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Communication et conclusions

Communiqué for the topic “Politics”

Last Updated: 24 May 2016

Communiqué for « Politics »
Political and institutional plurilingualism and the issue of citizenship

There is a myth according to which the institutions work in all the official languages of Europe, if not mainly in three languages (German, English and French) or in French only (at the European Court of Justice). In reality, the institutions of the European Union work more and more almost exclusively in English. The same applies for most projects financed by the EU where consultants whose mother tongue is not English have to work in English in a non English-speaking country. However, research shows that only a small minority of Europeans have a good knowledge of English. So it is necessary to reconcile the institutions of the European Union with the European citizens and to find solutions reflecting a multilingualism or at least a tri- or pentalingualism. One of the solutions could be to allow the European civil servants or consultants, writers or discussion partners, to write and express themselves in their mother tongue then be translated into two of the three traditional working languages of the European Commission. Another would be a tri- or pentalingualism (German, English and French, or German, English, French, Spanish and Italian) within the European Commission. Indeed, a statistical analysis presupposing that each civil servant masters two or three of the above mentioned languages shows that one or other of these options could to a certain extent function without a translator in work groups of a limited number of persons. What is needed to achieve these objectives is that the political decision-makers and high civil servants be convinced of the virtues underlying multilingualism, such as work quality, the interest of Europe and the cost of monolingualism, very difficult to evaluate.
The existence in Europe of more or less large linguistic areas among which some, for historic reasons, have pushed their limits well beyond the European continent, allow us to be optimistic about the future of plurilingualism. Indeed collaboration between these different areas could turn out to be very interesting and efficient to promote linguistic diversity not only in the European context but also at the world level, especially in fields that cannot be abandoned to a single language as the scientific and technical fields. Besides the development of innovating and plurilingual media, particularly on the internet, could widely contribute to this promotion of linguistic diversity in Europe and in the world.
Propositions :
8. Better explain the negative consequences of monolingualism ( and the benefits of plurilingualism) on the political and social levels.
9. Diversify the actual use of languages in the European Commission and all the European institutions and their agencies.
10. Choose integral multilingualism on the platform europa.eu (website of the European institutions) and make it a communication tool with citizens.
11. Encourage cooperation between linguistic areas in Europe to elaborate strategies so as to protect and promotes linguistic diversity at an international level.
12. Outline language policies in European in the double dimension of a right to the language of the welcoming country and the learning of the languages of migrants.
13. Develop a sectoral policy to support media for a plurilingual technological innovation on the internet.

Final general communiqué

Communiqué for the topic « Education »

Communiqué for the topic “Culture”

Communiqué for the topic “Economy and society”


Final general communiqué

Complete final communiqué

4th European Conference on Plurilingualism - 2016- Brussell