EFA Group calls on France to respect linguistic diversity

EFA Group calls on France to respect linguistic diversity

EP Plenary session — Debates on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law

The European Free Alliance Group in the European Parliament calls on the French state to stop the discrimination of regional and minority languages.

Yesterday the French courts sentenced that it was illegal to speak Catalan in the Local Council of the plenaries in Catalan-speaking territories, this sentence comes after the decision last March of banning the Corsican language from the Corsican Assembly.

In 2021, the French Assembly approved the Law Molac, a legislation to protect and promote regional languages, but later on, the French Council ruled the law unconstitutional so they had to backtrack the legislation.

France is a country rich in cultural and linguistic diversity.

“This is why from the EFA Group we call on the Courts to stop linguistic discrimination and guarantee the right of the people to learn, speak and live in their language,” underlines EFA press release.

“One of the main assets of the European Union is its linguistic diversity, which must not only be respected but also protected and promoted. It is a shame that France is going in the opposite direction to the protection and promotion of linguistic diversity,” said Jordi Solé, EFA Group President.

“After having forbidden the members of the Legislative Assembly of Corsica to speak in Corsican, he now forbids the use of Catalan in the municipal meetings of Northern Catalonia.”

“Prohibiting elected officials from using the language of the territories where they are elected, and of many of their constituents and themselves, is undoubtedly discrimination, incompatible with the fundamental principles on which the EU is based”.

“The Administrative Court of Montpellier, at the request of the Prefect, has prohibited the use of the Catalan language during municipal councils held in the communes of Northern Catalonia. The same decision was recently handed down by the Administrative Court of Bastia, which prohibited the use of Corsican in the Corsican Assembly,” said François Alfonsi, EFA MEP from Corsica.

“Speaking Catalan in Catalonia, speaking Corsican in Corsica is an integral part of human rights. No one can be discriminated for having decided to express himself or herself in the language of his country,” he added.

“The French state behaves like a totalitarian state and denies its linguistic diversity. It is urgent to act to protect our cultures and languages. We must put an end to these decisions.”

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