Far less EU documentation than orignally thought will be translated in to Irish
Foreignpolicy.ie has learnt that only a limited amount of EU legal instruments will be translated into Irish despite the fanfare of Irish becoming an “official” EU language.
A spokesperson for the Council has confirmed to us that regulation number 920/2005 only covers regulations adopted by co-decision. This means that laws adopted outside of co-decision will not be translated and importantly directives (one of the main sources of EU law), resolutions and decisions will not be translated..
On top of this any decision relating to Justice and Home Affairs or the Common Foreign and Security Policy will not be translated. Decisions of the European Court of Justice and any documentation in relation to the growing number of informal meeting will not be translated.
It is extremely difficult to estimate the number of legal instruments that would be subject to translation. The Council secretariat is very reluctant to do so but subject to qualification says the relevant acts in the second half of last year would have been 1/3 and about ½ would be estimated to be eligible this year. Of course this doesn’t allow for acts not covered by co-decision and other documents such as those from the European Court of Justice.
Therefore our estimate here at foreignpolicy.ie based on the above is that only about 20% of EU laws and legal documents will be translated into Irish.
Below text of the note form Council secretariat
Dear Mr. Mc Loughlin,
Thank you for your request for information of 26 January 2007 concerning the number of acts, which can potentially be drafted in Irish, i.e. by co-decision.
In your question, you also refer to the intergovernmental arrangements like CFSP and JHA.
As you may know, legal instruments established within the framework of the intergovernmental policy areas (the so-called second and third pillar of the EU Treaty) are not adopted by co-decision and will therefore not be drawn up in Irish.
It should be recalled, in this context, that, pursuant to Article 2 of Regulation (EC) No 920/2005, which entered into force on 1 January 2007, only Regulations (as opposed to e.g. Directives and/or Decisions) adopted jointly by the European Parliament and the Council under the co-decision procedure shall be drafted in Irish and published in that language in the Official Journal of the European Union.
This means that only a certain number - and not all - legislative acts adopted by co-decision shall be drafted and published in Irish.
As it appears from a note that was recently published on the Council's web site:
123 proposed legal acts are presently being dealt with by the Council and the European Parliament under the co-decision procedure, 63 of which are proposals for Regulations. However, it is not possible, at this juncture, to make any estimate as to how many of these will be adopted before the end of the current year and consequently be drafted and published in Irish in 2007.
During the second half of 2006, for example, i.e. before the entry into force of Regulation (EC) No 920/2005, altogether 60 legal acts were adopted in co-decision by the European Parliament and the Council, 20 of which were Regulations :
However, given that the number of co-decision acts may vary from one year to another, and that the number of cases where a Regulation is considered to be the appropriate legal instrument may also vary depending on the policy areas concerned, it is not possible to make any accurate estimate of how many Regulations are likely to be drafted, adopted and published in Irish during a given year.
The figures referred to above should therefore only be considered as indicative and can not serve as a basis for any accurate forecasts as regards the number of legal acts to be drafted in Irish during the years to come.
The General Secretariat of the Council does not hold any information as regards the number of texts that have been or will be drafted and published in Irish by other EU institutions.
However, should it be of any interest to you, you are, of course, welcome to contact the General Secretariat in a year's time in order to obtain information on the exact number of legal acts that were drafted and published in Irish in the course of 2007.
Maureen A. Barnett
DG F - Information to the Public
General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union
Tel: 00 32 2 281 5650
Fax: 00 32 2 281 4977
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The views expressed are purely those of the writer and may not in any circumstances be regarded as stating an official position of the Council.
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