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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

For now, the 27 are passing the buck for the official status of Catalan, Galician and Basque in the EU amid doubts from many countries

In regards to the official status of Catalan, Galician and Basque in the European Union things are not going the way Spain would likeand was demonstrated in the General Affairs Council (CAG) held this Tuesday in Brussels, where the 27 showed that in some cases there are many doubts about the proposal. Is there an outright rejection? No, but the debate will go on for a long time despite the fact that the Government – in office – assured days ago that the conversations were constructive. For now, we will have to wait because for many Member States “it is too early” to make a decision. This was decided after only 45 minutes of debate.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, was the one who championed the issue in the community capital, also in the midst of the Spanish presidency of the Adviceand He emphasized the peculiarity of the Spanish case, while considering that it is an “urgent” issue.. But others did not pick up the gauntlet. Finland, for example, which announced its veto days ago (at least for now), assures that there is no rush to make a decision. Of course, the Foreign Minister, Anders Aldercretuz, had a wink in Catalan to ensure that they are going to “defend diversity.”

France, on the other hand, seems much more willing to lend a hand to Pedro Sánchez in this matter. His investiture, moreover, seems to depend almost on this question. “We are going to help Spain as much as possible,” said the Secretary of State for the EU, Laurence Boone.which qualified the need to see the legal and administrative part of the issue.

Migratory routes to Europe.

To defend its position, Spain considers that article 55.2 of the Treaty of the EU which empowers the Member States to translate with legal value the Treaty itself into any other language that its constitutional order recognizes as official “in all or part of its territory” can be the key to the entry of Catalan, Basque and Galician. But this explanation is not enough for the partners who still do not fully see the proposal. “I will explain to my colleagues the specificity of the Spanish linguistic constitutional regime that makes it practically unique in the European Union and I will explain that these languages ​​are used within the Spanish Parliament,” the minister said upon his arrival in Brussels.

If the measure does not reach the required unanimity in the Council, there is a middle way in the European Parliament. Already in 2022 The Government sent a letter so that these three languages ​​were used – although not official – in the European Parliament. This second formula is the one that PSOE and Sumar have promoted in Congress so that, starting Tuesday, Spanish deputies can speak in Catalan, Galician or Basque, but also in Asturian, Aragonese or Aranese. Of course, if the issue is taken to the level of the 27 and goes ahead, Parliament would have to apply them without any further action. The latest precedent is Gaelic, which took that first step in the European Parliament and later became the official language of the EU, which has 24.

The side of the European Parliament It was already explored in 2005 during the Zapatero Executive with a similar request for the signing of agreements. Then there was no agreement, but it was possible for the institutions to be able to address citizens in Galician, Catalan and Basque, thanks then to the casting vote of Josep Borrell, who was the president of the European Parliament.

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