Italy wins EU court ruling over language rights

Coliseum Rome.JPG

European Union job announcements should be published in all 23 official languages, EU judges ruled yesterday (27 November).

The European Court of Justice ruled in favour of Italy yesterday, requesting that public notices for EU institutions job examinations be published in all 23 official languages. 

"The publication in three languages ??[English, French, German] of EU competition notices and the requirement for tests to be held in one of these languages ??constitute discrimination on grounds of language," the court ruled.

Rome had complained that job announcements in the EU's Official Journal were published in just English, French and German and that this constituted discrimination.

Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said Rome was "delighted" with the ruling.

"This is an important decision because it … defends the principle of non-discrimination in language in the European Union," Terzi said, cited by the Gazzetta del Sud.

The court ruling also confirmed that EU recruiters had the option of restricting the second language for a given job competition, to fit their interests. But it added that the rules governing those limitations should be "clear, objective and predictable".

Candidates, it said, should "know well in advance the necessary language skills" that will be required of them at the examination in order to "prepare for competition in the best conditions."

Italy had signalled its readiness to fight over EU language issues when it opposed plans to set up a single patent to register products across Europe.

Italy claimed the plans would give an unfair advantage to French, German and British companies as those were the three languages decided for the single EU patent.

The patent plan was finally adopted in June, but without Spain and Italy.

EU Court of Justice

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