- The President and Minister Serret visited the University of Bologna this morning, where they met with the rector and Catalan students studying on the Erasmus programme along with others studying Catalan at the same university
event_note Press Release
Today, the President of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès i Garcia, in Bologna on the second day of his official trip, stated that the Government of the Generalitat will continue “the offensive for the recognition of Catalan as an official language in the European Union” and that it will be intensified in “various areas”. Because, he stressed, “Catalan is probably one of the most widely spoken languages in Europe not to be recognised as official by the European Union”, which is why, he continued, “we are setting out all the reasons for it to be approved and hope this will happen soon”.
The President of the Catalan Government explained that next week, in Madrid, the Minister for Foreign Action and European Union, Meritxell Serret, will lead the talks with the ambassadors of the different European Union Member States and also referred to the work being conducted by the Catalan delegation in Brussels and the talks to take place with the permanent representation of the different Member States. In the same vein, he highlighted the work carried out by the Generalitat delegations in the different European Union member countries, “directly appealing to governments and public opinion so that they support this initiative”,the end goal being that, “Catalan will be recognised as an official language of the European Union”.
“Ours is a language spoken by 12 million people, a language that for 20 years has had partial use agreements in the sphere of the European institutions, above all in dialogues” and, in this sense, he reiterated that there was a long tradition of this use.
The President also mentioned the work carried out over the last year to promote the use of Catalan as a working language in the European Parliament and the steps taken to have it adopted by the European Parliament’s Bureau, as well as including Catalan as a working language in the Spanish Parliament, which he described as “extremely important steps”.
He praised the “very active position” on the part of the Spanish Government, while insisting that the Generalitat “will work more intensely to ensure that the question of approval is dealt with in coming meetings”.
“We are making every effort, because beyond recognising Catalan as an official European Union language is also the recognition of our uniqueness, of our identity, and that the best way for us to be European is to be Catalan, to take our way of living and doing things as a separate and inseparable part of the European project”,he added.
In statements to the media, coinciding with the 12 October public holiday, the President stated that “faced with the celebration of Hispanic culture based on armies and the idea of there being just one way of conceiving the Spanish State, with a single language, a single culture”, the Catalan Government is today “defending the Catalan language and culture in a temple of knowledge and learning, the University of Bologna, one of the oldest universities in Europe”.“Given the use of force we see today in the streets of Madrid, as exhibited by the army, we are committed to knowledge, to thought, to culture, to languages and to Europe”, he concluded.
The Catalan President issued this statement after a visit to the University of Bologna, “one of the oldest in the world and one of the most powerful in Italy”, he stressed, after meeting with the rector of the University of Bologna, Giovanni Molar. At the meeting they exchanged views on academia and research. He stressed that the University of Bologna was among the universities that receive the most Catalan students through the Erasmus programme and also one of the universities that sends the most students to Catalan universities. Indeed, during his stay at the University, he took the opportunity to meet with Catalan students studying there and also with others studying the Catalan language at the University itself, a fact which, he said, “demonstrates the interest and vitality of the Catalan language”, and “shows the good work that is being done, not only for learning Catalan, but also because it opens a door onto our culture, in literature, in knowledge and in the passion for our country”, he said.
Aragonès explained that “the Catalan language is now studied at 15 Italian universities and there is even a centre for Catalan studies at the University of Siena” and stated that the aim of the Catalan Government “is to consolidate these studies and promote them even further”.
In the afternoon, the President will be meeting with the Regional Minister for Education, Universities, Research and Digital Agenda, Paola Salomoni, and will end his trip with a visit to the Policlinico Sant’Orsola hospital to learn about technological and innovation projects applied to healthcare.