France plans to make French the official working language of the European Union to the detriment of English, as it prepares to take over the European Council for the first time since Brexit.
According to Politico, Paris is pushing for its mother tongue to become the âlingua francaâ of Brussels. “Even if we admit that English is a working language and that it is commonly used, the basis for speaking French remains fully in place in the EU institutions,” a senior French diplomat told the website.
The diplomat added: “It must be enriched, revived so that the French language really regains ground, and above all, the taste and pride of multilingualism.
The European Council (EUCO), which helps set the political agenda in Brussels, could see all high-level meetings held in French during the presidency semester.
All High Level Council meetings would be held in French. Notes and minutes will also prioritize language, and letters from the European Commission will also drop English in favor of French.
‘We will wait for the French version’
“We will always ask the Commission to send us in French the letters it wishes to send to the French authorities, and if they do not do so, we will wait for the French version before sending it,” said the diplomat.
France has not been in charge of EUCO since 2008, when Nicolas Sarkozy was the country’s president. He is now expected to lead the EU body from January to June next year.
And with the UK’s exit from the EU, the current French ministers now want to put pressure on French in front of the English âersatzâ used by Brussels officials.
European Affairs Minister ClÃ©ment Beaune and Secretary of State Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said earlier this year that the Presidency had created “an opportunity to raise this vital fight for multilingualism”.
They said in a Le Figaro article according to which the use of French in Brussels “had diminished in favor of English, and more often of Globish – this ersatz of the English language, which narrows the field of thought and restricts the capacity to express oneself”.
The plans for the EU’s language of work come as the bloc and the UK go through a new wave of tensions over the Northern Ireland protocol, which is to be followed in the context of Brexit.
David Frost, Britain’s Brexit Minister, is due to meet with European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic to discuss the issues tomorrow – as Frost has said time is “running out”.
Northern Ireland Justice Minister Naomi Long said London’s economy in April that Boris Johnson was “incredibly dishonest in promising people that they can have their cake and eat it” during the Brexit process and “jaded” in dealing with some of the fallout from that.
She said TLE: âThere was the possibility that the grace periods could have been extended by agreement, which is how it should be done. By ignoring this and instead trying to flex the British muscle, he wasted political capital with the European Commission.
âIt’s difficult for NI because we are still part of the EU single market, we are impacted by the decisions taken; but it’s also bad for the UK, because we need to have positive relations with our closest neighbors – and that is the EU. “
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Britons traveling to see friends and family in France must now obtain permission from local town halls