Minutes of meeting which decided the delay of the official European status of the Irish Language

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Caoimhe Ni Chathail

Dear European Parliament,

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting documents which contain the following information:

- Minutes of the meeting(s) which discussed and delayed the official status in the European Parliament of the Irish language.

- Minutes of the meeting(s) which discussed and delayed the translation of the European Parliament's website into Irish.

- List of those in attendance at the above meeting(s).

Yours faithfully,

Caoimhe Ni Chathail

Registre, European Parliament

Our ref : A(2015)2806

Dear Mrs Chathail,

We acknowledge receipt of your request. You will receive a reply within 15 working days.

Kind regards


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Our ref : A(2015)2806/pb/en

Dear Mrs Ni Chathail,

the use of languages in the institutions of the European Union is an important topic, so important that the very first Council regulation was about languages in the EEC (Regulation No 1 determining the languages to be used by the European Economic Community (OJ P 017, 6.10.1958, p.385) - consolidated version: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/E...). As you can see in the regulation's first paragraph refers to Article 217 TEC as the regulation’s legal basis. The Article establishes that it is the Council who determines the rules governing the languages of the institutions of the Community, acting unanimously. It is thus also the Council who may introduce derogations.

°°°Council regulation°°°

On 13 June 2005, the Council adopted a derogation concerning the use of the Irish language in the institutions.

Council Regulation (EC) No 920/2005 can be found at the following link: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/E...

Council Regulation (EC) No 920/2005 was adopted unanimously under the Luxembourgish Presidency and you can find the governments’ representatives present on page 5 of the relevant Council document: Council doc. 9499/05 (http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/docu...). On page 15 of the same document Council invited the other institutions “to conclude administrative arrangements on this basis."

The initial five year derogation was further extended by Council Regulation (EU) No 1257/2010 (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/E...) which states in Article 1: "The derogation provided for in the first paragraph of Article 2 of Regulation (EC) No 920/2005 is hereby extended for a period of 5 years from 1 January 2012." This decision was taken unanimously during the 3061st Council meeting Environment in Brussels on 20 December 2010 (Council doc. 18120/10, p. 22. - http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/docu...). Participants in this meeting are listed on p. 6 of the document.

°°°European Parliament’s decisions°°°

The European Parliament has implemented Council’s regulations on the use of languages in the institutions of the European Union through its Rules of Procedure, and particularly Rules 158 and 159.

Rule 158 can be found at the following link: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getD...

Rule 159 of Parliament's Rules of Procedure consists of a transitional provision which allows derogating to Rule 158.
Rule 159 of Parliament's Rules of Procedure can be found here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getD...

On 26 February 2014 Parliament decided to extend the applicability of Rule 159 until the end of the eight parliamentary term. [When the decision was taken the rule had a different number, i.e. 147. You find the text of the proposed decision, which was adopted without amendments, as pdf file in attach.]

Parliament's decision of 26 February 2014 can be downloaded at the following link, where you may also find a summary of the reasons: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popup....

The debate can be found on Parliament’s website (http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getD...). The result of the roll-call vote can be found in the minutes on p.17/18 (doc. B7-0186/2014 - http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getD...).

According to Rule 159(1) of the Rules of Procedure, "during a transitional period expiring at the end of the eighth parliamentary term, derogations from Rule 158 shall be permissible if and to the extent that, despite adequate precautions, interpreters or translators for an official language are not available in sufficient numbers". The Bureau of the Parliament shall ascertain with respect to each of the official languages concerned whether the conditions set out in paragraph 1 are fulfilled, and shall review its decision at six-monthly intervals.

The most recent decision of the Bureau has been taken on 24 November 2014.
Minutes of the Bureau's meeting are available on Parliament's public register of documents: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/or..., p. 39).

By its decision of 24 November 2014, the Bureau decided by consensus to extend the derogation under Rule 159, with respect to Irish interpretation, translation and legal-linguistic finalisation, until 30 June 2015.

Members of the Bureau of the European Parliament and a description of its procedures can be found on the Parliament’s website.

We hope this information answers your questions.
Sincere regards

TRANSPARENCY – ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS
EPRS | European Parliamentary Research Service
Directorate for the Library
Public Register Webpage
[email address]

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