Press release |
EFA Group rejects the ban on Corsican language
On Friday 10th of March, at the request of the representative of the French State in Corsica, the French court imposed a ban on the use of Corsican language in the Corsican Parliament.
The court justified its decision by claiming it was against the French Constitution, confirming the discrimination suffered by regional languages in France, a country that refuses to ratify the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages of the Council of Europe.
The UN special rapporteur for minorities, Fernand de Varennes, denounced this discrimination.
The Corsican Parliament was established in 1982 and has been using Corsican in its institutions since. Unanimously among its members, the Assembly of Corsica has requested that the Corsican language be co-official on the island. Negotiations are currently underway with the government on the status of Corsica, and the question of the Corsican language is at the heart of the demands of the Corsican people for their autonomy.
The Corsican language has around 150,000 speakers, and UNESCO, the UN cultural organisation, already declared it as a language in danger of extinction.
From the Greens/EFA Group, we call for a lift on the prohibition and for respect on minorities’ rights.
Jordi Solé , EFA Parliamentary Group President:
"It is shameful that in the EU whose moto is unity in diversity, some languages are banned from being used in democratic institutions and by elected representatives. Members of the Corsican legislative assembly represent Corsicans, many of whom use Corsican as their first language. It has to be remembered that with the same arguments Catalan has been banned for use in municipalities in french Catalonia."
"How can elected deputies not use the language of the people they represent, their very own language?"
François Alfonsi, EFA MEP of Corsica at the European Parliament:
“The institutional system of France is anti-democratic with regard to languages and peoples like the Corsican people. This causes serious infringements of our rights and is done in violation of international laws. We have to end it. I hope that the ongoing negotiations will finally put an end to it."