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Parliamentary questions
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18 January 2019
Question for written answer E-000248-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Mara Bizzotto (ENF)

 Subject:  Rules on gender-neutral language at the European Parliament — request for the Commission's opinion
 Answer in writing 
In July 2018, the European Parliament published the handbook ‘Gender neutrality in the language used in the European Parliament’, which contains guidelines for Members and officials on the use of gender‐neutral language in institutional communication and the regulatory process. The manual lists words, sentences and expressions that are deemed to be discriminatory because they are only used in the masculine. Masculine grammar forms should be replaced by the corresponding feminine form, or both the masculine and feminine used, it says. Expressions such as ‘businessmen’ should be avoided, with the term ‘entrepreneurs’ being preferable. Since these rules cannot be applied uniformly to the 24 official languages of the EU, since each language is different, and since it is virtually impossible to replace masculine grammar terms with their equivalent neuter form and as this would be of questionable worth and could create uncertainties as to their interpretation, can the Commission state:
1. Whether other — and which — European institutions have adopted such rules;
2. Whether it has looked into the uncertainties surrounding interpretation that may arise from the use of gender-neutral language, and how it will address that issue?
Original language of question: IT 
Last updated: 11 February 2019Legal notice