The Foreign Minister, José Manuel Albares, at the press conference he held this Thursday after the informal EU ministerial meeting on general affairs and cohesion policy in Murcia. Marcial Guillén (EFE)
Acting Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares has reopened the debate on the use of Catalan, Basque and Galician in the European institutions at the informal ministerial summit taking place this Thursday and Friday in Murcia. The minister raised this issue, which he defines as “the obligation of the Spanish Government”, during the General Affairs meeting this Thursday and, as he said, he will raise it again on October 24 at a meeting of the General Affairs Council , in Brussels, already official and with a specific agenda item on the three official languages in different communities.
“All member countries remain ready to cooperate and move forward with Spain on this path of using these three languages,” Albares said in a press conference at the end of the meeting. No EU country vetoed this possibility, neither this Thursday nor when the foreign minister first raised it in Brussels on September 19, he noted. “No Member State has taken the floor to point out an aspect that worries or worries them, or to hinder it, as on the 19th in Brussels, where I raised it for the first time, no one, and they could.” “I did so and did not veto the matter,” he explained. The European Union now has 24 official languages.
“The future of Europe is also the future of its multilingual system,” said Albares, explaining that within the framework of the European institutions, progress must be made in the use of the official languages of Catalan, Basque and Galician in several autonomous communities. , he has defended, and that they have an “almost unique specificity.” He recalled that Spanish languages are enshrined in the Constitution, that they can be used in the Spanish Cortes – initially in the Senate and, from this month, also in Congress – and that they have been the subject of “administrative agreements” with the EU for two decades . .
The minister declined to comment on the possibility of adopting an amnesty law to relieve those persecuted through the trial, as it was not among the issues raised at Monday’s summit.
On September 19, the House of Representatives held the first plenary session, in which, for the first time in 45 years of democracy, the debates were held in Spanish – the official language of the state – and in the three co-languages of officials in several autonomous communities: Catalan, Galician and Basque. The PSOE has resisted the measure for years, which it is now taking in the midst of negotiations with the nationalist parties over the inauguration of Pedro Sánchez as government president. Sánchez himself referred to the measure last Monday at an event at the Cervantes Institute on the occasion of the European Day of Languages. “Protecting a language is a political decision, just like censoring it,” he said, while warning that “it is important that the other official languages be able to express themselves in Congress.”
Spain has taken its wish to Brussels to make Catalan, Galician and Basque official languages of the EU. On the 19th, European partners called for more time to analyze the legal, financial and even political consequences of a measure that requires unanimity and which they fear could have unforeseen consequences in an area with around 60 regional languages and numerous internal tensions . Albares then announced that he had proposed giving priority to Catalan as part of a “gradual” introduction of the three languages once they receive official status, a process for which no one dares or even dares to set a deadline whether it will finally work. .
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