January 22, 2010
The following article about Commission spokespersons was published on 22nd January 2010 by EurActiv.
Despite the EU executive’s efforts to hire a more multilingual and diverse team for its spokespersons’ service, critics condemn the “dangerous” trend in the European institutions towards the linguistic and cultural hegemony of the English language.
An internal document seen by EurActiv shows that 11 out of the 26 spokespersons that have already been designated to the incoming European Commission are Anglo-Saxon. Of these, seven are English and four are Irish.
Widespread rumours confirm that even the 27th spokesperson, to be appointed by Romanian Commissioner Dacian Ciolos, is expected to be English.
Commission officials concede that even the current list is the product of a major review carried out since the original spokespersons’ team proposed by the commissioners-desginate included around 20 Anglo-Saxon spokespersons.
Appointments are still ongoing and fresh reviews are possible, explained an EU official. “The new spokespersons’ service is not in place yet,” said the head of Commission’s spokespersons’ service, Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen. “The nomination procedure is still ongoing and has to be finalised,” she reiterated yesterday (21 January) in response to questions from journalists during the Commission’s daily press briefing in Brussels.
An officer of the Spanish EU Presidency underlined that “it is important to maintain a proportion among different nationalities in the public services, including that of spokespersons”.
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