Nationalist MEP Welcomes Executive Pledge To Help Enhance The Use Of Gaelic In Europe

11 September 2006
Scottish National Party MEP Alyn Smith is welcoming assurances from the Scottish Executive that it will look into ways of increasing the use of the Gaelic language in European institutions.

Mr Smith had written to Gaelic Minister Peter Peacock asking him to explore the possibility of the Scottish Executive and Bord na Gaidhlig providing translation services to enable Gaelic speakers to correspond with European officials in their own language.

The Executive have not committed to provide translation services but have said they are looking into the issue and working with the National Assembly of Wales on the issue.

Mr Smith said

"In recent weeks Catalan, Galician and Basque have all been approved by the European Parliament as spoken and written languages within the institution.

"I'm keen that Gaelic should also be included and that the Scottish Executive and Bord na Gaidhlig should assist in covering the necessary translation costs as the Catalan government do."

Mr Smith continued

"The Minister's response to my request that his department look into this is encouraging and he assures me that officials at his department are investigation how this can be done.

"I myself will be using the current consultation on the National Plan for Gaelic to further this issue in the hope that Gaelic will, in time, enjoy the same status as other minority languages within the European Parliament."