Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

More efficient and cost-effective interpretation in the European Parliament

Delivered in Plenary - 10 September 2013

Mr President

The EU has 28 Member States and 24 official languages. The UN, with 193 Member States, operates with just six, and the 47-Member-State Council of Europe has just two official languages. Working towards a more efficient and cost effective interpretation process is of course welcome, but the recommendations do not offer the radical solution which would be the logical step for an expanding supranational institution such as the EU.

Limiting the number of working languages to three namely French, German and English, and embracing this solution would not be as radical as many in this House would portray it as being. In the majority of cases this is already de facto for many of my colleagues, who make speeches happily in one of those languages in the plenary. Adopting this officially would only serve to bring more transparency and dynamism to the workings of Parliament and send a signal to EU citizens that the EU is serious in its aim to make efficient and budgetary savings. This is certainly something which would be welcome in the UK and by my own London constituents.