1 January 2022 marked a special day for the Irish language; it is now officially on an equal footing with the EU’s other 23 official languages. This illustrates the importance the EU attaches to multilingualism, and to equal access to information for everybody. The EU institutions are ready to meet the demand for translation into Irish, just like any other official EU language.
Irish has been a Treaty language since 1973, the year of Ireland’s accession, meaning that only the EU treaties were translated into Irish. In 2007, at Ireland’s request, Irish became an official and working language of the EU. However, under a derogation granted by the Council, not all documents were translated into Irish at that point.
In 2015, Ireland asked the Council to gradually phase out this derogation by 1 January 2022, when Irish would become a full official and working language, at the same level as the other official EU languages. Once the Council had given its agreement, the EU undertook thorough preparations, with DG Translation playing a key role in monitoring the EU institutions’ efforts, and drafting the Commission’s reports to the Council. The Commission report of 21 June 2021 confirmed that all the EU institutions had sufficient capacity to meet the demand for translation into Irish as of January 2022.
The EU and the Irish Government have worked closely together, taking innovative measures in the field of recruitment, outsourcing and building up language resources, to make this possible. The cooperation will continue beyond 2021, following the well-established format used by the other language communities, to ensure the long-term success of Irish translation.
Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh!