Eu language policy a legal perspective
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EU language policy: A legal perspective. Vít Dovalil Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. v it.dovalil @germanistik.uni-freiburg.de. Outline of talk. Research questions 2)Concepts and theoretical framework: language law analysis based on language management theory 3)Data analysis:

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Eu language policy a legal perspective

EU language policy: A legal perspective

Vít Dovalil

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

[email protected]


Outline of talk

Outline of talk

  • Research questions

    2)Concepts and theoretical framework: language law analysis based on language management theory

    3)Data analysis:

    • Italy v Commission (C-566/10 P, judgment of 27 November 2012)

    • Italy v Commission (T-124/13, action brought on 4 March 2013)

    • Spain v Eurojust (C-160/03, judgment of 15 March 2005)

      4)Concluding remarks

EU language policy: a legal perspective


Research questions

Research questions

  • Which tendencies in the decision-making of the European Court of Justice (General Court, Civil Service Tribunal) can be identified as far as the language law is concerned?

  • To what extent is it possible to argue that the case law strengthens the equality of languages in the EU?

EU language policy: a legal perspective


What does equality of languages mean

What does equality of languages mean?

Forms of language equality in the sociolinguistic sense

  • equality of legal status (= language of public government, institutions)

  • equality of services, their quality and availability (= the same degree and quality of public services is available to all citizens in the official languages)

  • equal extent of use (= proportional representation), equal capacity to participate in public institutions in every official language. Not only non-discrimination, but incorporation of the differences

    equal languages – equally treated languages – equally treated users of different languages – language parity

EU language policy: a legal perspective


What does equality of languages mean1

What does equality of languages mean?

Forms of language equality in the sociolinguistic sense

  • equality of legal status (= language of public government, institutions)

  • equality of services, their quality and availability (= the same degree and quality of public services is available to all citizens in the official languages)

  • equal extent of use (= proportional representation), equal capacity to participate in public institutions in every official language. Not only non-discrimination, but incorporation of the differences

    equal languages – equally treated languages – equally treated users of different languages – language parity

EU language policy: a legal perspective


Language management

Language management

theory of language problems

LM is conceived of as „behavior towards language as it appears in discourse“

(Nekvapil/Sherman 2009)

„generate“ x „manage“

agents (networks)

ethnomethodological approach

metalinguistic activities

legally regulated interventions in the language use

Who intervenes in whose language use how, why, with which expectations and with which consequences?

EU language policy: a legal perspective


Organized language management

Organized language management

Nekvapil 2009: 6

  • management acts are trans-situational

  • social networks or even institutions are involved

  • communication about LM takes place

  • theories/ideologies intervene ( equality)

  • in addition to language as discourse, the object of LM is language as a system

power and interests in all phases of the process

EU language policy: a legal perspective


Eu language policy a legal perspective

Data

Sources:

Database EUR-Lex

Official Journal of the European Union

EU language policy: a legal perspective


Eu language policy a legal perspective

Data

Relevant domains:

  • workplace: recruitment of staff (notices of open competitions)

  • administrative proceedings

  • labelling of foodstuffs (the problem of „languages easily understood by consumers“)

  • penal law

EU language policy: a legal perspective


Recruitment of staff

Recruitment of staff

  • Tendency of the institutions to reduce the number of languages since 2004/2005

  • Preference for EN, FR, GER

  • Attempt to rationalize the communication, based on expectations of the applicants’ qualification.

  • Conceived of as internal procedures of the institutions (= rather working languages?)

EU language policy: a legal perspective


Cases

Cases

  • Italy v Commission (C-566/10 P, judgment of 27 November 2012)

  • Italy v Commission (T-124/13, action brought on 4 March 2013)

  • Spain v Eurojust (C-160/03, judgment of 15 March 2005)

EU language policy: a legal perspective


Agents

applicant

Italy

Spain

defendant

Commission/EPSO

European Personnel Selection Office

Eurojust

police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters

Agents

EU language policy: a legal perspective


Substance of the disputes

Substance of the disputes

  • EPSO published notices of open competition only in EN, GER and FR.

  • Eurojust required higher knowledge of EN(/FR) and a letter of motivation and CV in English (only).

  • Pleas in law: non-discrimination, equality of languages

EU language policy: a legal perspective


Pleas in law italy

Pleas in law (Italy)

  • Competition notices not published in full in the OJ in all official languages (= infringement of Reg No 1 and Art. 290 EC)

  • Choice of the language limited arbitrarily only to 3 languages

  • Infringement of the principle of the protection of legitimate expectations (settled practice of publishing notices in all official languages before July 2005)

EU language policy: a legal perspective


Pleas in law rejected by gc

Pleas in law rejected by GC

  • Competition notices not published in full in the OJ in all official languages (= infringement of Reg. 1 and Art. 290 EC)

  • Choice of the second language limited arbitrarily only to 3 languages

  • Infringement of the principle of the protection of legitimate expectations (settled practice of publishing notices in all official languages before July 2005)

EU language policy: a legal perspective


Pleas in law accepted by ecj

Pleas in law accepted by ECJ

  • Competition notices not published in full in the OJ in all official languages (= infringement of Reg. 1 and Art. 290 EC)

  • Choice of the second language limited arbitrarily only to 3 languages

  • Infringement of the principle of the protection of legitimate expectations (settled practice of publishing notices in all official languages before July 2005)

EU language policy: a legal perspective


Spain s pleas in law

Spain’s pleas in law

A member of the temporary staff may be engaged only on condition that

„he produces evidence of a thorough knowledge of one of the languages of the Communities and of a satisfactory knowledge of another language of the Communities to the extent necessary for the performance of his duties“.

