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No country asked Spain to prioritize Catalan over Galician and Basque to speed up its official status in the EU


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No country asked Spain to prioritize Catalan over Galician and Basque to speed up its official status in the EU


None of the twenty ministers who spoke this Tuesday at the meeting in Brussels to address the official status of the Spanish co-official languages ​​asked the acting Government to prioritize the introduction of Catalan over Basque and Galician to speed up their official status, because their Doubts focused on the legal precedent that the recognition of official languages ​​would create and its financial and practical consequences for the bloc.

This has been explained by different delegations consulted in Europa Press throughout the day in which the Council of European Ministers of General Affairs postponed without a date its decision on the Spanish request, waiting to know precise information on the legal, practical aspects , economic and political, to modify the common regulations that govern the use of official languages ​​in the European Union.

Now it will be up to Spain, as the rotating presidency of the European Union, to follow up on the file within the working groups that exist in the Council when they have the financial and legal reports requested by the rest of the partners to study substance of the petition.

The ministers spent nearly 40 minutes examining the possibility of recognizing Catalan, Basque and Galician as official languages ​​without the issue being put to a vote in the end, since it was clear that a vast majority asked for more time and clear figures to support the analysis.

At the end, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, explained to the press that in the room he had "proposed starting the deployment first with Catalan and, then, with the other two languages."

He also stated that "not at all" this is a form of discrimination against Galician and Basque because Spain defends the official status of "the three", but this gesture is intended to respond to the doubts of "part of the Member States" concerned about the impact of "three languages ​​at once".

To convince its European partners, last week Spain already offered to assume the cost of what the translation and interpretation of Catalan, Basque and Galician as common official languages ​​would entail, despite the fact that they are part of the common regulations that govern the recognized languages ​​implies that this cost is covered by the Community budget. The acting Government of Pedro Sánchez has not yet provided any figure for the estimated cost of this measure.

Asked about the condition of applying a "gradual" model, the Finnish Minister of European Affairs of Finland, Anders Adlercreutz, said in statements to several media outlets including Europa Press that he did not recall that such a requirement was raised in the discussions with Twenty-Seven, beyond of the explanations of the Spanish minister.

"I don't remember it being discussed (...). I can't promise that it wasn't discussed, but I don't remember that being the case," said the minister, who pointed out that the main element of "concern" is the "principle "general" which means opening the door to recognition by the EU of regional languages ​​due to the consequences in other countries with minority languages ​​and even more so with the horizon of enlargement towards the Western Balkans that the EU is studying.

"It is necessary to take time to examine these possible scenarios and see what they can mean for the European Union today and tomorrow," added the minister, before pointing out the difficulties in making decisions this Tuesday due to "uncertainty" and "limited" information. " that was provided to the delegations.

"No one can expect a decision to be taken in Brussels in one morning on a proposal whose paper version has just reached us that same day," said Irish Secretary of State Peter Burke, who has joined the rest of the delegations that point out a lack of specificity about the scope of the changes demanded in Spain and have considered that, in any case, making the three languages ​​official will mean a "significant bill."

A diplomat from another Member State pointed out that Albares raised the possibility of beginning the practical application of Catalan "before" that of Basque and Galician, "despite the fact that no Member State mentioned it in their interventions." Nor was this scenario addressed in the preparatory discussions at the ambassador level, he adds.

"No one except Spain has talked about breaking up (the application of the recognition of co-official languages), said another diplomatic source, who said that in any case the development of the proposal will be addressed in working groups "when the time comes", although There is still no clear timetable for this.

Furthermore, a significant number of delegations insist on the need to have a legal opinion from the Council's legal services to clarify the impact of the Spanish proposal and clarify the fit that could be given to the entry of regional languages ​​into official status.

"It is not simply the question of Catalan but perhaps the logic of the working operation of the linguistic regime of the European Union will be changed. If there is a decision it could have an impact on another dozen languages," says a senior European official. which recalls, for example, the Russian-speaking minority in Latvia.