Spain hits the wall, again and again. Many of his European partners have told him very clearly in recent weeks that his proposal for Catalan, Basque and Galician to be official languages in the European Union is out of place. If there is ever a good time, this is not it. That the forms, trying to rush him into a meeting of ministers with hardly any prior discussion, were not and are not correct. That there are many more costs than benefits, and not exactly economic ones. Which would be opening a very uncertain Pandora’s box. And, above all, that the EU right now has much more urgent issues to address, real, almost existential threats, and that governments and ministers should not have to dedicate their time to issues that have no future, that already seemed to have been settled last year. last month and that are making some capitals lose patience.
That is the balance of General Affairs Council (CAG) that was held this Tuesday in Luxembourg and in which even more governments have reiterated, in public and loudly, that the Government’s priority to tie up an investiture is interfering with the priorities of the EU, and it squeaks especially when Spain has the rotating presidency of the Council. This allows the minister Jose Manuel Albares, which never participates in a CAG, has been able to put the issue back on the agenda, even though it should have been settled in September. The ministers then told him, inside the room as they had said outside, no. That obviously the motion was not going to be approved either that day or in the short term, and they did what is always done in these cases in the Union: leave it in the hands of lower levels with the vague objective of entrusting it to the appropriate institutions at some point some reports on economic costs, legal implications and practical assessments of what the entry of three additional official languages would mean for community functioning.
Spain, however, has turned a deaf ear. Pedro Sánchez’s Executive has to satisfy the independence movement, especially the Catalan one, which has put the issue as a red line to negotiate the investiture. Spain cannot commit to approval, which depends on the unanimity of the 27, but it can commit to doing everything possible. And there is no doubt that he is doing so, at the cost of losing political capital that he could use for other national priorities and irritating his partners. That is why Albares, unresponsive to discouragement, has left the Grand Duchy indicating that Spain is going to tweak his proposal, which will soon come with something more detailed, a proposal to change the regulations made completely to measure.
Last month they were Sweden o Finland those who officially made it clear that they could not support the idea, which generated sufficient reservations, without any type of prior impact report. Finland has repeated it again together with Estonia o Latvia, countries that in the past, due to their own history, had tended to be receptive to the narrative of the independentists. But they also, due to their own problems and Russian minorities, take a dim view of the proposal.
“It is an issue that was presented very quickly for discussion, without any preparation or really any presentation on what it could lead to from a legislative or economic point of view,” explained the Finnish Minister of European Affairs, Anders Adlercreutz, the same as last month, to show his sympathy within the refusal, made his statements in Catalan. “I don’t think we are going to extend the number of languages officially used in the EU at the moment. I don’t think that is the number one issue we have to discuss. On the table there are very important issues such as the geopolitical situation and the strategic position of Europe in the future, and I think we should dedicate our time to focusing on that now,” concluded the Latvian Foreign Minister severely. Krisjanis Karins.