Report on the Union institutions’ progress towards the implementation of the gradual reduction of the Irish language derogation

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2019) 318
Publication Date 04/07/2019
Content Type ,


Report presented on 4 July 2019 by the European Commission regarding the status of Irish as an official and working language of the Union.

Further information:

When it joined the European Communities in 1973, Ireland did not ask for Irish to be one of the institutions’ official and working languages, but only to have the Treaties translated into Irish and for its citizens to have the right to communicate with the institutions in Irish. Consequently, Irish was not added to the list of official and working languages and the institutions did not draft or publish legislation in Irish.

In 2005, Ireland requested that Irish become an official and working language of the Union, proposing a restricted regime whereby only Regulations adopted jointly by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union would be drafted in Irish. The Council granted that status from 1 January 2007, with a derogation stipulating that only EP and Council Regulations had to be drafted in Irish.

The derogation was adopted for 5 years and, following a review in 2010, extended for a further 5 years to 31 December 2016. In 2015, as part of its policy of encouraging the use and knowledge of Irish, the Irish Government asked the Council to gradually reduce the scope of the derogation with a view to phasing it out by 1 January 2022. Accordingly, the Council adopted Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2015/2264 in December 2015.

The Regulation requires the Commission to report twice to the Council on its implementation before the derogation ceases to apply. This first implementation report takes stock of progress between January 2016 and mid-2019.

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