Staff Regulation, Art. 28, Eurojust Art. 12

EU language policy: a legal perspective


Spain s pleas in law1

Spain’s pleas in law

Language use of Eurojust should be regulated by Regulation No 1 (= equality of languages)

More favourable treatment of English (and French) is not justifiable.

Spain nevertheless left „to the discretion of the Court the choice of the most appropriate legal basis for its action, claiming that, in any event, any error […] should not result in a declaration of inadmissibility“.

EU language policy: a legal perspective


Eurojust

Eurojust

raised an objection of inadmissibility of the action

„the sound functioning of the institutions and the Community bodies may objectively justify a limited choice of languages of internal communication“.

This „cannot undermine equal access by citizens of the Union to posts offered“.

„These needs are acknowledged by the case-law“.

Case T-376/03 Hendrickx v Council (2005)

EU language policy: a legal perspective


Judgment of the ecj

Judgment of the ECJ

„[…] it must be pointed out that it is for the applicant to choose the legal basis of its action“

„[…] the acts contested in the present action are not included in the list of acts the legality of which the Court may review“

„[…] It follows that the action […] cannot be declared admissible“

EU language policy: a legal perspective


Concluding remarks

Concluding remarks

No clear tendency to treat the langauges equally in terms of availibility of services and their quality

Sophisticated (formal) arguments passing the sociolinguistic substance of some language problems

Ideology of equality not implementable in all cases

EU language policy: a legal perspective


Concluding remarks solutions to language problems

Concluding remarks: solutions to language problems?

1) socio-cultural (socio-economic) management

2) communicative management

3) language management

EU language policy: a legal perspective


References

References

  • Dovalil, Vít (2012): Language as an Impediment to Mobility in Europe. In: Studer, Patrick/Werlen, Iwar (Eds.): Linguistic Diversity in Europe. Current Trends and Discourses (= Contributions to the Sociology of Language 97). Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 259-286.

  • Dovalil, Vít (2013): Ideological positioning in legal discourses on European multilingualism: Equality of languages as an ideology and a challenge. In: Barat, Erszebet/Studer, Patrick/Nekvapil, Jiří (eds.): Ideological Conceptualisations of Language: Discourses of Linguistic Diversity (= Prague Papers on Language, Society and Interaction 3). Frankfurt/Main u. a.: Peter Lang, 147-170.

  • Nekvapil, Jiří/Sherman, Tamah (eds.)(2009): Language management in contact situations: Perspectives from three continents. Frankfurt/Main: Peter Lang.

EU language policy: a legal perspective


References1

References

  • Romaine, Suzanne (2013): Politics and policies of promoting multilingualism in the European Union. Language Policy 12, 115-137.

  • Wright, Sue (2013): Why isn´t EU language policy working? In: Schneider-Wiejowski, Karina et al. (eds.): Vielfalt, Variation und Stellung der deutschen Sprache. Berlin/Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 259-273.

  • Manz, Viviane (2003): Schranken nationaler Sprachenpolitik durch das Gemeinschaftsrecht. In: Burr, Isolde/Gréciano, Gertrud (Hg.): Europa: Sprache und Recht. La construction européenne: aspects linguistiques et juridiques. Baden-Baden: Nomos, S. 189-198.

EU language policy: a legal perspective


Language management1

Language management

Interactions/interlocutors with expectations

no deviationdeviation from the expect.

unnotednoted

not evaluatedevaluated

EU language policy: a legal perspective


Language management2

Language management

evaluated

positivelynegatively

no adjustment designadjustment design

not implementedimplemented

EU language policy: a legal perspective


Language m anagement

Language management

utterances adjustments

„generate“ „manage“

notingevaluation

the deviations

EU language policy: a legal perspective


Legal discourse

Legal discourse

language problems are reflected in various ways

suits

textbooks

law law

in action in books

judgments

codified norms

types of texts and intertextual ties

Dovalil 2012: 265

EU language policy: a legal perspective


Kik v ohim reg 40 94

Kik v OHIM (Reg 40/94)

Art. 115

1. The application for a Community trade mark shall be filed in one of the official languages of the European Community.

2. The languages of the Office shall be English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

3. The applicant must indicate a second language which shall be a language of the Office the use of which he accepts as a possible language of proceedings for opposition, revocation or invalidity proceedings.

EU language policy: a legal perspective


Judgment of the ecj1

Judgment of the ECJ

„Regulation No 1 is merely an act of secondary law and the Member States did not lay down rules governing languages in the Treaty“

„[…] The rules governing languages laid down by Regulation No 1 cannot therefore be deemed to amount to a principle of Community law and the applicant cannot rely on Article 12 EC in conjunction with Regulation No 1 as a basis for demonstrating that Article 115 was illegal.“

EU language policy: a legal perspective


Judgment of the ecj2

Judgment of the ECJ

„[…] No principle that all official languages of the Community must in all circumstances be treated equally may be inferred from the Treaty“

EU language policy: a legal perspective


References2

References

  • Macmillan, Michael C. (1998): The Practice of Language Rights in Canada. Toronto/Buffalo/London: University of Toronto Press.

EU language policy: a legal perspective


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