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Parliamentary questions
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26 February 2019
Question for written answer E-001000-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE)

 Subject:  Discrimination and threat to the right to work as a result of displaying the Basque flag
 Answer in writing 

‘United in diversity’ is the motto of the European Union. Article 22 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (annexed to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union) enshrines this principle in European law by declaring that the Union respects ‘cultural, religious and linguistic diversity’. Similarly, Article 15 highlights national minorities’ right to work, and Article 21 bans discrimination on the grounds of membership of a national minority. All these rights have been violated by the International Federation of Basque Pelota, which has penalised a player from the French team Bixintxo Bilbao for displaying the Basque flag (the ikurriña) after the team became world champions in a pelota discipline in October 2018 in Barcelona. The Federation’s rules do not ban displays of the Basque flag at officially sanctioned Basque pelota matches. The player referred to above may be prevented from exercising his profession for one year, however.

1. Does the Commission, as guardian of the Treaties, consider this behaviour acceptable in the European Union?

2. Does the Commission have the power to put a stop to behaviour of this kind by international sports bodies?

3. Given the repeated violations of the fundamental rights of national minorities in Europe, when will binding European legislation be introduced to protect them?

Original language of question: ES 
Last updated: 11 March 2019Legal notice