Resolution on the interpretation out of Finnish at the EP

Adopted by  the Joint General Assembly of Staff Interpreters and Conference Interpreters Auxiliaries (A.I.C.)

The staff interpreters of the European Parliament and their A.I.C. colleagues, meeting in a Joint General Assembly on 24 October 2001,

- having regard to Article 12 of the Treaty establishing the European Community and to the principle of equality of all working languages of the EU;

- having regard to the Report entitled "Preparing for the Parliament of the enlarged European Union" (PE 305.269/BUR/fin), which was adopted by the Bureau on 3 September 2001;

- having regard to the decisions taken in the framework of that Report concerning the future of multilingualism in our Institution;

- having regard to Parliament's official professional training policy, with its stated objective of offering all staff career development through training and to the importance of applying that policy in a non-discriminatory manner in all services;

- having regard to the note produced by A.I.I.C. on 10 September 2001 with the title "Management of post-enlargement multilingualism at the European Parliament - The experts' viewpoint";

- having regard to general principles of Community law, in particular the principle of non-discrimination, which is also applicable to European civil servants, who may not be discriminated against on the grounds of mother tongue or nationality;

    A. whereas the principles of multilingualism and equality between languages have been reconfirmed in the Podestà report;

    B. whereas the consistent non-application of the two-pivot-booths rule to Finnish is discrimination against European civil servants on the grounds of language;

    C. whereas if all available resources were fully utilised, it would already be possible to cover half (or even more) of the meetings with two pivot booths;

    D. whereas recourse to retour (or bi-active) interpretation is often unavoidable after enlargements as a transitional measure;

    E. whereas retour interpretation cannot be seen as a sustainable working method for the European Parliament in the long run;

    F. whereas the inherent shortcomings of the present system of interpretation out of Finnish demonstrate that the generalised use of any one-pivot-booth model is counterproductive;

  1. insist that the general principle of two pivot languages will be strictly adhered to from 31 March 2002 on with no exceptions even in the case of Finnish; in other words two pivot languages must be provided whenever interpretation from Finnish is required in a meeting;
  2. consider that bi-active interpretation should only be used as a temporary solution;
  3. call upon the directorate to take immediate action that will lead to abandoning the use of retour from Finnish;
  4. insist that a training policy is to be formulated to meet the objectives mentioned above;
  5. instruct the President of the General Assembly of Staff Interpreters and the A.I.I.C. Delegation to forward this resolution to the Director of Interpretation, to the Director General of DG VI, to the Secretary General of Parliament, to the President of Parliament, to the Bureau of Parliament, to the Chairman-in-Office of the College of Quaestors, to the Presidents and Secretaries General of the political groups, to the European Ombudsman, to the Staff Committee and to the Translators' Delegation of the European Parliament.

Recommended citation format:
AIIC. "Resolution on the interpretation out of Finnish at the EP". December 8, 2001. Accessed March 31, 2020. <>.