On 23 November the European Parliament passed the resolution on sign languages and professional sign language interpreters. Here you can read the full text of the resolution. The text is available in all 24 EU languages.
The resolution section on 'Professional Sign Language Interpeters' states:
Qualified and professional sign language interpreters
1. Stresses the need for qualified and professional sign language interpreters, which can only be met on the basis of the following approach:
(a) official recognition of national and regional sign language(s) in Member States and within EU institutions,
(b) formal training (university or similar, equivalent to 3 years of full-time studies, corresponding to the training required of spoken language interpreters)(24) ,
(c) registration (official accreditation and quality control system, such as continuing professional development),
(d) formal recognition of the profession;
2. Recognises that the delivery of high-quality sign language interpreting services:
(a) is dependent on an objective quality assessment involving all stakeholders,
(b) is based on professional qualifications,
(c) involves expert representatives from the deaf community;
(d) is dependent on sufficient resources to train and employ sign language interpreters;
3. Recognises that sign language interpretation constitutes a professional service requiring appropriate remuneration;
The passing of the resolution is another historic day for sign language users and sign language interpreters in the European Union. It follows the event 'Multilingualism and equal rights in the EU: the role of sign languages', hosted by MEP Helga Stevens.