DISCRIMINATION LINGUISTIQUE ORGANISMES EUROPÉENS INTERPELÉS

DISCRIMINATION LINGUISTIQUE
Organismes européens interpelés.

1- Dossier AEéROSPACE INTERNATIONALE SERVICE

L’enterprise française Aerospace Internationale Service, à Vitrolles,
cherche un ingénieur de langue maternelle anglaise pour une fonction
technique en France ,,Skills required … Very good English (written and
spoken) (English mother-tongue is desirable),,. Une telle discrimination
linguistique est contre article 21 de la Charte des droits fondamentaux de
l’Union européenne et les lois françaises contre la discrimination.

Pour mieux s’informer/Por plia informo:

http://www.aisfrance.com/jobs/ref_ee.html

http://www.aisfrance.com/french/jobs.html

(la version française ne fonctionne pas/la versio franca ne funkcias)

Ou contacter/Au kontaktu:

verducci@aisfrance.com
contact@aisfrance.com

Scipo Prikatel
Europa Esperanto-Ligo
www.esperanto.net

2- LE DOSSIER INTEREL MARIëN

Dear Mrs Mariën,

On several occasions this year and last year, the company of which you are
chairman, Interel Mariën, advertised for consultants. Referring solely to
the language requirements, the adverts, in the European Voice, often read
"Native English, other languages a plus", for example, in the European
Voice
of 13 July 2000 on page 17. More recently, in the European Voice of 4
January 2001, page 13, your company sought to "recruit a dynamic consultant
… Perfect English and good command of French and/or German." These
adverts
appear to represent discrimination on the basis of language/nationality
especially as your Brussels-based company works closely with European and
international organisations based in Brussels.

Current Belgian legislation (see below), applicable to your company as it is
based in Brussels, that is the anti-racism law of 1981, as well as a 1983
union-government-employer agreement having status of law, clearly prohibits
language/nationality discrimination. Please see also
http://www.antiracisme.be/en/laws/racism.htm
for further information.
Additionally, article 21 §1 of the European Charta of Fundamental Rights
prohibits discrimination on the basis of language. Please see
http://www.europarl.eu.int/charter/pdf/text_en.pdf.

If you require further information I refer you to Convention C111 of the
International Labour Organisation, of 1958, ratified by Belgium on 22 March
1977. The Convention specifically prohibits discrimination on the basis of
“nationality” and “social origins”. Furthermore, the Belgian labour
agreement, no. 38 §2bis, having force of law, also prohibits discrimination
on the basis of social or national origins.

As managing director of a multicultural company working closely with
international institutions, I am sure you understand the upmost need to
fight against discrimination and to ensure the equality of all languages.
For that reason, I am sure you would have no hesitation in replying to this
email stating any reasons that may refute the above arguments. For example,
were the positions for consultants filled? Is the new employee a mother
tongue speaker of English? How many candidates were native speakers? How
many of the the candidates who were not native speakers studied at schools
or universities in the UK?

I would be extremely grateful if you were to provide further information.

Yours faithfully,

Scipo Prikatel
Europa Esperanto-Ligo
www.esperanto.net

Act of 30 July 1981 on the punishment of certain acts motivated by racism or
xenophobia

MB 8 VIII 81 and 14 V 1994

Art. 2: Whoever, in supplying or offering to supply a service, a good or the
enjoyment of it, commits discrimination against a person on account of his
race, colour, descent, origin, or nationality shall be punished by a prison
sentence of one month to one year and by a fine of fifty francs to one
thousand francs, or by one of these punishments alone.
The same punishments shall apply when the discrimination is committed
against a group, a community or the members of it, on account of the race,
colour, descent, origin, or nationality of its members, or some of them.

Art.2bis: Whoever, in placing people in employment, providing professional
training, offering jobs, recruitment, the performance of contracts of
employment, or the dismissal of employees, commits discrimination against a
person on account of his race, colour, descent, origin, or nationality shall
be punished by the punishments given in article 2. The employer shall bear
civil liability for the payment of the fines that his employees or
representatives are ordered to pay.

3) LE DOSSIER LORD PLUMB, EX-PRéSIDENT DU PARLEMENT EUROPéEN

Dear Mr McClay,

Thank you for your speedy reply in the name of Lord Plumb concerning the
advertisements placed on several occasions by Plumb, Ramsay, McClay
Consultants in the Belgian publication European Voice from January to March
of this year. As you are aware the text read "PRM European lobbyists …
are
looking for … Senior Consultant. Preferably English mother tongue".

In your reply, you mention that the advertisement “merely stated a
preference and therefore was not meant to discriminate or exclude anyone
from the selection procedure. In fact more than 70% of the applications
received for all positions were from candidates who are not English and
whose mother tongue is not English.”

