Enlargement at the European Court of Justice: Law, Language and Translation
13 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2008
The enlargement of the EU to 25 Member States in May 2005, followed by the accession of two more states in January 2007, raised a number of questions concerning the organisational structure of that Unionthe sheer scale of the largest EU expansion to date highlighted the need to restructure EU institutions. For the European Court of Justice (ECJ), enlargement meant a huge influx of people to staff new divisions in the administrative hierarchy of the Court. This article describes the process and effects of enlargement at the ECJ, particularly in relation to translation and the language regime of that Court. Prior to the May 2004 and January 2007 enlargements there was a general perception among those working at the Court that enlargement would result in significant dislocation of life at that institution. In particular, it was felt that the translation directorate would not be able to cope with the addition of 11 new languages to the list of official EU languages. The reality, however, was far from the disaster that many had predicted. That said, even a mere year following the May 2004 enlargement, a number of changes in the functioning and dynamics of that Court were already noticeable.
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