Dáil Éireann - Volume 571 - 02 October, 2003
Written Answers. - EU Treaty Languages.
Mr. P. Breen Mr. P. Breen
122. Mr. P. Breen asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if the Irish language will be considered as an official language of the EU in view of the fact that there are new countries about to join the Union; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21822/03]
Mr. Cowen Mr. Cowen
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Cowen): The accession to the EU on 1 May 2004 of ten new member states is not expected to affect the status of the Irish language in the Union. The Irish language is an EU treaty language. In practice this has meant that each successive treaty is published in Irish as well as in the 11 other treaty languages, with the texts in Irish being equally authentic and having equal status with those in all other languages.
The new constitutional treaty, which is to be agreed at the Intergovernmental Conference that opens in Rome on 4 October, will also be in the Irish language in accordance with these provisions. The draft of the treaty submitted to the European Council in Thessaloníki also included an Irish language version.
While Irish is not one of the official working languages of the Union, the Treaty of Amsterdam introduced a provision whereby citizens of the Union may correspond with the Union's institutions referred to in Article 7 of the EC treaty and with the Ombudsman in any of the treaty languages, including Irish, and that they may receive an answer in the same language.
Dáil Éireann 571 Written Answers. EU Treaty Languages.