Episode 21 of our Eurochat series of podcasts is a special edition that will focus on a current dispute involving conference interpreters in the EU institutions who are facing a massive loss of income as a result of reduced work because of the Covid 19 pandemic.
For those who are tuned in on the EU PR machine, the term “ EU Solidarity” is one that’s been well promoted by both the internal and external avenues. We’ve heard it mentioned in many of the speeches by the Commission and parliamentary leaders in their quests to bring us together in this time of crisis, but it seems that one group of workers who are involved at the core of the EU institutions and are indeed vital in the everyday running of it, are being left behind.
In the wake of the Covid19 pandemic, approximately 1,800 Conference Interpreting Agents, or ACIs, face financial uncertainty over the European Union’s decision to cease payments, and because they are unable to claim temporary unemployment due to their special tax status, their position at the moment remains unclear.
There has been some support from MEPS including German Green MEP Alexandra Geeze and we also had an opportunity to speak with Irish MEP Chris McManus and got his thoughts about this situation.
Our guest is Nick Pope who is an interpreter and a representative of the ACIs and we’ll be asking him what is the reasoning behind the EU’s decision to effectively cut loose over 1800 people. We also had a conversation with ACI Svetlana Spaic who is based in Brussels, and we listened to Svetlana’s story.
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