May I inform you that, in a similar case, see the Bulletin of 16 November
2000, page 53, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions advertised
for “an information officer (M/F). Profile: … English mother tongue…"
In
replying to the question as to whether the Brussels-based Council of
European Municipalities and Regions had discriminated, CEMR secretary
general Elisabeth Gateau noted that of the 110 candidates only one-third
were non-native speakers of English. I thus doubt whether the discriminatory
effect was different in your case.

Interestingly, Belgian anti-discrimination law merely requires the evidence
of intent to perform unlawful discrimination, regardless of the actual
effect. And as regards the effect of the discriminatory act, without full
access to your application process for the position of Senior Consultant, I
cannot confirm whether 70 per cent of the applications received solely for
the position of “Senior Consultant. Preferably English mother tongue"
were
actually from non-native speakers.

May I take this opportunity of providing free legal advice? You are
personally liable for all acts of discrimination committed by your company.
If you require further information I refer you to Convention C111 of the
International Labour Organisation, of 1958, ratified by Belgium on 22 March
1977. The Convention specifically prohibits discrimination on the basis of
“nationality” and “social origins”. Furthermore, the Belgian labour
agreement, no. 38 §2bis, having force of law, also prohibits discrimination
on the basis of social or national origins.

It is merely sufficient for your company, in avoiding negative legal
consequences due to advertisements for vacancies, to avoid terms such as
“English native speaker”, “mother tongue English” or even “mother
tongue
English or equivalent”. Legal action, even if actual intent on your part to
discriminate in favour of native English speakers were present, would be
extremely difficult as the selection process in private companies is
obviously not public. Many European companies and organisations based in
Brussels now advertise in such a manner and are still able to select native
speakers of English.

Mr McClay, in exchange for the above free legal advice, would you be so kind
as to offer two hours of free consultation, possibly over lunch, to two
members of our Esperanto organisation? We have a range of issues relating to
language inequality and diversity including current proposals on European
patents, designs, distortion of international education exchanges in favour
of English-speaking countries, and the negative effects of language on the
film and music industries in Europe. We are also researching language
discrimination with respect to Calls for Tender.

Our major problems as an organisation are the negative image of Esperanto as
a language, and our lack of skilled lobbyists. In such as situation how do
we influence European decision-makers? How do we raise money to fund a small
language NGO protecting language diversity and equality in Europe? Obviously
your views and those of Lord Plumb would be of great interest to us.

I very much look forward to your reply.

Yours most sincerely

Scipo Prikatel
Europa Esperanto-Ligo
www.esperanto.net

Dear Mr Prikatel,

Thank you for your email addressed to Lord Plumb, which I now reply to on
his behalf. Lord Plumb does not play a day to day role in the running of
PRM, however, I will raise your email with him as a matter of priority.

May I first state that by no means was our advertisement an aim to exclude
anyone from applying for a position in our company. Quite the contrary, of
all of the experts involved with PRM, the majority are not English, nor do
they have English as a mother tongue.

Our advertisement merely stated a preference and therefore was not meant to
discriminate or exclude anyone from the selection procedure. In fact more
than 70% of the applications received for all positions were from candidates
who are not English and whose mother tongue is not English. When considering
this I think that it is clear that the majority of the people who applied
for positions did not view this as a discriminating factor against them.

Unfortunately the position that you have referred to has not been filed as
we had asked for a minimum level of experience in the industry. This is a
criteria which has not yet been met.

On another note, of all those interviewed, and subsequently offered
positions, one was Dutch and one was Irish.

I must say that I agree with you completely that language is important, and
PRM places grate emphasis on the linguistic abilities of our professionals.

I hope that this ahs gone someway to answering your questions.

Todd McClay

3- DOSSIER EUROPEEN CYCLISTS’ FEDERATION

Dear Mr Verschooren,

As president of the European Cyclists’ Federation, I am sure you are aware
of the current advertisement on your website at
http://www.ecf.com/html/jobs.html.
The advert notifies readers of a vacancy
for an "English speaking assistant to perform administrative tasks and
co-ordinate the network of cyclists’ associations". The web page makes
specific mention that the candidate be "English mother tongue imperative".
Such language requirements constitute discrimination on the basis of
language. And according to Belgian legislation the employer is then
personally liable for acts of discrimination.

Current Belgian legislation, applicable to ECF as a non-profit organisation
registered in Belgium, includes the anti-racism law of 1981, as well as a
1983 union-government-employer agreement having status of law. Additionally
Convention C111 of the International Labour Organisation (1958), ratified by
Belgium on 22 March 1977, specifically prohibits discrimination on the basis
of nationality and social origins.

