News from Celtic League
The passing of a historic piece of legislation occurred in Wales on Monday with the announcement that the first law had been passed by a Welsh Parliament in over 600 years.
The Welsh Senedd (Parliament) in Caerdydd/Cardiff passed the law following the granting of legislative competence in a number of areas last year after a successful referendum of the people of Wales. Even though the Welsh Senedd now has primary law making powers in significant areas like education, health and the environment the first law passed was the uncontroversial act of ensuring that the Welsh and English languages are given equal status in the Senedd, which in practice happens anyway. However, according the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, this new act is the precursor of many that are already being discussed that “will make a big difference to the people of Wales whether it’s in education or social services.” Mr Jones went on to say in the ceremony in the Government Offices in Caerdydd, which was lauded for its swiftness and its lack of pomp, that:
“This is the first act that has been passed by a legislature in Wales for more than 600 years. It’s an exceptionally historic day,” he said. “Wales is an old country, but a young democracy. Today is a historic day for us as a nation. It heralds the beginning of a new era for the governance of Wales.”
As First Minister – who now has the grand title of ‘Keeper of the Seal’ – acknowledged the unpretentiousness of the occasion, but stated that it was a different style of government in Wales to Westminster. The Presiding Officer for the Senedd, Clancy, who was also at the ceremony added that Wales was a “modern democracy… [that was] trying to create the right processes that suit a modern democracy – getting the business done, making things happen.”
The first Welsh Senedd was created by Prince Owian Glyndwr at Machynlleth in 1404 and the occasion is remembered annually on September 16th.
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The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues.