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 ec.europa.eu/publications
Directorate-General for Communication
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
© European Communities, 2008
Reproduction is authorised. For any use or reproduction of individual photos, permission must be sought directly from the copyright holders.
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