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Parliamentary questions
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6 December 2011
Question for written answer E-011475/2011
to the Commission
Rule 117
Nathalie Griesbeck (ALDE)

 Subject: Multilingualism and the Commission's Internet sites
 Answer in writing 

The Internet is a preferred means of communication for the Commission, which publishes official information there on European Union policies and the various activities of its Directorates-General, but also on calls for projects or proposals or on public consultations.

In accordance with Council Regulation No 1 of 1958, which has been amended on several occasions following the recognition of new official languages, the Commission is obliged to translate EC law and documents relating to it into all the EU official languages to enable the public, businesses, economic operators and all other people concerned to assert their rights and meet their obligations.

However a large number of its webpages, such as the Internet sites of DG HOME, DG MOVE, or even DG ENVI, are only available in English, thereby preventing a great many EU citizens from accessing information on the EU’s policies on internal affairs, transport or the environment. Furthermore, the webpages for the Commission’s calls for proposals (whether these be for the LIFE+ Programme or DG Justice’s calls for proposals), and in fact all related documents such as guidelines for the calls, financial conditions, procedures, etc., are likewise only available in English, even though these pages are aimed directly at project promoters who must be able to access this information in order to respond correctly.

1. Would the Commission not agree that all European Union citizens must be able to access the same information?

2. Could the Commission explain why some Internet sites have not been translated into all 23 official EU languages and could it say when this will be done?

3. Would the Commission not agree that, for project promoters to be able to respond correctly to the calls for proposals, documents relating to these calls must be translated?

4. Finally, what measures is the Commission planning to take to ensure that multilingualism is observed on its Internet sites?

Original language of question: FROJ C 180 E, 21/06/2012
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