Read in Catalan

This Wednesday it is to be debated in the European Parliament: the draft report drawn up after a mission of MEPs set up from a strong Spanish nationalist perspective, came to Catalonia last December to analyze the language immersion model in Catalan schools. The Petitions Committee of the European chamber, which, under the leadership of the People's Party (PP) MEP Dolors Montserrat, decided on the mission, will discuss the document it produced, which advocates "equivalent" treatment of Catalan and Spanish in Catalan classrooms, a policy that would mean erasing the immersion model. For this very reason, the Generalitat government denounces that, while stressing its respect for the European institutions and their instruments, the MEPs of this mission did not do a "rigorous job of taking an interest in the Catalan school or in the results of the immersion system". The executive also warns that the goal of the mission was "to use the resources of the European Parliament in a partisan and biased way on the part of the PP to try and discredit the Catalan school model". Petitions Committee president Dolors Montserrat is known for her long struggle against the Catalan language, also from within the European institutions. "This is a right-wing and far-right campaign carried out with resources from the European Parliament", states the Catalan executive, who frame it within the "catalanophobic crusade" of the PP and Vox.

PP leadership bringing European institutions into disrepute

Despite the content of this draft, the Catalan government believes that, far from "getting what they wanted", the PP has succeeded "once again" in discrediting the European institutions through the "shameful manipulation it has made from the head of the Petitions Committee to defend its partisan interests, especially against Catalonia". The Generalitat of Catalonia notes that during this last legislative term, on two occasions letters were sent to the presidency of the European Parliament expressing MEPs' unease over the committee.

Similarly, the Pere Aragonès executive also expresses its disappointment that the committee chaired by Montserrat organized a session in the European Parliament on this language issue where, instead of representatives of the Catalan educational model there were only participants proposed by the right and far right. On the mission to Catalonia, which was carried out at the request of the Ciudadanos party and took place before schools started Christmas holidays, the situation was similar: MEPs mostly met with representatives of associations that were against the three-decade-old linguistic model with the exception of meetings with the Catalan education minister and the Fundació Bofill. Summing up, the Catalan government sees the MEPs' mission, and its conclusions, as "theatre organized by the People's Party and Vox", expressing its regret that these two parties are incapable even of respecting the European institutions in their "catalanophobic crusade".

Little surprise at conclusions

The text of the draft that will be debated on Wednesday holds few surprises, since it is in the same line as that presented by the vice-president of the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament and representative of Estonia, Yana Toom, at the end of her visit to Catalonia. Toom led the group of MEPs and in her final appearance reproduced one by one the arguments of those opposed to the immersion model, also stating that the Catalan minister of education, Anna Simó, had left some questions unanswered and that the report of the Fundació Bofill could not prove its theses with data.