Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Love the transparency

As we all know the EU has a whole host of official languages, and a few others tacked on the side. The Parliament operates in as many of them as it can, and if you go to the Parliament's website, you can normally watch the debates in any one of the 22 languages in which simultaneous translation is available.

However there is a disclaimer on the translation which of course is reasonable,

The interpretation of debates serves only to facilitate communication amongst the participants in the meeting. It does not constitute an authentic record of proceedings.

Only the original speech or the revised written translation of that original speech is authentic.

OK, so that makes sense, you have to wait for the Hansard for the definitive vesion, fair enough - despite the fact that it is often edited. But the next sentence is slightly chilling.
The use of the recording of the interpretation for other purposes than the one formulated above is forbidden unless an explicit and specific authorisation has been granted by the European Parliament.

The thing is, the Hansard takes at least 24 hrs to arrive, so what they are saying is that any reporting of the Parliament (by people who do not speak the speakers language) is functionally illegal, or at best, can only be done by those granted permission by the Parliament. Or those already in the room.

Balls to that. Come on then chaps sue us.


Grahnlaw said...


The EU institutions could really start to see online communcation and social media as opportunities rather than threats.

One small step would be to take down silly notices like the one you mentioned.

By the way, you have a report about the EP and media coming up, with some strange words about social media (also in relation to journalists proper).

Better be on the look-out.

Gawain Towler said...

I have been watching that report as it floats through the system.

Why don't they just employ Mr Worth and be done with it?

Grahnlaw said...


I thought that it was going to reach the plenary in a month; now it seems as if it has been approved today.