The European Commission withdraws guidelines on inclusive language with references to Christmas

The European Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, withdrew the guidelines on inclusive communication that had sparked the controversy over the use of the word Christmas. “My initiative to develop guidelines as an internal document for communication by Commission staff in their functions was aimed at achieving an important goal: to illustrate the diversity of European culture and show the inclusive nature of the European Commission towards all strata and the beliefs of European citizens “, explains the Commissioner.

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“However, the published version of the guidelines does not adequately serve this purpose. It is not a mature document and does not meet all Commission quality standards. The guidelines clearly require more work. I will then withdraw the guidelines and will work further on this document. “explained Dalli.

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The Commission had issued guidelines for avoiding discrimination for internal use. “Every person in the EU has the right to be treated equally”, was the premise of the document. The goal is to limit references to “gender, ethnicity, race, religion, disability and sexual orientation”. Among the suggestions was, for example, that of avoiding the reference to Christmas in internal communications. Brussels officials should not, was the council, “assume that everyone is Christian because everyone celebrates Christian holidays, and not all Christians celebrate them on the same dates.” The invitation was therefore to show oneself “sensitive to the fact that people have different religious traditions and calendars”. Here is an example of how to formulate a phrase like: “The Christmas season can be stressful”. Better, the Commission recommended, write “The holiday period can be stressful”.

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