Thursday, January 22, 2009

Spain's New Attack on Language Diversity

Spain is plotting against the Basque, Catalan and Galician languages at the European Parliament, this is why they sent an envoy (a Portuguese by the name of Vasco!) to present the overtly racist "language manifest" put forward by Fernando Savater and a few other Spanish extreme right supporters.

This issue has been reported at Eurolang:

New European Parliament Report on Multilingualism

Brussel - Bruxelles, Thursday, 22 January 2009 by Davyth Hicks

The Culture Committee met on Tuesday, 20th January, to discuss the Commission's Communication on Multilingualism with Mr Graca Moura's (EPP) report.

While the Communication has already been voted on at the EU Council rendering the 'own initiative' report somewhat redundant, some MEPs suggested in the Committee’s December meeting that non-official languages be excluded from Commission multilingualism policies. The report “insists on the need for recognition of parity between the EU's official languages”, thereby excluding all European unofficial languages.

Mr Graca Moura also backs the arguments of the pro-Spanish language lobby 'Manifiesto en Defensa de la Lengua Común', which sees Spanish as being “endangered” by Basque, Catalan, and Galician. To this end, Mr Moura has inserted the clause stressing the “vital importance of preserving the possibility for parents and guardians of choosing the official language in which their children are to be educated in countries with more than one official or regional language”. However, it fails to consider that, in the Basque Country for example, it is the lack of parental demand for the Spanish-medium only model which has led to it almost disappearing from schools.

Mr Csaba Sogor MEP (EPP) has drafted the Employment Committee’s contribution to the Report. It strongly counters Graca Moura’s proposals in favour of constitutional and regional languages and calls on all member states to ratify the ECRML.

EBLUL will be tabling amendments with Culture Committee MEPs, the deadline is Tuesday 27th January. (Eurolang 2009)

EBLUL is the European Bureau for Lesser-Used Languages and it is a democratically governed NGO promoting languages and linguistic diversity. It is based on a network of Member State Committees (MSCs) in all the ‘old' 15 EU Member States and many of the new Member States that joined the EU in May 2004. In several occasions EBLUL has issued documents in which it reports Spain's lack of commitment towards the implementation on policies that will strenghten the use of Euskara, Catalan and Galician.

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