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Parliamentary questions
14 November 2007
Answer given by Mr Orban on behalf of the Commission

The Commission and Parliament currently employ one staff interpreter and one temporary agent of the Maltese language respectively.

Furthermore, there are currently 17 accredited freelance interpreters working for the European institutions. Temporary contracts have been offered to all accredited Maltese freelance interpreters, and from the autumn of 2008 the Commission expects to recruit one of them as a temporary agent.

To cover the current need for Maltese interpretation, the Commission would need around 15 interpreters per day on average, and Parliament between 9 and 20 interpreters per day, depending on the meeting calendar.

Until now, two competitions have been organised for Maltese, unfortunately without any successful candidates interpreting into Maltese. One Dutch interpreter working from Maltese passed this test however. The next competition is expected to take place in the course of 2008‑09.

A total of four freelance tests have been organised between 2005 and 2007, and the next test is expected to take place in October 2008, following the current training course at the University of Malta. Three of these tests were preceded by intensive training courses organised by the European institutions in order to maximise the chance of success, and a total of 12 participants in these courses subsequently passed their accreditation tests to become freelance interpreters.

It has to be pointed out that it's the Member States' responsibility to train conference interpreters. The first Maltese conference interpreter course was organised at the University of Westminster in 2004‑05. The University of Malta launched its first course in 2005 with the help of the European institutions. Since then, the University of Malta has organised two courses, and from the autumn of 2007, the course has become a full-time day course with 9 students in 2007.

Both the University of Malta and the European institutions make a continuous effort to raise awareness about the Malta training course and career opportunities within the European Union, organising high-level visits to Malta, taking contacts with the media, organising career days and the like.

OJ C 191, 29/07/2008
Last updated: 19 December 2007Legal notice