This is the best thing I’ve learned so far about the system of simultaneous interpretation in the Parliament! Ad Personam means the interpretation applies to the person. Here is an institutional counterpart to the established assignment of interpretation services based solely on group membership rather than individual requirement. I like discovering that, institutionally, the Parliament is a step ahead of my educational curve! The program is brand new, just past its pilot phase last fall.
Equal access to language facilities for Members of the European Parliament
12. Considers that 2010 should be a year when the utmost effort must be made so that Members of all nationalities and languages are treated equally in terms of their possibility to carry out their duties and all political activity incumbent upon them in their own language if they so choose;
13. Recognises that, in many instances and particularly at committee and group stages, restrictive deadlines increase the importance of negotiations among the main actors; stresses, nevertheless, the principle of democratic legitimacy through all its composite Members and their right to full multilingualism; therefore considers that this budget can and should be used to work towards this goal and find the correct balance between the multilingualism restrictions and the smooth completion of the legislative procedures;
14. Takes a keen interest in the question of multilingualism and asks the services for a presentation of the current situation and developments foreseen for 2010, including the application of the “Code” and possible room for further practical improvements, the pilot project on ad personam interpretation, including its criteria and usefulness for Members of different language backgrounds and also an overview of how the “physical barriers” to equal treatment (i.e. the absence of suitable meeting rooms, cabins etc.) will be eliminated over time; wishes to be assured as to how the new Parliament will be better equipped in all these matters compared to the situation for Members arriving with the last enlargements;
15. Is also of the opinion that all means must be sought to increase the flexibility of interpretation as a crucial step to ensure good working practices and notes that, in many instances, problems and financial wastage could be avoided if there were a possibility to swap languages at short notice depending on the actual attendance at meetings rather than the planned attendance;
17 February 2009
retrieved 27 February 2009