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INTERLINGUA IN LE UNION EUROPEE - IV
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The European Commission
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    Camaradas Auxlinguanistas!
 
    As you can see, the commissioner responsible over
    the interpretation and translating at the HQ of the
    European Union is Mr. Erkki Liikanen,  a  F I N N !
    He is fluent in several languages, including French.
 
    He seems to be a good friend with Mrs. Emma Bonino
    (As I could see in the Danish TV a couple of weeks
    ago when I visited Copenhagen; Mrs. Bonino and Mr.
    Liikanen were chatting friendly to each other among
    a group of eminent personalities of the EU), another
    powerful commissioner and a protagonist of  Esperanto.
 
    The EU has already almost 2000 translators and
    interpreters. It means a considerable financial
    burden. And the situation becomes worse still
    when the number of members will increase soon.
    But worse than need to translate the EU documents
    into a myriad of languages (costs and delays) is
    the problem of NON-COMMUNICATION. Particularly the
    small and medium-sized industry cannot efficiently
    communicate to theyr would-be partners e.g. in
    Finland and Greece if they do not have a common
    language.
 
    An auxlang is a good choice. The position achieved
    by the Esperanto movement at EU is amazing. The
    explanation for that must be that Esperanto
    Movement is probably the only organization that has
    been actively lobbying at the corridors in Brussels.
 
    I cannot believe that Mrs. Emma Bonino would be as
    much in favor for Esperanto after she has been
    given information on Interlingua.
 
    Mrs. Bonino is a member (ex-president) of the
    European Radical Party, which has ERA - ESPERANTO
    RADIKALA ASOCIO as its linguistic arm.
    A little joke,  if you permit:
    INTERLINGUA RADICAL ASSOCIATION would be IRA ...
 
    An important part plays also The International Academy
    of Sciences.
 
    Salutante
 
    Allan Kiviaho
 
 
The European Commission
 
Alongside the European Parliament (EP) and the Council of Ministers, the
European Commission is the most important ruling office of the European
Union (EU). With initiative, executive and control rights and duties,
the Commission "is like a government with limited power" (Ten-Language
Handbook on Politics).
 
The Commission has 20 members: two each from the largest countries,
Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Italy, plus one each from the other
10 countries. The president of the Commission is proposed by the
governments of all member- states in concert, while every other member
is recommended by his own government -- but the European Parliament must
be consulted before the proposal of a president, and afterwords it must
vote to accept the makeup of the Commission as a whole. One
office-period lasts for five years (the current one: 1995-2000), egual
to that of the members of the EP.
 
The commissioners act independently of the national governments, in the
interests of the entire EU. Each of them has (an) individual area(s) of
responsibility, and is responsible for the administrative departments
concerned. The Commission can be turned out of office only by the EP,
through its acceptance of a resolution of no-confidence. (This has never
yet happened.)
 
As a guardian of European treaties, the Commission watches their
application and that of the decisions made on their basis. As a leading
office, it alone has the right to initiate EU-level laws, to be approved
by the EP and the Council. Finally, as an organ of fulfilment, it
applies the rules of the European treaties to concrete situations, and
handles the budget items destined for various EU goals.
 
The Commission has at its disposal a 16,000-person office staff in 24
so-called Directorates, in Brussels and Luxembourg. Of these officials,
2483 work either in the Translation Service or in the Common Service for
Interpretation and Conferences; around 1800 of these are translators and
interpreters. The commissioner responsible for language services -- as
for all personnel and administrative affairs -- is the Finn Erkki
Liikanen. The administrative expenses of the Commission and related
offices make up 5% of the entire EU budget.