MEPs support amended language proposals
20th November 2006
Proposals to give more recognition to minority languages have been rejected by Euro MPs. The proposals from the Greens / European Free Alliance Group did not receive the votes required to change EU policy. Bernat Joan from Catalonia had received the backing of his own group but failed to persuade members from other groups to support him. The Greens / EFA group has members from across Europe including both Scotland's SNP MEPs. Speaking after the vote, SNP MEP Ian Hudghton said, "It's a shame that a majority of MEPs didn't have the courage to back equality for all of Europe's languages, whether they are the official languages of the Member State or not. "We mustn't forget that there are an estimated forty six million speakers of lesser used languages such as Scots, Gaelic, Welsh, Catalan and Basque. These people have every right to expect to be treated equally by the European Union and be able to communicate with its institutions in their own languages." MEPs agreed to support an amended version of the proposals.