For further information please see
http://www.antiracisme.be/en/laws/racism.htm.
Additionally, article 21 §1 of
the European Charta of Fundamental Rights prohibits discrimination on the
basis of language. Please see
http://www.europarl.eu.int/charter/pdf/text_en.pdf.
All relevant Belgian and
European legislation clearly prohibits language discrimination.

As the president of a pan-European organisation, representing 52 cyclists’
associations throughout Europe, I am sure you understand the need to fight
against discrimination and ensure equal opportunities regardless of mother
tongue. For that reason, I am also sure you would have no hesitation in
replying to this email stating any reasons that may refute the above
arguments. For example, in replying to the advert for ,,for an English
speaking assistant to perform administrative tasks and co-ordinate the
network of cyclists’ associations,,, how many candidates were/are native
speakers? How many of the ,,non-native,, candidates studied at schools or
universities in English-speaking countries?

As a final question, would it be possible to restart the application
process, this time not discriminating on the basis of nationality/language?
This would ensure that all Europeans have equal opportunities.

I thank you in advance for any information.

Yours most sincerely,

Scipo Prikatel
Europa Esperanto-Ligo
www.esperanto.net

Act of 30 July 1981 on the punishment
of certain acts motivated by racism or xenophobia
MB 8 VIII 81 and 14 V 1994
Art. 2: Whoever, in supplying or offering to supply a service, a good or the
enjoyment of it, commits discrimination against a person on account of his
race, colour, descent, origin, or nationality shall be punished by a prison
sentence of one month to one year and by a fine of fifty francs to one
thousand francs, or by one of these punishments alone.
The same punishments shall apply when the discrimination is committed
against a group, a community or the members of it, on account of the race,
colour, descent, origin, or nationality of its members, or some of them.
Art.2bis: Whoever, in placing people in employment, providing professional
training, offering jobs, recruitment, the performance of contracts of
employment, or the dismissal of employees, commits discrimination against a
person on account of his race, colour, descent, origin, or nationality shall
be punished by the punishments given in article 2. The employer shall bear
civil liability for the payment of the fines that his employees or
representatives are ordered to pay.

4- LE DOSSIER EURYDICE

Dear Ms Pépin,

As director of Eurydice, part of Socrates, the education programme of the
European Union, I am sure you are aware of the advertisement placed in the
Brusssels publication, The Bulletin of 7 September 2000, on page 60. The
advert notified readers of a vacancy as "Education specialist" with a
specific mention that the candidate possess "Mother tongue English".
Such a
language requirement constitutes a clear case of discrimination on the basis
of language.

Current Belgian legislation, applicable to Eurydice as the organisation is
based in Brussels, includes the anti-racism law of 1981, as well as a 1983
union-government-employer agreement having status of law. All relevant
Belgian legislation clearly prohibits language discrimination.

For further information please see
http://www.antiracisme.be/en/laws/racism.htm.
Additionally, article 21 §1 of
the European Charta of Fundamental Rights prohibits discrimination on the
basis of languag. Please see
http://www.europarl.eu.int/charter/pdf/text_en.pdf.

As the chairman of a pan-European organisation, I am sure you understand the
need to fight against discrimination and ensure equal opportunities
regardless of mother tongue. For that reason, I am also sure you would have
no hesitation in replying to this email stating any reasons that may refute
the above arguments. For example, in replying to the advert for an
,,Education specialist,, how many candidates were native speakers? How many
of the ,,non-native,, candidates studied at schools or universities in
English-speaking countries?

As a final question, would it be possible to restart the application
process, this time not discriminating on the basis of nationality/language?
This would ensure that all Europeans have equal opportunities.

I thank you in advance for any information.

Yours most sincerely,

Scipo Prikatel
Europa Esperanto-Ligo
www.esperanto.ne

Act of 30 July 1981 on the punishment
of certain acts motivated by racism or xenophobia
MB 8 VIII 81 and 14 V 1994
Art. 2: Whoever, in supplying or offering to supply a service, a good or the
enjoyment of it, commits discrimination against a person on account of his
race, colour, descent, origin, or nationality shall be punished by a prison
sentence of one month to one year and by a fine of fifty francs to one
thousand francs, or by one of these punishments alone.
The same punishments shall apply when the discrimination is committed
against a group, a community or the members of it, on account of the race,
colour, descent, origin, or nationality of its members, or some of them.
Art.2bis: Whoever, in placing people in employment, providing professional
training, offering jobs, recruitment, the performance of contracts of
employment, or the dismissal of employees, commits discrimination against a
person on account of his race, colour, descent, origin, or nationality shall
be punished by the punishments given in article 2. The employer shall bear
civil liability for the payment of the fines that his employees or
representatives are ordered to pay.

