EU news and policy debates across languages

25/05/2016

Demand for French classes on the rise in EU circles

Topic: languages


EU to publish job ads in all languages

By the spring, the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) will publish notices regarding its selection procedure in all official EU languages, instead of just French, German and English. EurActiv Italy reports.

What Europe can learn from India

Pundits often point to the US as a model for Europe. They should be looking east instead, writes Amit S. Mukherjee.

Young translators compete for Commission crown

The 2015 edition of the European Commission-promoted Juvenes Translatores competition will focus on the European Year of Development. EurActiv Italy reports.

Language entrepreneur: Smaller languages could be lost in the Digital Single Market

Opening borders may undermine smaller languages, unless research initiatives support making translation more competitive, says Andrejs Vasiljevs.

Will the Digital Single Market be multilingual?

The Latvian EU Presidency hosted the Riga Summit on a Multilingual Digital Single Market (DSM) last week, just before the European Commission launches its much-awaited DSM plan.

Tower of Babel in the European Schools’ classrooms?

European Schools are reforming their education system and there is a clear risk that pupils will be taught core disciplines in a different language than their mother tongue which will create a considerable gap between the European baccalaureate and national higher education, parents write.

Eurostat: English reinforces its status as Europe’s ‘lingua franca’

Ninety four percent of upper secondary students learn English as a foreign language, according to new data published by Eurostat yesterday (26 September) to coincide with the European Day for Languages.

A truly multilingual capital for the European Union

To meet Brussels’s exceptional linguistic challenge, the 'Marnix Plan' wants to mobilise Brussels’s diverse linguistic competence into an exciting collaborative project, writes Philippe Van Parijs.

Croats tear down Cyrillic signs in Vukovar, reviving Yugoslav war memories

Protesters wielding hammers have torn down bilingual signs in Serbian Cyrillic that were installed on official buildings in the Croat city of Vukovar, in a spate of tension recalling the 1990s Yugoslav war.
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EC on multilinguism in the EU

Protesters have been gathering for two days in the Croat city of Vukovar, tearing down bilingual signs in Cyrillic that were installed on official buildings, as requested by the Croatian Constitution. The incidents were reminiscent of tensions dating back to the Yugoslav war of the 1990s. Croatian and Serbian languages are very similar and both groups can understand each other without problem. The only difference is their alphabet. Catholics use the Latin alphabet while the Orthodox use the Cyrillic one.

French EU circles gripped by feeling of decline: Survey

EXCLUSIVE / A EurActiv survey of French EU professionals in Brussels, published ahead of Bastille Day, shows that an overwhelming 60% of respondents believe their country’s influence in Europe has declined since the financial and economic crisis swept the continent in 2008.

Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Merkel wants more German spoken in EU

Angela Merkel's conservatives want to increase the use of German in Europe if they are re-elected in September, calling in their campaign programme for the language to be treated on a par with English and French in top Brussels institutions.

French EU elite abandons ‘defensive’ stance on language

With the decline of French language in EU institutions now accepted by most as irreversible, French lawmakers and officials have started pushing a more assertive approach, based on the promotion of multilingualism and influence rather than language issues only.

Francois Alfonsi MEP: 'The loss of a language is always deliberate'

Languages would not disappear without a deliberate policy to marginalise them, says François Alfonsi, a Corsican MEP who has drafted a parliamentary report on endangered languages to be voted in June. For him, the EU has a role to play in protecting what he describes as “a European heritage”.

Corsican MEP battles for Europe to protect endangered languages

INTERVIEW / Just as the EU legislates to protect migrating birds and wildlife habitats, it should also protect its 120 or so endangered languages, argues François Alfonsi, a Corsican MEP who has prepared a parliamentary report that could name and shame European wrongdoers.

Italy wins EU court ruling over language rights

European Union job announcements should be published in all 23 official languages, EU judges ruled yesterday (27 November).

European workers lack basic English language skills: Survey

Although the English language plays a central role in today's international business environment, workers in many countries are still struggling with basic communication skills, according to a new report.

Catalan language pride fuels independence debate

Catalonia may be home to Spain’s second city, Barcelona, and one of its most prestigious football clubs, but there is evidence that support for pro-independence parties is on the rise ahead of regional parliamentary elections on 25 November.

The internet is becoming more multilingual: Study

Internationalised domain names (IDNs), which are seen as an essential building block for creating a multilingual internet, are growing in number, according to a new report.

Vassiliou: Immigrants must learn the language of their host country

Speaking in tribute to the European day of languages on Wednesday (26 September), Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou said it was a time to “celebrate” multilingualism in all its forms, but that immigrants must learn the language of their “host” country.

Commission denies English language favouritism

The European Commission has tried to respond to grumbling in the French press about the preferential use of English in EU institutions, saying it is doing its best to maintain multilingualism in the face of budget constraints.

Europe’s highly skilled 20-30 year olds in times of austerity

Tired of vague promises and little government action, the EU’s university graduates demand clear political messages, defined strategies and informed government choices, says Raya Kardasheva.

Multilingualism MEP: 'We're having difficulty recruiting English people'

Thirty years on, Margaret Thatcher's' education policies have had unexpected consequences on the European Parliament's translation and interpretation services. Miguel Angel Martinez Martinez, the Spanish MEP in charge of the Assembly's multilingualism policy, explains why in an interview with EurActiv.

Demand for French classes on the rise in EU circles

Despite the continued dominance of English as a working language, demand for French classes in Brussels has increased, notably among EU staff and accredited diplomats and journalists, says Thierry Lagnau, director of the 'Alliance Française Bruxelles-Europe'.