Dear Sir or Madam,

Would you please let me know whether the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's understanding of the principle for official languages of the European Union is that each newly-acceding member state can put forward at most one new official language for the European Union ('one member state, one language').

Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Dr Kaihsu Tai

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Dear Dr Tai

I have forwarded your enquiry to the relevant department within the
Foreign and Commonwealth Office. To be aware, we will not be treating
your question under the Freedom Of Information Act but will reply to you
as part of our normal correspondence.

Yours

Shajaat Jalil
Information Management Group

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Foreign and Commonwealth Office

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Dear Madam or Sir,

I asked on 23 July 2008 "Would you please let me know whether the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's understanding of the principle for official languages of the European Union is that each newly-acceding member state can put forward at most one new official language for the European Union ('one member state, one language')."

You notified me on the same day that you "will not be treating your question under the Freedom Of Information Act but will reply to you as part of our normal correspondence", which I appreciate.

However, today you sent me a message, which does not answer my question, but is related to Sikh lobby to the European Parliament. I am afraid a mistake was made. Would you please answer my question in your convenience?

I thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Kaihsu Tai

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

1 Attachment

Apologies, last message contained the wrong attachment. Please find
correct response.

<<UNCL 080820 Letter to Dr Tai - EU National languages.doc>>

EU Communications

***********************************************************************************
Visit [1]http://www.fco.gov.uk for British foreign policy news and travel
advice, [2]http://blogs.fco.gov.uk to read our blogs and
[3]http://www.i-uk.com - the essential guide to the UK

Please note that all messages sent and received by members of the Foreign
& Commonwealth Office and its missions overseas may be automatically
logged, monitored and/or recorded in accordance with the
Telecommunications (Lawful Business Practice) (Interception of
Communications) Regulations 2000. We keep and use information in line with
the Data Protection Act 1998. We may release this personal information to
other UK government departments and public authorities.

***********************************************************************************

References

Visible links
1. http://www.fco.gov.uk/
2. http://blogs.fco.gov.uk/
3. http://www.i-uk.com/

Dear EU Institutions Team,

I thank you for your helpful response.

Sincerely,

Kaihsu Tai

-----Original Message-----

Dear Dr Tai,

Thank you for your email of 23 July regarding languages in the European Union. I am replying as the responsible Desk Officer.

The official languages of the European Union were originally stipulated in EEC Council Regulation No 1/1958 determining the languages to be used by the European Economic Community. They are those “whose status is recognised by the Constitution of a Member State in all or part of its territory or the use of which as a national language is authorised by law”.

The European Union currently has 27 Member States and 23 official languages. Each Member State, when it joins the Union, stipulates which language or languages it wishes to have declared official languages of the EU. The agreement on this matter is then recorded in the Act of Accession.

There is now also provision for the limited recognition by the EU of languages other than the official languages. On 13 June 2005, the Council authorised the limited use at EU level of languages recognised by Member States other than the official working languages and granted recognition to "languages other than the languages referred to in Council Regulation No 1/1958 whose status is recognised by the Constitution of a Member State on all or part of its territory or the use of which as a national language is authorised by law”. The official use of such languages is authorised on the basis of an administrative arrangement concluded between the Council and the requesting Member State.

Such an administrative arrangement was recently agreed between the UK and the Council (published in the Official Journal C 194, 31/07/2008 P. 0007 – 0008) permitting “the official use at the Council of the languages other than those referred to in Regulation No 1/1958 and whose status is recognised, in the United Kingdom's constitutional system, by Acts of Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and/or legislative acts of the appropriate legislative body”. On this basis, the Government has reached agreement with the Welsh Assembly Government on the limited use of Welsh at EU level, and expects to reach shortly a similar agreement with the Scottish Executive on the limited use of Scottish Gaelic. Spain has also taken advantage of these provisions for its regional languages.

I hope you find this reply helpful.

Yours sincerely,

EU Institutions Team
Europe Delivery Group

Kaihsu Tai left an annotation ()

The administrative arrangement cited is available as HTML at http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexU... and as PDF at http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexU...

Kaihsu Tai left an annotation ()

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