After the text of the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement was published on October 13, there are opinions about possible delay in signing the agreement.
The main argument is the technical issues related to the translation of the agreement text. Thus, for instance, Member of Parliament from the Republican Party of Armenia Shirak Torosyan noted on October 19 that there are EU member countries which have not translated the EU-Armenia cooperation document.
Soon news were circulating that the problem consists in the absence of the document in the Irish language. In fact, in the http://eur-lex.europa.eu website of EU legislative documents, translations in all the languages can be found, except for Irish. The absence of the text in the Irish language led to assume that it is a technical issue which could hinder the approval of the agreement. On October 30, Armenia TV even raised this issue during the interview with the newly appointed Ambassador of France H.E. Jonathan Lacote.
The Irish Language
In fact, the issue consists in the use of two official languages in the Republic of Ireland, namely, Irish (Irish Gaelic) and English. English is more commonly used than Irish. Only 30% of the Irish population speaks Irish, and only 5% use it as their first language. Moreover, though the Republic of Ireland has been EU member since 1973, Irish was not considered a working language of the European institutions till December 31, 2006. Though it did become an official language on January 1, 2007, it will be used with certain reservations till 2021. This means that not all the official documents will be translated into Irish. Moreover, tert.am media outlet even received a clarification from the press service of the European Commission, which informed that “Currently not all the documents are being translated into Irish as a result of an agreement with the Irish authorities”.
The association agreements between the EU and Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia have not been translated into Irish either. Hence, the absence of the Irish text will not hinder the signing of the EU-Armenia agreement.
“Union of Informed Citizens”