Make us homepage
Add to Favorites
FAIL (the browser should render some flash content, not this).

Main page » Non-Fiction » Speaking for Europe

Speaking for Europe


Languages in the European Union


The EU promotes the linguistic and cultural diversity of its peoples. It does so by supporting the teaching and learning of their languages. The EU’s ambitious goal is to enable citizens to be fluent in two languages in addition to their mother tongue.
The EU institutions work with 23 official languages. This is to ensure that all EU citizens, whether they speak a major European language or a lesser-known one, have equal access to the policies and legislation of the European Union. This booklet looks in turn at the wide array of languages spoken in the EU, the many ways in which Europeans can benefit from learning languages and the EU’s support programmes. Finally it examines what it takes to run a multilingual Union.


You can find this booklet and other short, clear explanations about the EU online at

European Commission

Directorate-General for Communication


B-1049 Brussels

Manuscript completed in August 2008

Cover illustration: © Shutterstock

Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2008

16 pp. – 21 x 29.7 cm

ISBN 978-92-79-09159-9

© European Communities, 2008

Reproduction is authorised. For any use or reproduction of individual photos, permission must be sought directly from the copyright holders.

Pdf version: 1472 Kb

Purchase Speaking for Europe from
Dear user! You need to be registered and logged in to fully enjoy We recommend registering or logging in.

Tags: publication, languages, European, Speaking, their, languages, citizens, Europe