The Spanish Government has found a new legal loophole to defend the official status of Catalan, Galician and Basque in the European Union compared to the situation in 2004, when the executive of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero launched the petition in Brussels and the service Council considered that it could not be carried out without reforming the European treaties. The request will be examined tomorrow at ministerial level in Brussels and, in its proposal to reform the regulation that establishes the linguistic regime of the community institutions, the Spanish delegation specifically refers to article 55.2 of the Treaty of Lisbon signed in 2007 and maintains that this already recognizes Catalan, Galician and Basque "as co-official" by recognizing the right for this legal instrument to be translated into other languages recognized by the member states.
"This Treaty may be translated into other languages as determined by the member states among those which, in accordance with their constitutional order, enjoy official status in all or part of their territory," states Article 55(2) of the Treaty of Lisbon. , which came into force in 2009, which also provides that countries that wish to do so can "deposit a certified copy of these translations in the archives of the Council." At the time, Spain passed this legal instrument into Catalan, Galician and Basque and deposited a copy with the Council of the EU. Only one other country has made use of this right, the Netherlands, which deposited a copy in Frisian, the language spoken by some 450,000 people in its northernmost province, Friesland.
Evoking this article, the Government intends to overcome the legal blockage that occurred in the Council in 2005 and rely, without mentioning it, on the Irish case, which was launched at the same time and, unlike the Spanish case, did come to fruition. port after two years of negotiations. The big difference is that Gaelic has been, since 1973, a treaty language, although at the time the Irish Government did not request that it be included in the regulations that govern its internal functioning and until a few years ago community legislation was not translated into this language. language.
Annex 2 included among the documents that European ministers will examine tomorrow in the General Affairs Council of the EU includes a draft of the Parliament's reform and maintains that Catalan, Galician and Basque are "recognized languages as co-official languages by article 55.2 of the Treaty of European Union - in said linguistic regime of the EU".
The discussion between the ambassadors of the Twenty-seven held on Friday in Brussels showed that the debate needs more time (formally, it appears as an item on the agenda for "adoption", something that will not happen tomorrow) and that a large number of delegations want have an analysis of the legal, economic and operational implications of the Spanish proposal. Publicly, only Finland and Sweden have taken a position to express their reservations about the initiative to expand the number of official languages given its economic and operational implications, as they fear that it will make the EU's legislative action less effective. It is expected that tomorrow the position of France will be made public, one of the countries from which it is suspected that more reserves may arrive. Germany, on the other hand, is open to the idea although it requests more information to debate it in depth.
The current text of the proposal to reform the regulations proposed by the Government does not include for now the offer, expressed on Friday, that Spain be the one to assume the cost of this decision, but it is possible that future drafts will detail this possibility by adding or reforming some article. of the aforementioned regulation. Although the cost of including three more languages in the EU linguistic regime does not seem to be the main impediment, European diplomatic sources consider that it is an element that can be "useful" and be "interesting" for certain delegations. Austria, for example, already stated on Friday that it was fine with this approach. The Government has not, however, presented any analysis of the cost that this initiative may entail for the Spanish public coffers.