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EU Linguistic Regime

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 29th June 2005.

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Photo of Angus MacNeil Angus MacNeil Shadow Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport), Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government will implement the EU linguistic regime, agreed at the General Affairs Council of 13 June, with respect to any of the UK's languages in addition to English.

Photo of Douglas Alexander Douglas Alexander Minister of State (Europe)

holding answer 27 June 2005

The General Affairs and External Relations Council of 13 June adopted conclusions, on a proposal from Spain, for a degree of official recognition in the EU of all languages that have official status in member states, either through their constitutions or national law. This means that member states may enter into administrative arrangements with the EU institutions over which languages may be used in relations with them, with the member state meeting all the direct or indirect costs incurred. Member states have agreed that any such arrangement should not have any effect on the otherwise efficient functioning of the institutions or on the legal status of the existing official languages of the Union. At the moment, Spain is the only country to have requested such arrangements for its regional languages. The Government have no current plans to make similar provisions for UK languages.

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