Welsh ‘may be used’ at EU level
The Welsh assembly would have to pay for any translation in the EU parliament
Talks have begun over the possibility of using the Welsh language in some European Union meetings.
A spokesman for the UK government confirmed negotiations had begun for the “limited” use of Welsh, following approaches from the Welsh assembly. However, the UK will not press for it to be Europe’s 24th official language. The assembly would have pay for any service, which was likely to be restricted, rather than being a full EU translation and interpretation service.
If agreed, Welsh speakers would be able to address some meetings in Welsh, with English translation, but without any interpretation into Welsh.A UK government spokesman said: “Following a request from the Welsh Assembly Government, we are in discussion with EU officials regarding the limited use of Welsh at EU level with a view to establishing a workable and efficient system.”This is not about adding Welsh to the list of official EU languages.
“These proposals are still under discussion and no arrangements have yet been agreed. “Any costs incurred if such a system is established will be paid for by the Welsh Assembly Government as part of its commitment to promote the Welsh language.” Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans has asked public bodies in Wales to join her campaign for the use of Welsh in the European parliament as well as for the right of Welsh speakers to communicate with the parliament in the language. She has already addressed the parliament in Welsh, without translation, in response to a speech by the former prime minister, Tony Blair.