The party of the European Greens has received with enthusiasm one of the new proposals to emerge from the dialogue table between the Spanish and Catalan governments: that the Catalan language be present in the European Parliament. All this, after last Wednesday representatives of the Catalan government met with their counterparts in Madrid in the latest attempt to revive the dialogue approach to resolving the political conflict between Catalonia and the Spanish state. No major proposal on the conflict itself came out of the meeting, but some progress was made in terms of language. Thus, one of the points agreed was that the Spanish government would request the presidency of the European Parliament to consider Catalan as a language of use in full sessions of the European chamber, presenting a proposal to make this objective technically and financially viable and working to achieve a sufficient majority to endorse this request before the end of the current year.
The Greens-European Free Alliance, which includes Catalan parties ERC and the Comuns, has spoken out this Monday in favour of the proposal. And it has done so through the president of the European alliance, Ska Keller, who recalled that Catalan, with 10 million speakers, is the most important non-official language in Europe. "It should have its place in the European Parliament, along with our European Union languages. This decision should have been made years ago," said Keller, also regretting the position of the institution until now. Before Catalan is an official language, she said, "its use in EU institutions" should be allowed so that it can be used there by parliamentarians and citizens.
The aim is that, after the summer break, and as soon as the new proposal, to which the Spanish government has committed itself, arrives, the political group will ask the Bureau of the Parliament "to move forward by adopting the decision quickly" so that Catalan can be used "as soon as possible" in parliamentary activity. Keller concludes her comment with a warning: "We cannot fail the Catalan speakers again this time."
The fruits of the dialogue table
Beyond the Greens' support for the language proposal, the European party's press release also mentions the dialogue table, as the space where the agreement between the Catalan and Spanish parties came about. Interestingly, the environmentalist political group shares its support for "the proposal, as well as the conclusions and the spirit" of the last dialogue table meeting. In addition, they consider that this meeting space between the two parties has opened a "new stage of negotiations" which they believe is "very positive". This optimism with which the international community may react to the dialogue table is, precisely, one of the main threats that some representatives of the independence movement have previously emphasized, recalling that the existence of the space serves to whitewash the Spanish state and present it as a party willing to resolve the conflict with Catalonia. The table, agreed to by Pedro Sánchez's Spanish Socialists in January 2020 went they needed ERC's votes to form a minority coalition government in Spain, has only met three times: first in March 2020, then in September 2021, and another ten months later, last week's third meeting.