The next item on the agenda is the language regime in COSAC meetings. I wish to correct replies to the questionnaire. The Estonian reply is down as "No" and should be "Yes". That will be changed in the official record. As of Friday, 14 May 2004, the COSAC secretariat had received 17 replies to the questionnaire on possible changes to the interpretation regime of COSAC. Ten parliaments have expressed their willingness to consider a reduced interpretation regime for COSAC meetings, while seven have replied that they wish to maintain the present system that provides interpretation from and into all EU languages. However, there are big differences between the views of the ten parliaments that are willing to consider amending the present interpretation regime. Five of them suggest that it should still be possible for COSAC participants to speak in their own languages, but the access to interpretation could be limited to a reduced number of languages. The remaining five find it sufficient that interpretation is provided to and from two to five of the languages of the European Union.
The Presidency can draw only one conclusion from the survey of parliaments on this question and that is that there is no consensus. I propose that the working group of Chairmen should again address this matter and inform itself of the conclusions of the July meeting of the conference of speakers, which I understand will also address this issue. The following speakers wish to make contributions on this issue: Mr. Cunha from Portugal and Mr. Hatzigakis from Greece.