One of the important discussions currently taking place is on the next budget or “financial perspectives” of the EU. What do you see as policy priorities for the next Commission as reflected in the next budget?
To save some money on maybe administration, legislation, translation… Would you like to downgrade translation? Of course we insist on the political equality of languages but we are very much used to learning foreign languages. So we are very open to limiting national languages to the working level. People in Hungary start as a very small child learning foreign languages – and the Finns are in a very similar situation. It is very interesting to see that on a recent occasion there were only two ministers who did not make use of the facilities and preferred to speak English in spite of the fact that the interpreters' booth was there: the Hungarian and Finnish foreign ministers. Maybe because we have a bad feeling if we are not understood. I personally do not like to speak Hungarian loudly in a room if nobody understands Hungarian. I find it ridiculous. Who am I speaking to? I want to be understood. So I make an effort.
I have a great respect for other languages – I find it a great value of Europe – but in order to make our work more efficient, we should be reasonable. And if our people are able to speak English and French in NATO, at the OECD, United Nations, etc, why not make it simpler in the EU? With the new members there will be a fantastic confusion of languages.
Questo messaggio è stato modificato da: Michele.Gazzola, 09 Feb 2004 – 17:06 [addsig]