The countries of the European Union have asked Spain for an opinion from the Council’s legal services and for more time to study the economic and political impact of the recognition of Catalan, Galician and Basque as official languages ​​of the European Union. This position fades the options for an agreement next Tuesday when the ministers discuss it in Brussels and this despite the fact that the Government has offered that Spain should assume the cost of the use of these co-official languages.

In a debate at the ambassador level to prepare for Tuesday’s meeting, a large majority of countries have expressed their support for multilingualism as a bridge to connect with citizens and have shown understanding towards Spain’s interests, but they have also raised many “doubts” Regarding the impact of the measure both on the functioning of the EU and on the community coffers, different European sources have reported.

The acting Government of Pedro Sánchez, who holds the presidency of the Council of the EU, introduced an exchange of opinions on the agenda of European ministers on Tuesday to modify the regulation on official languages, with the intention that the matter would be submitted that same day to the bloc’s vote.

However, several diplomats consulted point out that no one shares the “sense of urgency” that Spain conveys to its partners, because the rest of the capitals see it as premature to make any type of decision if issues on which the Government has not been thoroughly examined. details have still been presented, for example what would be the estimated cost of adding these three co-official languages ​​to the 24 already recognized in the EU or how it plans to cover the number of translators and interpreters that would be necessary.

The fear among several delegations of legal compliance in the Treaties also slows down the options for agreement, although Spain defends that the official status of these languages ​​is recognized by its Constitution and exposes their introduction in the Congress of Deputies; as well as the possible “domino effect” that opening the door to regional languages ​​could generate in other member states.

Thus, the European partners request legal endorsement from the Council and detailed impact assessments on the financial and administrative aspects if the regulation were changed, which makes it almost impossible for a decision to be made on Tuesday.

These are documents that require time to prepare and several delegations have made it clear that they want all of this to be examined and discussed “in detail at a technical level”, that is, in working groups in which to address more long-term reflection. , and that they consider that “it is too early to make a decision.”

Last Wednesday, Sweden was the first government to appear publicly indecisive by asking to examine “more thoroughly what the legal and financial consequences of the proposal are” and this Friday Finland warned that the use of Catalan, Basque and Galician in the EU can slow down decision-making at community level and delay the entry into force of future regulations.

For countries like Belgium or the Netherlands, it is difficult to make a decision without having impact evaluations or details on how to “articulate” the entry of three new languages ​​and a reflection on how this will affect the functioning of the European Union.

Meanwhile, for other countries like France, where the recognition of regional languages ​​is a delicate matter, the reservations go beyond the technical elements. So far, no Member State has taken a position against the Spanish proposal and some have been receptive from the first moment, but the decision requires unanimous support and there are several who ask to study the process more cautiously.

Furthermore, Spain is not the only country with minority languages ​​in its territory and other delegations are concerned that opening this debate could generate a call effect that awakens similar demands in other regions, explains the senior official of a Member State.

In any case, the debate at the level of ministers will take place on Tuesday in Brussels at a meeting attended by the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, something unusual because it is the Secretary of State for the EU, Pascual Navarro, who He usually represents Spain in the General Affairs Council.

In this case, both will be present, Navarro to moderate the meeting from the position of current presidency of the European Union and Albares to explain the proposal and defend it before his partners. The exchange of opinions will be taken for granted, while the voting, also planned on the agenda, will depend on what the Spanish presidency decides during the debate.