The EU Policy on Institutional Multilingualism: Between Principles and Practicality

Cornelis J. W. Baaij

Abstract


This article brings to light several inconsistencies within the narrative of the EU policy on institutional multilingualism. The EU has invoked fundamental EU principles of democracy, equality and transparent government, to publically bolster the need for its institutions to communicate and operate in the languages of its citizens. However, these principles do not allow for the pragmatic and budgetary arguments that the EU uses to justify the in reality limited number of official and de facto working languages of its institutions. The article argues that this disagreement could be resolved if the narrative of the EU's language policy would include the objective that all European citizens master any of the languages that the EU institutions use. In that light, the article recommends that further research is done into the question whether the EU should accept or even encourage the spontaneous development of English as a de facto pan-European lingua franca.

Cite as: Baaij, JLL 1 (2012), 14–32, DOI: 10.14762/jll.2012.014


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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14762/jll.2012.014

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