Source: Eurolang http://www.facebook.com/pages/Eurolang/174907085047
EUROLANG / EUROPEAN LANGUAGE EQUALITY NETWORK
MEPs protest to EU Council and Commission over dire
situation for Catalan in the Balearic Islands
grouping of MEPs led by the Hungarian MEPs Csaba Sogor (Hungarian minority,
Romania) and Edit Bauer representing Hungarians in Slovakia (EPP), signed by
EFA, ALDE and S&D Intergroup members, and after lobbying by Eurolang- ELEN
and Obra Cultural Balear (OCB), have sent a formal tabled question to the EU
Council and Commission protesting against measures that undermine Catalan in
Illes Balears and which have resulted in an ongoing hunger strike by pensioner
The letter asks whether the Commission, as 'Guardian of the
Treaties', considers that the measures adopted by the Balearic government
undermine "respect for linguistic diversity” and constitutes discrimination on
the grounds of language, which under EU law is prohibited?
it asks the Commission what it intends to do in order to protect national
minority rights in this situation.
The letter underlines that the
measures adopted by the regional government contravene European standards on
lesser used language protection found in the EU Lisbon Treaty, the Charter of
Fundamental Rights, and the Council of Europe's European Charter for Regional or
Minority Languages and Framework Convention for the Protection of National
Minorities, all ratified by Spain.
It adds that the measures also break
cross-party political consensus on Catalan promotion and undermine successful
That the letter has also the support of several
members of the European Peoples Party, of which the PP Iles Balears government
are members, is highly significant - a significance that will have resonance in
European, national and regional political circles. It illustrates a new mood at
the European level, under the ‘new European architecture for human rights,’ that
it is no longer acceptable for governments to attack or undermine a regional
The PP government of Illes Balears, led by José Ramón Bauzá,
voted a week ago to amend the law on Catalan normalisation which removes Catalan
language requirements in order to work in the public administration. The move
has been heavily criticised by NGOs for breaking a decades long cross-party
political consensus on regenerating the language.
Specialists in the
field of minority language rights have highlighted what they see as an abusive
use of the concept of 'freedom' to implement policies (some not even included in
the election manifesto) to annul existing measures seeking to guarantee minority
language speakers' rights. Similar measures by the government in the hands of
the same party, in Valencia, also based on the same principle, have also been
accused of failing to support the language and its use by speakers.
far there has been no reaction from the Balearic government while Senyor
Bonet-Moll’s condition continues to weaken. He has lost 20 kilos (44 lbs), has a
heart complaint, and has had his visiting hours restricted.
organising a mass demonstration against changes in the language law and in
support of Jaume Bonet for Sunday 25th March in Palma.(Eurolang
ELEN is the new European level
network working to promote lesser used languages replacing the well known EBLUL