Tuesday, 5 October 2004
Dáil Eireann Debate
230. Mr. Rabbitte asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the position regarding the status of the Irish language as an official EU language; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22763/04]
Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Éamon Ó Cuív): As I announced on 14 July 2004 on behalf of the Government, a process of discussions has been initiated with the other EU member states and the EU institutions with a view to seeking official and working language status for the Irish language in the EU under EEC Regulation 1/1958. The regulation is the legal instrument that governs the EU institutions’ official and working language regime. The focus in these ongoing discussions with representatives of the other member states and the EU institutions is on securing agreement on the practical modalities in relation to this objective.
Once these discussions have progressed sufficiently to clarify the practical options and issues arising in relation to achieving this objective, the matter will return formally to Government. The Deputy will understand why it would not be appropriate for me to make any public comment on the detail of these discussions until they have been brought to a conclusion.
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