A hearty round of applause to Ashley Fox – the British Tory MEP who addressed the European Parliament entirely in French
Thursday, 25 October 2012
Today in Strasbourg, South West Conservative MEP Ashley Fox delivered a speech in the chamber of the European Parliament. While that fact in itself may be unexceptional, the fact he decided to deliver it entirely in French is.
In the presence of the French-speaking Belgian Commissioner and presenting his group’s view on a report by a French MEP rapporteur, Mr Fox read his lines in a glorious Franglais and afterwards was lauded and applauded by the Vice-President of the European Parliament chairing the debate on the “European Semester for economic policy coordination: implementation of 2012 priorities”. (See video below)
Without commenting on the content of the speech, as a linguist fluent in French it is extremely refreshing to see a British MEP speaking in a tongue other than English; all the more so as the number of students and university graduates of modern languages continues to fall in the UK to levels far beyond saddening.
Indeed, his biography on his official website says he worked for a year as an English assistant in France after his studies, but at a time when it is seemingly grossly unpopular to be remotely pro-European in the Conservative party I would like to take this opportunity to applaud Mr Fox for his act.
I hope he will display a video of this contribution proudly on his website. Félicitations.
(Question: is this the first time a British MEP has delivered a speech to the house entirely in another language? Please let me know if you recall such a occasion previously!)
Hailing from the truly beautiful South West region of the UK, Andrew now works in Brussels and is a UK passport holder, European citizen, and a twice employee at the European Parliament.
While the EU in its current form is far from perfect, he is nonetheless firmly of the belief that the UK's prosperity and place in the world is best served as a member state and not as an isolated bystander.
Since October 2009, this blog seeks to document the work that our region's MEPs do for us in Brussels. As such, predictably, it rarely features UKIP.