5- LE DOSSIER THE EUROPEAN ASSOCIATION OF CO-OPERATIVE BANKS

Dear Mr von Süsskind,

The European Association of Co-operative Banks, of which you are the
Secretary General, represents over 30 organisations comprised of
co-operative banking groups not only from the 15 European Union Member
States, but also from several Central and Eastern European countries.

In the Brussels publication The European Voice of 1-7 March 2001, page 18,
the organisation of which you are Secretary General, EACB, advertised for an
,,English mother tongue Junior Adviser,,. Such a language requirement
constitutes a clear case of discrimination on the basis of language.

Current Belgian legislation, applicable to EACB as the organisation is based
in Brussels, includes the anti-racism law of 1981, as well as a 1983
union-government-employer agreement having status of law. All relevant
Belgian legislation clearly prohibits language discrimination.

For further information please see
http://www.antiracisme.be/en/laws/racism.htm.
Additionally, article 21 §1 of
the European Charta of Fundamental Rights prohibits discrimination on the
basis of languag. Please see
http://www.europarl.eu.int/charter/pdf/text_en.pdf.

As the chairman of a pan-European organisation, I am sure you understand the
need to fight against discrimination and ensure equal opportunities
regardless of mother tongue. For that reason, I am also sure you would have
no hesitation in replying to this email stating any reasons that may refute
the above arguments. For example, in replying to the advert for an ,,English
mother tongue Junior Adviser,, how many candidates were/are native speakers?
How many of the ,,non-native,, candidates studied at schools or universities
in English-speaking countries?

As a final question, would it be possible to restart the application
process, this time not discriminating on the basis of nationality/language?
This would ensure that all Europeans have equal opportunities.

I thank you in advance for any information.

Yours most sincerely,

Scipo Prikatel
Europa Esperanto-Ligo
www.esperanto.net

Act of 30 July 1981 on the punishment
of certain acts motivated by racism or xenophobia
MB 8 VIII 81 and 14 V 1994
Art. 2: Whoever, in supplying or offering to supply a service, a good or the
enjoyment of it, commits discrimination against a person on account of his
race, colour, descent, origin, or nationality shall be punished by a prison
sentence of one month to one year and by a fine of fifty francs to one
thousand francs, or by one of these punishments alone.
The same punishments shall apply when the discrimination is committed
against a group, a community or the members of it, on account of the race,
colour, descent, origin, or nationality of its members, or some of them.
Art.2bis: Whoever, in placing people in employment, providing professional
training, offering jobs, recruitment, the performance of contracts of
employment, or the dismissal of employees, commits discrimination against a
person on account of his race, colour, descent, origin, or nationality shall
be punished by the punishments given in article 2. The employer shall bear
civil liability for the payment of the fines that his employees or
representatives are ordered to pay.

6- LE DOSSIER WORLD FEDERATION OF INSURANCE INTERMEDIARIES

Dear Mr Collins,

WFII, the World Federation of Insurance Intermediaries, of which you are the
chairman, represents insurance agents and brokers from over 80 national
associations, in over 50 countries, around the world. In the Brussels
publication The Bulletin of 8 March 2001, page 62, the organisation of which
you are chairman, WFII, advertised for a ,,part-time English mother tongue
secretary,,. In the Bulletin of 30 November 2000, on page 56, your
organisation also advertised for a ,,part-time English mother tongue
Secretary,,. Such language requirements constitute clear cases of
discrimination on the basis of language.

Current Belgian legislation, and the World Federation of Insurance
Intermediaries aisbl is a non-profit federation registered in Brussels under
Belgian law includes the anti-racism law of 1981, as well as a 1983
union-government-employer agreement having status of law. All relevant
Belgian legislation clearly prohibits language discrimination.

For further information please see
http://www.antiracisme.be/en/laws/racism.htm.
Additionally, article 21 §1 of
the European Charta of Fundamental Rights prohibits discrimination on the
basis of languag. Please see
http://www.europarl.eu.int/charter/pdf/text_en.pdf
.

As the chairman of an international organisation representing over 80
national associations, not just from English-speaking countries, I am sure
you understand the need to fight against discrimination and ensure the
equality of all languages. For that reason, I am also sure you would have no
hesitation in replying to this email stating any reasons that may refute the
above arguments. For example, was the position of ,,part-time mother English
tongue secretary,, filled in November 2000? Was the new employee in November
2000 a mother tongue speaker of English? How many candidates were native
speakers? How many of the the candidates who were not native speakers
studied at schools or universities in English-speaking countries?

I thank you in advance for any information, especially with regard to the
latest advert in the Bulletin of 8 March 2001.

Yours most sincerely,

Scipo Prikatel
Europa Esperanto-Ligo
www.esperanto.net

(Le 8 mars 2001)