The European Commission has published an internal guide to “inclusive communication” with a list of phrases to avoid so as not to offend anyone. It included, among others “Christmas”, “gentleman”, “lady”, “homosexual” and even the name “Maria”. The EC informed that the document has not been completed yet and will be corrected.
“Our communication should never assume that people are heterosexual, identify with their gender assigned at birth, or identify themselves in a binary way,” the EC guide points out.
Advises that you avoid speaking of “both genders” or starting your speech with “ladies and gentlemen”, recommends “not to render intersex or queer people invisible”. According to the document the term “homosexual” can also be considered offensive.
For gender-specific surveys, add a non-binary option and avoid the “gentleman” and “lady” forms associated with the gender assigned at birth, the guide adds. It adds that in case of doubt, the “Mx” form should be used.
Regarding Christian holidays, the document suggests, for example, instead of the sentence “Christmas can be stressful”, “the holiday season can be stressful”.
The guide recommends continuing to use the term “name” instead of “baptismal name” and states that not to use “names typical of religion”such as “Maria and Jan”, which should be replaced with the names “Malika and Juliusz”, for example.
To include stateless persons and immigrants, the REC advises not to use the term “citizen”. It is also a question of “being careful about the negative connotations of certain terms”, the guide explains.
The guide was presented in Brussels in October by the European Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli. This met with a wave of criticism from, among others from the Vatican. Secretary of State of the Holy See, Card. Pietro Parolin described the EC’s guidelines as “erasing Christian Europe”.
Dalli announced in a press release that the guide has not yet been completed and will be revised.
According to Le Figaro, a short 1.5-hour training for officials on the new forms of communication recommended by the guide was to begin next week.