Minister McHugh welcomes European Council agreement to increase the use of Irish in EU institutions
The Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs, Joe McHugh T.D., has welcomed today’s agreement by the Council of the European Union to make a Regulation that sets out an incremental increase in the categories of EU legislation to be translated into Irish and to continue their proactive approach to increasing the availability of information in Irish on the activities of the EU.
Welcoming the agreement, Minister McHugh said:
“The Government places major importance on Irish becoming a full working language of the EU institutions. While Irish has been an official language of the European Union since 2007, the Government welcomes the approach agreed by the Council today to increase the categories of legislation to be translated and to continue to proactively increase the availability of information in Irish on the activities of the EU.
Over the next five years, the Government will work closely with the European Commission and the other EU institutions to work towards ensuring that a sufficient cohort of Irish language personnel is recruited and to manage the process towards enabling the introduction of a full language regime.”
Notes for Editors
Under the Irish Constitution, the Irish language, as the national language, is the first official language of the State. Under the terms of the derogation which has applied since 2007, only those EU laws made under the co-decision procedure must be translated into Irish.
The recruitment of a significant cohort of Irish language personnel has been challenging for the EU institutions to date. It has therefore been considered necessary to gradually reduce the scope of the derogation for a five year period from 1 January 2017, with a view to ending the derogation from 1 January 2022.
It is envisaged that the situation with regard to recruitment of Irish language staff to the EU institutions will improve due to the new approach which is in place since Autumn 2015 with regard to third-level courses being funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
The following is the timetable for the gradual increase in legislation to be translated:
|Directives adopted by the European Parliament and the Council||No later than 1 January 2017|
|Decisions adopted by the European Parliament and the Council||No later than 1 January 2018|
|Directives adopted by the Council which are addressed to all Member States||No later than 1 January 2020|
|Regulations adopted by the Council||No later than 1 January 2020|
|Decisions adopted by the Council which do not specify to whom they are addressed||No later than 1 January 2020|
|Regulations adopted by the Commission||No later than 1 January 2021|
|Directives adopted by the Commission which are addressed to all Member States||No later than 1 January 2021|
|Decisions adopted by the Commission which do not specify to whom they are addressed||No later than 1 January 2021|