New Law on the own and official language in Andorra 2024

The new Law on the own and official language in Andorra was approved on 25 April 2024 at the ordinary session of the General Council, with the support of the majority of the deputies, 25 votes in favour and only 3 against. This new law replaces the 1999 Law on the regulation of the use of the official language.

Among the objectives of this new law are to guarantee the official use of Catalan within the country and its good knowledge, to establish protection mechanisms, to preserve its use in education through social activities, to raise awareness among the population that it is essential to protect the Andorran linguistic heritage in order to preserve the country’s identity.

The Law ties the accreditation of knowledge of the Catalan language to the renewal of residence permits in the Principality of Andorra, and the entry into force of this Law will be staggered until 2029.

New bodies such as the Coordination Board for Language and Training (JCLF) and the National Council for Language will be set up to ensure the proper implementation of the language policy.

Requirements of the new Law on the own and official language in Andorra 2024

From 2026, 30 hours of Catalan language training will be required to renew an active residence and work permit in Andorra, with level A1 being required for the first renewal. Level A2 will be required for the second renewal, and from 2029, this requirement will be applicable to all immigration permits issued by the Principality of Andorra, affecting youtubers, passive residents and athletes.

Companies established in Andorra will have to guarantee customer service in Catalan, and administrations will be obliged to encourage the promotion of audiovisual productions in the Catalan language.

Mònica Bonell, Andorra’s Minister for Culture, Youth and Sport, pointed out that, after the announcement of the new law, the number of people interested in learning Catalan has tripled, with 6,800 people coming to self-learning centres, 750 people taking face-to-face courses and 300 people taking virtual courses. Bonell also commented that “language should not be seen as a barrier, but as an opportunity to share who we are and to weave a more united and more integrating society”, and claims that Catalan continues to be “a tool for cohesion and integration for the people who live in Andorra”.

Sanctioning regime of the new law

The fines provided for in the regulations of this law can range from 1,200 euros to 60,000 euros, in the most serious cases, for those companies that are shown to have repeatedly failed to provide services in Catalan, either by the company’s management or by an employee.

If you would like to learn more about the new Law, we invite you to the informative talk to be held on 6 June, with special interest for freelancers and employees. Albert Barroso, partner at Abast Global, will be in charge of this presentation.