Greece joins international Francophone body

Greece has become an associate member of the OIF,
a club for French-speaking countries. The move is seen as part
of efforts to stave off the growing domination of English in the
EU.

Greece’s addition as an associate member of the OIF
(Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie) will give
French-speakers some reason for cheer against the backdrop of
the ever increasing dominance of English within EU
circles.

The move was rubberstamped during the tenth summit of ‘la
Francophonie’ in Burkina Faso on 26-27 November.
The event, whose theme is ‘la Francophonie, un
espace solidaire pour un developpement durable’,
was overshadowed by the crisis in the Ivory Coast.

Aside from Greece, Andorra has also been
given associate status, which means that the member
can be ‘consulted’ on issues but does not confer voting rights
in top level ministerial summits and conferences. Austria and
Hungary are the only two current EU members who now
enjoy the lesser ‘observer’ status. Current OIF observers
include Lithuania, Slovenia, Poland, the Czech Republic and
Slovakia.

An official from the Greek Perm Rep in Brussels told EURACTIV
that the idea was to “reinforce the plurality of languages within
the EU. We safeguard our own language by making room for more
languages to be spoken”.

The move is widely seen as part of efforts to prevent
a single language, namely English, from overly dominating the
EU.

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