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21-05-2013

EP President supports an Irish language website for the European Parliament

A cross-party delegation of Irish MEPs including Pat the Cope Gallagher, Gay Mitchell, Emer Costello and Martina Anderson met with the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz to discuss the absence of an Irish language version of the European Parliament website.

The President listened to the case put by the delegation and agreed to support the establishment of an Irish version of the European Parliament website. In practical terms, he will recommend to the Bureau of the European Parliament (comprised of the Vice-President's and Questors) for this to be approved at its next meeting in early June.

The European Parliament website is currently produced in 22 out of the 23 official languages of the EU, all with the exception of Irish. Moreover, all other EU institutions including the European Commission and Council of Ministers have a website in Irish.

Pat the Cope Gallagher MEP (FF / ALDE) stated:

"I very much welcome the decision of the President and I am confident that the Irish version of the website will be up and running by the end of the year. The decision by President Schulz is a manifestation of his commitment to bringing the EU institutions closer to all its citizens.  This is a major breakthrough and will reverse what was simply a matter of discrimination against the Irish language."

Gay Mitchell MEP (FG / EPP) stated:

"I am extremely pleased with the outcome of our meeting with the President. The European Parliament is the only directly elected institution of the European Union and therefore has a duty to effectively communicate to all citizens."

Emer Costello MEP (Lab / S&D) stated:

"As one of the 23 official EU languages, I support the right of citizens to engage with the EU institutions in the Irish language. Therefore I very much welcome today's endorsement by President Martin Schulz of an Irish language version of the European Parliament website, and I am hopeful for a positive Bureau decision on this."

Martina Anderson MEP (SF / GUE) stated:

"I am delighted that the President of the European Parliament has taken the decision to support an Irish language version of the parliament's website. Gaeilge has been an official EU language since 2007, it is fantastic that it is finally being treated with similar rights to the other 22 official languages of the EU."

In conclusion, all MEPs were high in their praise for President Schulz for his positive and pragmatic approach.

ENDS

21 May 2013, Strasbourg