The Basque Government established as a requirement in 2021 to accredit level B2 to be part of an employment exchange used by city councils
The obligation to accredit knowledge of Basque in order to gain access to an interim local police force entails “discriminatory treatment” for those applicants who cannot accredit knowledge of this language. A court in Vitoria has annulled one of the conditions imposed by the Basque Government to admit aspiring interim local police officers in 2021 and now orders it to accept all those who were excluded. The ruling of a contentious-administrative court in Vitoria agrees with UGT while the High Court of Justice of the Basque Country (TSJPV) analyzes a similar appeal filed by CCOO.
In July 2021, the Basque Government approved a resolution in which it was established as an “admission requirement” for an interim local police force to accredit a B2 level of Basque. An insurmountable obstacle for hundreds of applicants who were prevented from participating in this list of local police applicants who are used by hundreds of Basque municipalities to carry out substitutions or compensate for the lack of troops while the different Public Employment Offers (OPE) are carried out. coordinated by the Basque Government with unique training at the Academy of the Ertzaintza of Arkaute.
The resolution challenged by the UGT union before the courts also included that all courses taken by the applicants before 2019, the date on which the Police Law in Euskadi was modified, were dismissed as merit. This conditioning factor has also been annulled by the court ruling and will force the Basque Government to change the current priority of the applicants.
In Euskadi there are some 3,200 local police distributed among the three Basque capitals and the 250 towns of Euskadi. The resolution used by the Basque Government to exclude applicants who do not know Basque as candidates for the local police pool was also appealed by the Workers’ Commissions (CCOO). The union filed an appeal with the Basque Superior Justice in October 2021 for “linguistic discrimination” against this decree. It makes no sense to exclude applicants who may end up working in Spanish-speaking towns because they have not accredited a high level of Basque, he warned then Cesar Merinogeneral secretary of the Federation of Services to the Citizenship of Workers’ Commissions.
Pending the ruling of the High Court of Justice of the Basque Country, there are already precedents regarding the criteria of this judicial body on the imposition of Basque as a condition for access to a local police position. In May 2021, the Basque judges annulled the conditions of the assignments to the local police in Iran because the 12 seats of your OPE require profile B2. The Basque judges ruled that knowledge of Basque cannot be required of all new agents when the population that speaks Basque in Irun does not exceed 8%. Their demand violates, according to the TSJPV, the principle of equality to access the public function recognized in article 23 of the Constitution.
The Basque Government does not impose in all the squares of the promotions of the Ertzaintza the obligation to accredit Basque, although their number is gradually reducing. In the last oppositions, two out of three new positions required a level of B2 but in the rest Basque was valued as one of the merits to enter the Basque Police.