Following a directive to staff not to use the word “cancel Christmas”, it was alleged that they tried to do so.
Eurocrats published the rule months ago as part of a guide on ‘inclusive communication’, details of which leaked this week leading to a furious backlash.
Italic politicians, where this story was first reported, accused the EU of starting a war against ‘common sense’. The Vatican however accused Brussels of trying ‘cancel’ Europe’s Christian roots.
Brussels was forced to backtrack after it retracted what it called a “draft document” following a number of concerns.
After issuing guidelines for ‘inclusive communications’ that recommended staff use ‘holiday period’ instead of Christmas, the EU was forced to rescind (pictured: Christmas lights in Rome).
Other suggestions contained within the book – which was first issued in October – including replacing Christian names such as Mary and John with ‘international’ names such as Malika and Julio when using them in generic examples.
EU Commission staff were instructed to refrain from using the phrase “colonise Mars”, and instead use “send humans there” due to its connection to Imperalism. Also, to substitute gendered terms such as’manmade fabrics’ for’synthetic materials’.
The term Ladies and gentlemen’ was also dismissed as a generic greeting, in favor of the gender neutral ‘colleagues’. While the term ‘Ms’ was to be universally used to mean women rather than ‘Miss/Mrs’,
Helena Dalli was the EU’s equality commissar. The guide (pictured) was published back in October. However, its contents have just been made public
According to Il Giornale in Italy, staff were advised not assume that all Christians are Christians and not to presume that every Christian celebrates Christian holidays on the same day.
Staff were instructed to tell their colleagues that ‘Christmas can be stressful’ instead of saying it.
Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin claimed that the EU tried to ‘cancel their roots’, ignoring Europe’s Christian heritage and instead of respecting it.
He told Vatican News that while we all know Europe is influenced by many factors, one thing that cannot be forgotten was Christianity.
Matteo Salvini (leader of Italy’s right-wing League Party and ex-Deputy Prime Minister) accused the EU, by publishing its rules, of being a ‘folly.
Mary, the mother. John, the father. Long live the holy Christmas … I hope that in Europe, no one will be offended,’ he tweeted.
Antonio Tajani is a former European Commissioner who was an alligator of Silvio Berlusconi. He also took to Twitter his disapproval, suggesting that the EU was trying to wage war against ‘commonsense’.
Brussels announced that it would be withdrawing the book and stated, “The guidelines clearly need more work.”
Italy and Vatican led the backlash against the guidelines, with Vatican secretary of state the Holy See accusing Europe of trying to “cancel” Europe’s Christian roots. (file image).
Helena Dalli (EU’s equality commissioner) created the guide to support the equality agenda promoted by Ursula von der Leyen.
She said, “We are taking into consideration these concerns and will address them in an updated version” of the guidelines.
The EU does not issue guidance for staff about inclusive language.
Back in 2018, staff at the European Parliament were issued with a similar guide that advised against using gendered language such as ‘manpower’ and ‘mankind’.
These guidelines were issued to EU translators and discourage the use of’man’/’woman in official texts.
The guide suggested that words such as “chairman” should be replaced with “chairperson”, and “policeman” or?policewoman should be substituted for the term ‘police officer”.
The word “stewardess” was also suggested to be avoided and replaced with “flight attendant”, while the term “principal” should be used in place of “headmaster” or headmistress.