THE EU is being urged to adopt Catalan as an official language to help correct a “serious historical anomaly” and provide “linguistic equality” for millions of citizens.

A proposal to legally change the language policy of the EU to include Catalan, Basque and Galician was considered by the Council of the EU’s General Affairs commitee on Tuesday, but a decision was postponed for further analysis.

The bid is being pushed jointly by the national government in Madrid and the Catalan regional government, and will require backing from all 27 member countries in the bloc.

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Writing in The National, Pere Aragonès i Garcia, President of the government of Catalonia, argued it would be an opportunity to “correct the serious historical anomaly of millions of European citizens whose linguistic rights are still, today, not guaranteed on equal terms with the vast majority of European citizens.”

He said: “The Catalans are not demanding favourable treatment, just linguistic equality. We are Europe and we believe in Europe. And all we ask is to be able to speak to Europe as almost all our fellow citizens do, in our own language.”

Garcia said there are only five languages in Europe which are not yet official in the EU, despite having that status in their member state – which includes Catalan.

He said this was despite it being “fully official in several territories of the Spanish state and much more widely spoken than a good number of languages that already have official status in the European institutions".

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He pointed out that during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, which lasted until 1975, the Catalan language was banned.

Garcia added: “Even today, there are still certain Spanish parties that are trying to prevent the full normalisation of our languages.

“Adopting the same attitude, that goes against equality, multilingualism and diversity, that has generated so many conflicts in Spain and in Europe itself, and which is far removed from the values the Union represents.

“In Catalonia, and with Europe, we want to prevent such exclusionary attitudes from prevailing.”

He stated: “The Catalans are not asking to be an exception in Europe. We are asking not to be.”