Languages & Culture Archives

  • OIF Ambassador: ‘We are a partner of political mobilisation’ on aid policy


    As the European Union embarks on a major revamp of its aid policies to the developing world, the Francophonie organisation believes its close ties with French-speaking African nations can help the Union with "political mobilisation" on development issues.

  • 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.

  • Director: Demand for French classes ‘growing by 5% each year’


    Over the past 10 years, demand for French language classes has risen steadily among accredited ambassadors and the international press in Brussels. However, this renewed interest might in fact reflect the declining influence of French in the EU institutions. Thierry Lagnau, director of the Alliance Française in Brussels, explains the reasons behind this paradox.

  • Euronews: Licence fee would boost quality of news media

    Digital 18-07-2011

    A European licence fee could help broadcasters to maintain a quality and independent news service, says Euronews' boss Philippe Cayla in an interview with EURACTIV.

  • Multilingualism observatory ready next year


    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 foreign language communication problems, Uwe Mohr, head of an EU project called, told EURACTIV in an interview.

  • Expert: Languages ‘tool for more business’


    Companies that learn the language of the countries they do business with will thrive in the future, making it easier to build trust relationships and helping them to understand how people think, according to Martin Hope, head of an EU project called 'Language Rich Europe'. He spoke to EURACTIV in an interview.

  • MEP: ‘Digital diplomacy’ to open access to Europe’s culture


    The European Union should make its diverse cultural content more accessible to people around the world via increased investments in cultural and, in particular, digital diplomacy, Dutch liberal MEP Marietje Schaake told EURACTIV in an interview.

  • UNESCO director-general: ‘World poverty has a female face’


    Despite some progress made in promoting gender equality, negative trends persist and some developing countries have even seen regressions, Irina Bokova, director-general of UNESCO, told EURACTIV in an exclusive interview on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of International Women's Day.

  • OIF chief: ‘French remains a universal language’


    French is still a "universal language"and the number of French-speakers worldwide is growing, Abdou Diouf, secretary-general of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, told EURACTIV in an interview on the occasion of the body’s thirteenth international summit. 

  • Foreign Minister: Bilateral deals to dominate Swiss-EU relations


    Bilateral agreements will remain the basis of relations between Switzerland and EU countries, Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey told EURACTIV ahead of hosting the thirteenth international Francophonie summit. 

  • Marielle de Sarnez: ‘Europe burying its head on Roma issue’


    Europe has chosen to bury its head in the sand on the Roma issue, French MEP Marielle de Sarnez (ALDE) told EURACTIV in an interview, calling on EU countries and institutions, including the European Commission, to "clean their own doorsteps and assume their responsibilities".

  • Opinion-maker: EU should adopt position on Roma controversy


    The European Commission has been remarkably silent over the treatment of Roma by France and Italy, Dominique Moïsi, founder and senior advisor at Ifri (the French Institute for International Relations), told EURACTIV in an exclusive interview.

  • Author: Islam and Western democracy can co-exist


    If Turkey were to join the EU, the continent would show the world that Islam and Western democracy can co-exist, which would be a "huge message for humanity," said Elif ?afak, Turkey's best-selling female writer, in an exclusive interview with EURACTIV.

  • Best-selling author: Cultural closeness is key to enlargement


    In some ways Turkey is completely European, indeed more European than some Balkan countries, but in other ways it is not at all, best-selling Bulgarian writer Alek Popov told EURACTIV after a year-long exchange with cultural actors in the region. But he said the same phenomenon was true for the Balkans in general.

  • Analyst: Best Belgian politicians work for EU


    Belgium could have avoided early elections to be held on Sunday (13 June) if its experienced politicians had stayed in national politics, Jean-Michel de Waele, professor of political science at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), told EURACTIV in an exclusive interview.

  • Communications expert: Passion for Istanbul is a driving force


    The citizens of Istanbul are proud of their city and hope that its role as European Capital of Culture would help them to share their passion with more foreign guests, Zeynep Gö?ü?, chief editor of EURACTIV Turkey and Ambassador of Istanbul - European Capital of Culture 2010, told EURACTIV in an interview.

  • Lawmaker: ‘Cultural economy’ to reward creators


    The EU should pay more attention to the content placed in the media and take into account concentration issues and financial support for filmmakers, argues French MEP Jean-Marie Cavada. The chair of the European Parliament's newly-established media intergroup spoke to EURACTIV in an exclusive interview.

  • Professor: Europe needs to look at Turkey from ‘higher ground’


    To become stronger internationally, Europe must take Turkey on board, Yuhishthir Raj Isar, a professor at the American University in Paris, told EURACTIV in an interview.

  • Minister: Europe can learn from Kazakhstan’s religious tolerance


    Kazakhstan will prioritise inter-religious tolerance, an area where it has achieved substantial successes, Kazakh Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev, chairperson-in-office of the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe), told EURACTIV in an exclusive interview, setting out his country's goals for its chairmanship of the organisation in 2010.

  • Lawmaker: EU held back by ‘trivial’ communications


    "A common platitude is to state that EU elites are pro-European while the citizens aren't," argues French MEP Sylvie Goulard, who recently won a prize for her book, 'Europe for dummies'. In an interview with EURACTIV, she explains that the opposite tends to be true, with opinion leaders more preoccupied with "trivial" matters than citizens.

  • UNESCO director-general: I’ll push for linguistic balance


    The newly-elected director-general of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, presented to EURACTIV in an interview her ambitious plans for the organisation, responsible for promoting education, science and culture throughout the world. She attached special importance to francophony. 

  • Culture chief: ‘Room for improvement’ in EU’s use of German


    There is still room for improvement regarding the number of documents translated into German by the European institutions, despite recent growth in the number of German EU officials using their native language professionally, Margareta Hauschild, director of the Goethe-Institut Belgien, told EURACTIV in an interview.

  • Academic: European school system triggers ‘social separation’


    Social separation in schools for the offspring of EU officials is creating a socially-homogenous "apartheid regime" that fosters a feeling of superiority among the pupils, Professor Philippe van Parijs of the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) told EURACTIV in an interview.

  • Orban: Multilingualism ‘cost of democracy’ in EU


    Multilingualism Commissioner Leonard Orban has spoken to EURACTIV Slovakia of his conviction that the dossier will continue to be afforded "its own place" in the EU policy framework after the expiry of the European Commission's current mandate in autumn 2009.

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