Rafael Ribó
Síndic de Greuges de Catalunya
Dublin, May 24th 2013
Catalan language rights
1. Sociological data and legal frame for its recognition
2. Extension in Educational, mass media and cultural life
3. Consumers, Market services
4. Public Sector, civil servants in general, and Health
system, Courts
5. Language, daily life and community sense
6. Complains and resolutions
7. Conclusions. Threats and advantages. Sindic’s role
1. Sociological data and legal frame for its recognition
1.1. Spain’s linguistic composition
Catalan Language area:
2,8 m.
• 13 and a half million inhabitants
2,3 m
4,5 %
13,5 m.
35 %
• 9th linguistic area in EU
• More speakers than Danish, Finish,
Slovakian, Greek, Portuguese, etc.
Total population 47,27 million
• But not official language in EU: It’s
not recognized as such. Cultural or
political fact?
1. Sociological data and legal frame for its recognition
LEGAL FRAME: Spanish 1978 Constitution:
Art 3 languages and cultures:
1. Castilian is the official Spanish language of the State. All Spaniards have the duty to know it and
the right to use it.
2. The other Spanish languages shall also be official in the respective Self-governing Communities
in accordance with their Statutes
3. The wealth of the different linguistic forms of Spain is a cultural heritage which shall be
especially respected and protected.
Art 20.3 TV system: The law shall regulate the organization and parliamentary control of the
mass communication media under the control of the State or any public agency and shall
guarantee access to such media by the significant social land political groups, respecting the
pluralism of society and of the various languages of Spain.
Art 149.2 Autonomous communities knowledge and change: Without prejudice to the
competences that may be assumed by the Self-governing Communities, the State shall consider
the promotion of culture a duty and an essential function and shall facilitate cultural
communication among the Self-governing Communities, in cooperation with them.
2. Extension in Educational, mass media and cultural
School immersion:
• Pedagogical model
• Preventing separation
• Social opportunities for
promotion in equal terms
• Skillfulness in Spanish equal or
better than in other communities
(Pisa and Spanish government
• Validated by Constitutional Court
Administrative decisions
The Spanish Education Minister: “Our interest is to ‘Spanishise’
Catalan students”
2. Extension in Educational, mass media and cultural
Mass Media:
• TV: over 3,5 million viewers watching
television in Catalan in Catalonia
• Radio: more than 2 million Catalan
radio listeners
• Newspaper: more than 1 million
people read newspapers in Catalan
• Social networks: Catalan, the 19th
most used language on Twitter
400.000 articles published in Catalan on Wikipedia, and the
Catalan version is 15th place in the number of articles published
2. Extension in Educational, mass media and cultural
Cultural production:
• Movies growing
• Music: Catalan music group in
the top list at
iTunes Spanish
market 2 weeks ago
• Theatre (2010):
Other languages
Over 161 universities all over the world offer courses in Catalan
language and culture.
3. Consumers, Market services
Consumer rights and linguistic norms
in Catalan Statute 2006
Market and guarantees for selling
State norms prevention:
Big brand
Big services deliveries:
Call centres abroad
• 94% of products do not meet the legal requirements
4. Public sector, civil servants in general, Health
system, courts
Health as universal service: public system doctors recruitment.
• Civil servants inheritance and progressive requirement.
• Catalan as normal language
• Rotation
• Lack of autochthonous personnel
• Lowering level of Catalan. Fear of translation and understanding
• Only 8% of lawsuits are in Catalan
• Only 13% of judgments are drafted in Catalan
5. Language, daily life and community sense
• Right to live in your own language
• Right and respect to live together with other speaking communities
• Learning other languages and cultures. Openness
• 120 languages
Nowadays it is impossible to meet young people in Catalonia with
whom you cannot speak Catalan.
6. Complaints and resolutions
• Very low percentage
• In front of State apparatus in Catalonia
• Spanish Police and Civil Guard
• Tax agency
• Big services as Social security on retirement Pensions
7. Conclusions
• Linguistic conflict as a political strategy from outside Catalonia
• Attempts to divide Catalan language unity. Harming rights.
• Catalan demands for self determination
• Some Spanish answers for cleavages
• A clear, fruitful and positive language inheritance and mandate
• Catalan and Castilian speaking civil unity
Buíochas a ghabháil leat!
Thank you!
Diolch i chi!

Diapositiva 1 - coimisineir.ie