About us

Last Updated: 24 Jun 2017

The European Observatory for Plurilingualism (EOP), an organization for mutualization and cooperation between actors involved in plurilingualism, was created during the 1st European Conference for Plurilingualism held in Paris, on November, 24 and 25, 2005.

The EOP brings together around a European Charter of plurilingualism decision-makers, researchers, and representatives of civil society to meet the fundamental European linguistic problems, in their social, economic, cultural and political dimensions. The objective of the EOP is to promote the use of foreign languages and to protect cultural and linguistic diversity, which is an exchange value and a factor of creativity.

The EOP operates in four areas:
Strategic intelligence: looking for the pertinent information
Communication aiming at making different publics sensitive throw appropriate arguments
Resource sharing among the actors of plurilingualism
Mediation aiming at influencing decision-processes

The EOP's means include:
Knowledge base, resource center, website
Bimonthly newsletter disseminated to some 25,000 subscribers
A three-yearly international event : The European Conference for plurilingualism, held in Paris (2005), in Berlin (2009), in Rome (2012), in Brussels (2016) and to be held in Bucarest in 2019.
Targeted actions towards strategic areas such as research, higher education, training and enterprises

A certain conception of language
To defend and promote plurilingualism, the OEP relies on a conception of language that can be expressed in the form of three oppositions.
1. Tool language - Environment language
Common opinion perceives language as a tool it uses to describe a reality that is external to it.
That reality is external is an illusion. This reality is well in the language, because only the language makes it possible to conceive and describe it. What is not conceived in the language does not exist for the speaking individual. Thus language is an environment, not a tool, because we really live in language.
2. Language of service - Language of culture
We owe it to Heinz Wismann and Pierre Judet de La Combe to have conceptualized this opposition between the language of service and the language of culture in L'avenir des langues (Le Cerf, 2004).
The language of service, as a particular modality of a language, is limited to describing so-called objective realities perceived as external to the world of language and that everyone can share, while the language of culture will integrate a whole system of interpretation that is everyone's way of moving in the world. The language of service corresponds to a denotative use of the language, while the language of culture corresponds to a connotative use.
 3. Language of communication - Historical language
The language of communication is made to transmit and exchange information, while the historical language includes in its folds all the layers of cultural layers that have been poured into it through centuries of history, common life and lexical and semantic evolution. Language thus has at least three fundamental dimensions, a dimension of communication and negotiation, a dimension of expression, and finally a dimension of transmission, of memory transfer.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator


Conseil d'administration

Christian Tremblay (président)

Astrid Guillaume (vice-présidente d'honneur)

Babette Nieder (vice-présidente d'honneur)

François-Xavier D’Aligny (vice-président, président de l'FDEI)

Christos Clairis (vice-président)

Anne Bui (secrétaire générale)

Jorg Eschenauer (trésorier, président de l'UPLEGESS)

Olga Anokhina

Jean-Claude Beacco

Jean-Marc Delagneau (Président d'honneur de l'APLV)

Pierre Frath

José-Carlos Herreras

Michel Lefranc

Isabelle Mordellet-Roggenbuck

Heinz Wismann


Le président, les deux vice-présidents, la secrétaire générale, le trésorier, tout membre du Conseil d’Administration mobilisé par un sujet.

Comité scientifique de l’OEP

Olga Anokhina (chercheur au CNRS/ENS), Jean-Claude Beacco (Professeur émérite à l'Université Paris III-Sorbonne Nouvelle, expert auprès du Conseil de l'Europe et de la Commission européenne), Anne-Claude Berthoud (Professeur émérite de linguistique générale, Université de Lausanne), Jean-Jacques Briu (Professeur émérite à l'Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense), Christos Clairis (Professeur émérite à l'Université Paris V-René Descartes, vice-président de la société internationale de linguistique fonctionnelle), Jean-Marc Delagneau (Maître de conférence émérite à l'Université du Havre, président d'honneur de l'APLV), Jörg Eschenauer (Professeur à l'Ecole Nationale des Ponts(ParisTech, président de l'UPLEGESS), Pierre Frath (Professeur émérite à l'Université de Reims-Champagne-Ardennes), Astrid Guillaume (Maître de conférences HDR, Université Paris-Sorbonne), Jean-Gabriel Ganascia (Professeur à l’Université Pierre et Marie Curie et membre senior de l’Institut Universitaire de France), Enrica Galazzi (Professora a l'Università cattolica di Milano), Paul Ghils (Professeur à la Haute École de Bruxelles, Rédacteur en chef de la revue Cosmopolis), José-Carlos Herreras (Professeur à l'Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7), Pierre Judet de Lacombe (Directeur d'études de l'EHESS), Samia Kassab-Charfi (Professeur à l'Université de Tunis), Alfons Knauth (Chair of the ICLA Research Committee « Mapping Multilingualism in World Literature », Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Deutschland), Ursula Mathis-Moser (Professeure à l'Université d'Innsbruck), Ralph Mocikat (Prof. Dr. med., HelmholztZentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health), Isabelle Mordellet-Roggenbuck (Professeure à l’Université de Freiburg, Allemagne), Michaël Oustinoff (Professeur à l’Université Nice Sophia Antipolis, chercheur associé à l'ISCC-CNRS), François Rastier (Directeur de recherche honoraire au CNRS, Président de l'Institut Ferdinand de Saussure, Président du Comité scientifique de l'OEP), Claude Truchot (Professeur émérite à l'Université de Strasbourg), Heinz Wismann (Directeur d'études émérite à l'EHESS, Président de l'Observatoire des Études Classiques en Europe).

Les groupes de projet permanents ou temporaires

Le Comité d'initiative, les Assises, les Cahiers, l'annuaire des chercheurs, etc.

Plurilingualism is a response to the clash of civilizations and to the various forms of political, cultural and economic hegemony.

Languages diversity ensures the plurality and the richness of representations
Education systems must provide plurilingual education. The media must allow the expression of multiple cultures

The right of language and to linguistic diversity cannot be divided.Any worker has the right to carry on his activities in the language of the country where he lives.

Plurilingualism is a freedom.
Plurilingualism is a fundamental source of feeling of european citizenshipPlurilingualism is a mean to assert the perenniality of national and infranational entities, which are the favorite places of the exercise of citizenship.

Plurilingualism is a basic component of a scientific innovation
Plurilingualism guarantees economic progress in a pacified world.


The 2005 Conference - Paris
63 communications
153 participants
10 nationalities
The 2009 Conference - Berlin
81 communications
145 participants
20 nationalities
The 2012 Conference - Rome
71 communications
150 participants
21 nationalities
The 2016 Conference - Bruxelles
74 communications
102 participants
7 nationalities


70 issues of the Newsletter

More than 11, 000 articles published on the website, including 40% of research papers

Publication of dozens of articles in a range of journals and proceedings

7 books edited and published by the EOP or the EOP's officials

Some 30 conferences, seminars, workshop participation and organization

4 academic partnerships


3,000 to 4,000 visitors per month
11,000 published articles
Number of pages viewed by each visitor : 2,5 to 3
Average duration of a visit : 2:50 to 4:0050 to 80% of new visitors
Acquisition sources : search engines, social media, direct traffic
Question typology :
Number of languages : 10 including 5 (fr, en, de, it, es) in total environment
Visitor’s languages :
French, 40%
English, 20%
German, 15%
Italian, 15%


Facebook (2017)

Fans : 1,600 to 2,000


Talking about : 100 to 200


Number of likes : 9, 202


Tweets : 6,795


Subscriptions : 351


Subscribers : 1, 515