The National Assembly for Wales has passed the Official Languages (Wales) Bill into law, meaning that Welsh and English are its official languages.
Once it receives Royal Assent, the Bill will place a statutory duty on the National Assembly for Wales and the Assembly Commission to treat both languages equally.
“This is an historic day in the history of devolution and of Wales,” said the Presiding Officer, Rosemary Butler AM.
“Both Welsh and English will now be considered official languages in Assembly proceedings. The Bill places a statutory duty to put them both on an equal footing in the delivery of the services the Commission provides to the Assembly and the public.
“We are committed to delivering exemplar bilingual services. This Bill outlines the principles that will underpin the Commission’s approach to deliver even better bilingual services. Our commitment to the Welsh language can no longer be questioned.
The Commissioner with responsibility for the Welsh Language and the passage of the Bill, Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM said: “The Bill sets an example for organisations working across Wales within both the public and private sectors about how to approach bilingualism.
“As the Member in charge of the Bill, and on behalf of the Commission, I would like to thank Assembly Members and the public for working together with us on its development. We have listened, and are confident that this legislation makes our responsibilities and our commitment clear for all to see.”
The Bill places a duty on the Assembly Commission to draw up a Welsh Language Scheme to ensure the equal status of both languages.