European Commission agrees to keep Catalan translator

The pressure of Catalan Euro MPs has worked out. The European Commission has changed its initial position to not renew its only Catalan translator. Commissioner Reding has personally engaged in finding a replacement.

Raquel Correa / CNA

June 16, 2010 03:35 PM

Strasbourg (CNA).- The European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, Viviane Reding, has stated “the Catalan Euro MPs are absolutely right” to demand the European Commission to keep its only Catalan translator. The current translator has to finish his services this summer and the European Commission said some months ago that the post would be cancelled. Commissioner Reding has personally engaged in finding a replacement for autumn.
Catalan is not an official EU language but it is the 9th largest language in number of speakers within the EU. Furthermore, the European Commission (EC) has an office in Barcelona, together with the European Parliament in order to follow its plan of going local and being present in main European cities. The Spanish Government and the European Union signed a memorandum 5 years ago to allow Catalan translations of the main EU documents, paid for by Spanish authorities. The memorandum also recognised the right of Catalan citizens to be able to address themselves to EU institutions in their native language, all additional costs being paid for by Spain. Besides, the Catalan language is one of the most used languages in the European Commission participation Internet forums.

When the European Commission announced that its only Catalan translator would quit his post and that no replacement would be hired, claims from the Catalan Government and Catalan European MPs were raised. However, the EC did not withdrawal its intentions and confirmed that no replacement was expected. Yesterday in Strasbourg (France), the Catalan Euro MPs from different parties (Socialists, Liberals, Catalan Nationalists and Greens) formed a united front. They met with the European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, Viviane Reding, and managed to convince her. Reding said after the meeting that the Catalan Euro MPs “were absolutely right” and she engaged herself in finding a replacement. The Euro MPs from the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Party (CiU) and one from the Catalan Independence Left Party (ERC) blamed the Spanish Government for not sticking to the agreed memorandum and insisted that this attitude is excessively repeated.