The Latin Union
is an international organization
of nations that use a Romance language
. Its aim is to protect, project, and promote the common heritage and unifying identities of the Latin
, and Latin-influenced, world. It was created in 1954
, and it has existed as a functional institution since 1983
. Since that time its member states have risen from 12 to 37, and its membership now covers all parts of the world.
The official names of the Latin Union are Unió Llatina in Catalan, Union Latine in French, Unione Latina in Italian, União Latina in Portuguese, Uniunea Latină in Romanian, and Unión Latina in Spanish.
According to the Latin Union's website, membership is open to any nation that meets the following criteria:
- Linguistic criteria
- Official language derived from Latin
- Latin-derived language used in education
- Latin-derived language commonly used in the mass media or in daily life
- Linguistic/cultural criteria
- Existence of significant literature in a Latin-derived language
- Press and publication in Latin-derived language
- Television with a strong proportion of the programming in a Latin-derived language
- Radio widely broadcast in a Latin-derived language
- Cultural criteria
- Direct or indirect inheritance of the legacy of Ancient Rome, to which the state remains faithful and which it perpetuates mainly through the education of Latin
- Cultural education of Latin-derived foreign languages
- Interchanges with other Latin countries
- Societal organization, particularly in the legal plane, based on respect for fundamental liberties, the general principles of human rights and democracy, tolerance and freedom of religion.
The Latin Union currently has members from five continents (listed by the Romance language that is spoken there):
The official languages of the Latin Union are Catalan
, and Romanian
. The middle four are used as working languages. All the texts of general diffusion are translated into these four languages, with some also going into Catalan and Romanian.
The Union is composed of three main bodies, namely, the Congress, the Executive Council and the General Secretariat.
The Congress, which is consisted of the representatives of all Member States, meets in ordinary assembly every two years. Its main functions are
- to adopt the budget,
- to define the general directions of the Union,
- to receive the new Member States formally, and
- to elect and appoint different Member States to be the Presidents, Vice-Presidents and members of the sub-organisations of the Union.
A President and two Vice-Presidents are also elected by the Congress. Mr. Javier Pérez de Cuéllar from Peru is the current President.
There are also two auxiliary bodies of the Congress, namely, the Commission of Adhesions and the Commission of Candidacies.
- The Commission of Adhesions is composed of 10 Member States and responsible for promoting the adhesions of all the Member States of the Union.
- The Commission of Candidacies is composed of 9 Member States and responsible for examining the validity of the candidacies, taking account of the geographical and linguistic-cultural division.
The Executive Council is the executive branch of the Union. It is consisted of 12 Member States, which are elected by the Congress every 4 years, and leaded by a President and two Vice-Presidents, which are also elected by the Congress. Currently, Brazil, Cape Verde, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Moldova, Romania and Uruguay are the members of the council, while Uruguay is the President and Portugal and Romania are the Vice-Presidents.
There are also two auxiliary commissions sub-ordinated to the Executive Council.
- The Commission of Finance and Programmes
- The Commission of Statues
The Latin Union is directed by a Secretary-General appointed every 4 years by the Congress. The Secretary is in charge of the execution of the programmes and implement the decisions made by the Congress and the Executive Council in the matter of budget and general directions. Mr. Ambasciatore Bernardino Osio
is currently the Secretary-General of the Union.
Sub-ordinated to the Secretary-General, there are 4 directors:
- Director of Administration and Finance
- Director of Culture and Communication
- Director of Promotion and Education of the Languages
- Director of Terminology and Industry of the Language
The finance of the Union is mainly supported by the obligatory contributions from the Member States. For some activities, the Union may collaborate with other public or private institutions.