key part of its structure: if we withdraw from it's defence, everything collapses."

After a lengthy debate in the evening of 14 and 15 November, the vote was cast in the morning of the 15 th. By this time many of the crucial points in the report had been amended or rejected so that the final version was a shadow of its former self. Joan and his supporters eventually decided to abstain in the final vote.

However, the rejection of the report in its original form is a clear sign from Europe that true multilingualism is not a priority and that we must still keep up the pressure to ensure that all the Celtic languages have an equal status to other European languages in the future. All the tabled amendments made by the EFA/Greens were rejected, including:

paragraph 9: the EU must respect the principle of subsidiarity in language policy, by which the EU, through the implementation of its own language regime or in the way of his sectoral law, shall not modify the language legislation existing in every Member State on all or part of its territory;

paragraph 17:Considers that the language used in Erasmus courses should be the official language of the host country's or region's educational system, and that it should be ensured that Erasmus students attain a level of proficiency in that language which enables them to properly follow courses provided in that language;

paragraph 21: Supports a European Standard for Translation Services and believes that there should be a proactive policy for developing translation services for less widely used languages

paragraph 24: Calls for a clear, coherent EU language plan and EU language legislation; there is a need for an EU language act to give a legal base to language rights both collectively and individually; on the basis of such legislation an EU language plan could be drawn up to ensure linguistic diversity and language rights

However, the amendment from the Liberals calling on the European Ombudsman to pay particular attention to guarantee the respect for the linguistic rights of European citizens and to provide more ways of resolving EU language conflict situations, which may have relevance in some of the Celtic countries, was carried. Also the proposal saying that citizens should be taught in their mother tongue was carried through.

See also (voir le site) temid=1etlang=en for further details.

(Report compiled by Rhisiart Tal-e-bot)

J B Moffatt Director of Information Celtic League

19/11/06

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The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues. TEL (UK) 01624 877918 MOBILE (UK)07624 491609 (voir le site)
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