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Council of Europe highlights the difficulty of using Catalan in the administration of justice

The European body expressed its concerns regarding the use of Catalan and the Spanish State’s other “regional languages” in the administration of justice and in the health service. The Council of Europe called on the Spanish State to “modify the legal frame” and “guarantee that an appropriate proportion of the administration of justice’s workers” has a “practical knowledge” of the Catalan language. The European body, composed by 47 European countries, approved this Thursday “six recommendations” to solve “some important problems” and make sure that the Spanish State respects the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.This is the fourth report of this kind, after similar ones were written in 2005, 2008 and 2012. It states that the situation “has improved considerably” in the last four years, especially due to the Autonomous Communities’ efforts.

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21 January 2016 06:44 PM

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ACN

Strasbourg (CNA).- The Council of Europe called on the Spanish State to “modify the legal frame” and “guarantee that an appropriate proportion of the administration of justice’s workers” has a “practical knowledge” of the Catalan language. The European body expressed its concerns regarding the use of Catalan and the Spanish State’s other “regional languages” in the administration of justice and in the health service. Composed by 47 European countries, the Council of Europe approved this Thursday “six recommendations” to be made to the Spanish State in order to solve “some important problems” and respect the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. The body also suggested that the Spanish government “extend the recognition” of the co-official languages to “other Autonomous Communities” where they don’t have such status. 


The Council of Europe asked the Spanish State “to modify the legal frame in order to make clear that the legal, penal, civil and administrative authorities in the Autonomous Communities can accomplish the procedures in the co-official languages, when one of the parties requires them to do so”.

The European body lamented that “the use of regional languages in certain areas of the State’s administration and in the public services, especially in the health service, is obstructed due to the lack of personnel able to use them”. Thus, the body calls on the Spanish State to “apply legal measures and intensify the practical measures to guarantee the presence of the co-official languages in the public services”. It also calls for “guaranteeing that an appropriate proportion of the administration of justice’s workers” has a “practical knowledge of the corresponding languages”.

This is the fourth report of this kind, after similar ones were written in 2005, 2008 and 2012. It states that the situation “has improved considerably” in the last four years, especially due to the Autonomous Communities’ efforts. However, the Council warns that the trilingual – Catalan, Spanish and English – education system launched in the Balearic Islands and Valencia may have “a negative effect on education” in Catalan. Therefore, the body urged the Spanish government to exercise “extreme caution” in order to avoid this and warned that it will “continue supervising”.

The Council also suggested that the Spanish State “extend the recognition” of the co-official languages to “other Autonomous Communities” where they don’t have such status, as long as “there is a sufficient number of users of such regional or minority languages”.

 

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  • Image of a meeting of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, in 2014 (by ACN)

  • Image of a meeting of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, in 2014 (by ACN)