The Italian Presidency of the European Union's official website will only publish in English and Italian, meaning it will not be translated into French or German for the first time since 2007, EurActiv France reports .
Being able to speak many languages is an important skillset for any high-ranking European politician. When it comes to language skills, some candidates for the presidency of the European Commission have a clear linguistic advantage. EurActiv France reports .
The board of governors of the European Schools will adopt a reform of the secondary curriculum later this week (4-6 December), hoping to overcome some of the academic and financial troubles, but parents slam the reform as being cost-cutting driven.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
The European Commission, which drafts legislation which governs the lives of European citizens, works overwhelmingly in English. However a language is not simply a neutral conduit for information and there are ways of making the EU’s administration more multilingual and representative of its citizens, argues Michel Soubies.
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.
Pupils across the EU are overwhelmingly studying English as a second language, 82% of these at primary and lower-secondary level, and 95% at upper-secondary level, a Eurostat survey published yesterday (26 September) on the occasion of the tenth European Day of Languages.
By the end of 2012, the EU will have an online observatory for multilingualism, which will document best practice in implementing language policies and showcase concrete tools for solving everyday communication problems. Uwe Mohr, head of the EU project 'Poliglotti4.eu', spoke to EurActiv in an interview.