The official status of Catalan, Basque, and Galician in the EU is back on the agenda of the Twenty-seventh debate this Tuesday, although the Spanish proposal still does not convince all countries. What is the second attempt after last September, the acting Foreign Minister, José Manuel Albares, opened the door to a progressive implementation of three co-official languages, starting with Catalan, which met with the rejection of Lithuania and Latvia.
What was stated as one of the measures agreed upon by the former president of the Generalitat Carles Puigdemont to support the investment of the socialist leader, Pedro Sánchez, as president of the Government, settled without a concrete conclusion. “I want this reform to come into force for the three languages as soon as possible,” said Albares in a press conference, about the talks that will continue at the technical level.
When entering the General Affairs Council that took place in Luxembourg, the Foreign Minister of Latvia, Krisjanis Karins, categorically rejected the possibility of increasing the number of languages used in the EU and focused on other geostrategic problems that are currently more many. important to the bloc.
The issue has raised the sensitivity of the two Baltic countries due to the high presence of Russian speakers in their territory. Thus, the inclusion of Catalan, Galician, and Basque could raise anger behind closed doors. A situation in which Albares defended that the proposal “is limited to the case of Spain because it meets the unique requirements of the Union. Therefore, other languages will not benefit from this reform if the Member State does not want to do it.”
The acting Foreign Minister reiterated that Spain will bear the financial cost of implementing the measure. But first, it asked the European Commission for an evaluation of this matter. “The material and reports on the impact of the budget were requested by the President of the Council of the EU and when the bodies of the Commission evaluate this report we will formally formalize what Spain has shown to obtain its financing. ”
In a further step, the Foreign Minister clarified that Spain has two decades of administrative agreements, funded by the Spanish Executive, with almost all European institutions for these three languages and “without difficulties or problems “Only the Commission can establish the exact cost,” explained Albares.
Despite the lack of concrete results, Albares described the dialogue held with Twenty-Seven this Tuesday as “positive”. “Many countries have clearly expressed support for our approach,” he said.
He did not speak in detail about the Lithuanian and Latvian positions but he wanted to clarify that the reform would show that it was made only for Spain because of the situation found in the constitutional order for these three co-official languages and because they are already used in the Spanish parliament.
In addition, Albares insisted that Catalan, Basque, and Galician meet the conditions that only the official languages of the European Union meet, as Spain deposited “certified copies of the agreements of the EU Council on languages”, or that the number of speakers is large: “in Catalan, there are more than 10 million, more than many official languages in the EU today,” he insisted.
Therefore, the acting Foreign Minister said, “This adapted proposal will be disseminated through the usual channels. It is about strengthening the specificity of Spain due to the series of conditions that bring Catalan, Basque, and Galician and that make to them which is a unique case. in the EU”.