By the spring, the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) will publish notices regarding its selection procedure in all official EU languages, instead of just French, German and English. EurActiv Italy reports.
“The battle is won. Italian will no longer be discriminated against in EU competitions,” said Antonio Tajani, one of the European Parliament’s fourteen vice-presidents.
In conjunction with his Spanish colleague, Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, Tajani referred to the European Commission’s response to a question, which they had submitted regarding linguistic discrimination.
The question was followed up by a series of European Court of Justice judgements, with the Luxembourg-based institution considering the publication of competition notices just in English, French and German discriminatory against other EU languages. A long legal battle has raged since 2008, which, in September 2015, resulted in the cancellation of three competitions organised by EPSO.
EPSO has been publishing certain competition notices and pre-selection documents in all official EU languages since 2011. Kristalina Georgieva, Commissioner for Budget and Human resources, explained that “EPSO carried out a thorough analysis of the possible options and their feasibility.”
The Bulgarian Commissioner stated that EPSO would ensure that the principle of non-discrimination would be enforced, and that the proper and smooth functioning of the EU would be safeguarded.
“Indeed, the Commission believes that it is possible to improve some elements of the current general rules on the use of languages ??in competitions managed by EPSO,” Georgieva admitted, noting that, “in this context, EPSO is currently reviewing the general provisions relating to competitions”.
As to a timeframe, Georgieva said that EPSO “intends to publish the selection procedure schedule in spring 2016”.
Currently, potential EU candidates must be a citizen of a member state and must be able to display linguisitic proficiency in one of the bloc's procedural languages: English, French or German. Nationals of one of those countries must be able to speak an additional procedural language, beyond their mother tongue. For example, an English native speaker must be able to speak French and/or German.
Since the 2004 and 2007 enlargements of the European Union, English has gradually become the main working language of the institutions, and the role of French and German has become diminished, although French still retains a major role in the ECJ.