Languages & Culture

Brexit 19-07-2018

Translations of British Brexit plan provoke ridicule

The UK government has taken the somewhat unprecedented step of translating the executive summary of its Brexit White Paper into 22 European languages.
09-07-2018

German firms promised ‘Marshall Plan’ tax breaks for African projects

Germany plans to use public money to support companies which invest in Africa, part of a new "Marshall Plan" with which it hopes to tackle the roots of the refugee crisis that has convulsed European politics since 2015.
25-06-2018

Latvia’s school language reform irks Russian minority

Riga's plans to impose Latvian as the main teaching language in minority schools has created tension among some of its ethnic Russian population, resurrecting a long-running dispute with Latvia's former Soviet masters.
04-06-2018

Shakespeare in trouble: Dutch fret about English on campus

The growing popularity of English as a medium of instruction at Dutch universities is ringing alarm bells among local lecturers and students, with some now even calling for government intervention.
Freedom of thought 29-05-2018

Muslim animal slaughter must occur in approved abattoirs: EU court

The EU's top court ruled Tuesday (29 May) that animal slaughter without stunning can only occur in approved abattoirs, saying a ban on temporary slaughter houses does not violate Muslim religious freedom.
Economy & Jobs 25-05-2018

Schools open to all? Slovakia uses EU funds to include Roma children

Systemic segregation of Roma children in Slovakia's pre-schools and primary education has been around - and barely addressed - for many years. The lack of efforts on their inclusion has been highlighted by both human rights NGOs and the European Commission.
Global Europe 06-04-2018

Russia rails against Britain at UN, denies Skripal role

Russia unleashed a blistering war of words against Britain at the UN Security Council yesterday (5 April), deflecting accusations of poisoning a former double agent in England with denials, "Alice in Wonderland" and Russian literature.
29-03-2018

EU citizens’ initiative demands protection for minority communities

There is still one week left to collect signatures for the European Citizen’s Initiative, which aims to introduce common EU standards to protect national minority groups. EURACTIV Poland’s media partner “Gazeta Wyborcza” reports.
Economy & Jobs 29-03-2018

Europe to extend qualifications ‘passports’ for refugees

A Council of Europe project to help refugees to have their qualifications recognised abroad was extended to include more countries on Wednesday (28 March).
21-03-2018

Le Brief – Roll up, roll up… for free French classes

French used to be the recognised language of international diplomacy even though the British Empire was much larger and more dominant. French held out, more or less, until after World War Two, when the global geopolitical balance shifted and the US took over, helped by Hollywood and rock 'n' roll.
french language 21-03-2018

Macron says too much English spoken in pre-Brexit Brussels

The English language is too dominant in Brussels, especially with Britain soon to exit the European Union, French President Emmanuel Macron said yesterday (20 March) as he vowed to fight for a wider use of French in EU institutions and abroad.
Economy & Jobs 14-03-2018

EU judges disapprove of Crocs design

The design of Crocs, an opinion-dividing American line of footwear, is no longer valid in the European Union, after the bloc’s top court backed a decision by the EU’s intellectual property office to nullify it, citing a lack of “novelty”.
Digital 16-02-2018

EU signs off on copyright waiver for the visually impaired

The European Council decided on Thursday (15 February) to approve a treaty on access to published works for visually impaired people, opening the door for the EU to ratify the text in the summer.
15-02-2018

Luxembourgish makes comeback, bid for EU approval

Luxembourg's national language Letzebuergesch is making a comeback and fighting for official European Union recognition.
14-02-2018

Octogenarian Spaniard enrols in Erasmus scheme

One of the Erasmus student exchange programme's latest enrollee's is Miguel Castillo, an 80-year-old native of Valencia who will next week go to the Italian city of Verona as part of his university studies.
Africa 09-02-2018

EU calls on Cameroon security forces to use ‘proportional force’

The European Union has called on Cameroon to ensure its security forces use "proportional force" in the country's restive English-speaking west.
01-02-2018

Town twinnings: The ‘Biggest peace movement in the world’

Europe has grown together in the decades following World War Two. One thing - central at the start and nowadays labelled as stale - was of particular importance back then: town twinnings. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Freedom of thought 26-01-2018

Croatia’s media freedom in jeopardy as delegation returns for second visit

The issue of media freedom in Croatia has earned the EU's newest member the dubious honour of being visited twice in as many years by a team of press freedom organisation representatives. Upon return, they said the situation has improved but serious concerns remain.
Europe's East 22-01-2018

Hungary blocks Ukraine-NATO defence ministers summit

Hungary will not facilitate the holding of a Ukraine-NATO summit at defence minister level, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Friday (19 January) after a meeting with Vasyl Brenzovych, the head of the Society of Hungarian culture in Zakarpattia (a region in southwestern Ukraine), according to Radio Liberty.
16-01-2018

EU urged to help expand internet domain names in different languages

Researchers and officials working on internet governance have urged EU institutions to help expand the use of internationalised domain names, which contain letters from alphabets including Cyrillic or Greek, or accented letters like in the word “café”.
10-01-2018

Greece limits power of sharia law for its Muslim minority

The Greek parliament yesterday (9 January) made the practice of Islamic sharia law in family disputes optional for the country's Muslim minority, changing a century-old legacy.
french language 18-12-2017

French court rules out discriminatory language rule

The French supreme court hasrejected a clause that imposed the use of French on public building sites, a predictable outcome under European public procurement law that forbids discriminating rules unless they are in the interest of workers’ safety. EURACTIV France reports.
13-12-2017

Sakharov Prize: Opposition activist lashes out against dictatorship in Venezuela

The wife of a jailed Venezuelan opposition leader lashed out in the European Parliament against the "dictatorship" of the country's leftist president, which she said has imprisoned the whole nation.
Economy & Jobs 27-11-2017

Erasmus architect fears for project’s future in native Wales

If the Brexit negotiations do not secure the United Kingdom's participation in the hugely popular Erasmus programme, the effect on Wales "would be massive" in particular, according to the former EU official credited with helping get the scheme off the ground in 1987.