No to EU Status for Scottish Gaelic

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Tue Dec 13 22:26:38 UTC 2005

No to EU Status for Scottish Gaelic

Glaschu - Glasgow, Monday, 05 December 2005 by Martainn MacLeid

The Scottish Executive have revealed that they are not to pursue the
option of enhanced status for Gaelic within the EU institutions despite a
ruling by the European Council earlier this year allowing such recognition
for minority languages which have official status within their member
states. The position of the Scottish and UK governments on this issue
contrast strongly with that of the Spanish government whose support for
the Basque, Catalan and Galician languages means that they may now be used
in European institutions.

It was revealed in July that while the UK Government had no current plans
to allow the usage of Gaelic in the EU institutions the Scottish Executive
was still considering its position on the issue. While it is the UK
government which has responsibility for relations with the EU, it would
have been open to the Scottish Executive to make representations to the
Government on the issue. It has now been made clear through the answer to
a Parliamentary Questions that the Scottish Executive have not and
seemingly do not intend to raise the issue of the use of Gaelic in the EU
institutions with the UK government. In response to a question from
nationalist MSP Michael Matheson, answered on 17 November, education
minister Peter Peacock responded that:

The decision to allow Gaelic to be recognised and used in correspondence
with EU institutions is a matter for the UK government and we understand
that the UK government has no current plans to change the existing
language provisions for UK languages. There have not been formal
discussions during the UK presidency of the EU between the Scottish
Executive and the UK government on this matter.  (Eurolang 2005)

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