Berlin MP’s: ‘We’ll Get Everyone In The EU Speaking German’
A trio of Berlin based German MP’s have said that they want to reduce the influence of the English language within the EU and, following the departure of Britain in 2019, they want to diminish the language ‘in favour of German, which should be more prominent’.
They want to see fewer speeches, press conferences and publications produced in English, despite the fact it is by far the most widely spoken second language on the continent.
The Commission chief has made a notable and concerted effort to deliver more of his remarks in German and French since the furore, frequently grumbling when he is required to speak in English.
In a letter to Mrs Merkel the trio wrote: “In addition to the equal use of the German language as a working language in the bodies of the European Union and increased use in all international institutions, the German language especially needs to be thoroughly used in our own country.”
The German chancellor’s chief of staff Peter Altmaier then responded to the MPs saying Berlin had been “advocating for years” an increase in use of their language.
He wrote: “The German government has been advocating for years for the European Union institutions to use German appropriately. That includes repeatedly insisting that important European Union documents must be translated into German on time.”
German is one of the three main working languages of the EU but is considered a poorer relation compared to English and French, which are used far more frequently at official events.
Johannes Singhammer, an MP in Angela Merkel’s coalition government, told EurActiv: “It’s a good thing if after Brexit the two other EU official languages, French and German, start to be used more again.”
He said: “It’s so important that we have official translations to work with, especially when the documents are about complex topics where every letter matters.”
His crusade to boost the use of German is apparently being backed by the country’s commissioner Gunther Oettinger, who only ever answers questions in his mother tongue.
It is also supported by two other leading MPs – centre-right heavyweight Gunter Krichbaum and left-winger Axel Schäfer, who is the socialist party’s spokesman on EU affairs.
Westmonster Dave is the editor of alt-politics.com