Monday, March 1, 2010

Copenhagen criteria and Catalonia

When the EU decided to adopt the Copenhagen criteria for determining who could enter the EU, it set somewhat of a double standard on the protection of minority languages.

New EU members would have to adhere to the following framework (Convention for the Protection of National Minorities 1994 ):
  • Article 10: Right to use the minority language in administration and justice
  • Article 11: Right to display local names, street names and other topographical indications in the minority language
  • Article 12: Right to learn and receive instruction in one’s minority language
The double standard being that existing Euro members are not be bound by these rules.

Due to being part of Spain (which gets to play by the old rules), Catalonia can ignore these provisions and also pretty much ignore its(substantial) Spanish speaking minority. However, as its own country and (presumably) new EU member, it would be unlikely that these rules could be ignored, and Catalonia could find itself in the position where it needs to provide more services in Spanish that it currently does.

7 comments:

Josh said...

An interesting twist, but it almost seems that you write these posts just to get RAB's blood pressure up.

From Barcelona said...

It does seem the more one analyzes the arguments in favor of independence, the less beneficial it becomes for Catalunya. Then again, the notion of an independent Catalan state is a bit of a misnomer because they wouldn't be independent per se but rather they'd be answering to the unelected officials in Brussels instead of Madrid.

trevor said...

I think the stats say that Spanish is the majority primary language, which afaik leaves its users unprotected by legislation or other protocols. It's an intriguing situation which I can only suppose is sustained by the lingering myth of a left-nationalist coalition against substantially mythical repression during the reign of a man who died rather a long time ago. There are several parallels elsewhere in Western Europe--increasing pressure for the official use of archaic, minority, Low Saxon dialects in Holland is one I'm reasonably familiar with--and my impression from elsewhere is that such impositions tend to result in disorder when stuff like the economy isn't going swimmingly.

Anonymous said...

Good old Trevor always trying to compare Catalan to some obscure and archaic, minority languages...

Perhaps Trevor thinks Catalan is such a minority language because, being as reluctant to integrate in his host country as he seems to be, everybody around him can only speak in Spanish to him, or else, he chooses to be part of the Spanish community in Catalonia...

santcugat said...

You mean Catalan isn't an obscure archaic minority language?

Looks like it ranks around Ilokano, Uyghur, Neapolitan, Kinyarwand, Tigrinya, and Minangkabau. All very useful languages to know, I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

Well, if you think that Catalan is not a useful language in Catalonia, perhaps you are even a less integrated immigrant to this country that I ever thought!

santcugat said...

Sure, every obscure language is useful somewhere.

It's not going to get you far outside Catalunya though.