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de Brún calls for Irish interpretation in EU plenary debates

26 October, 2004

Sinn Fein MEP Bairbre de Brún has co signed a letter to the President of the European Parliament Josep Borrell calling for more adequate facilities for interpretation from non official working languages during EU parliamentary sessions. The letter, initiated by Basque and Catalan MEPs and supported by Sinn Fein, comes after a decision that allows deputies to speak in 'non-official‚ working languages but will not provide interpretation nor will their contribution be part of the Minutes.

Speaking today Ms de Brun said:

"There was a proposal made to the European Parliament's Bureau, whereby MEPs wishing to speak in non official working languages, such as Irish, could submit their comments in written form in an official working language, to facilitate interpretation. Unfortunately this proposal has been rejected.

"Such a rejection goes against the principles of the Charter of Fundamental Rights that promotes respect for cultural and linguistic diversity. This decision is a denial of the linguistic rights of millions of people across the EU.

"Sinn Fein is calling on the Bureau to reconsiders its decision and to take a more positive attitude to issues of linguistic rights and cultural diversity.

"Ultimately, such issues can only be resolved when Irish is given full official working status, and Irish speakers treated as equals within the EU. I will continue to campaign until this end is achieved."ENDS

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