12.12.2011 REPORTS

Linguistic diversity in Europe needs strong multilingualism policies

Civil society organisations meet EU stakeholders in Madrid.

[Madrid, 02 December 2011] Poliglotti4.eu, the EU co-funded project on multilingualism and language policy, has gathered for a Stakeholders Meeting at the Spanish Representation of the European Commission in Madrid on 1-2 December 2011, presenting the first results of this two-year civil society project, with participants engaging in lively discussions and interventions.

This meeting was attended by a wide range of experts, policy makers and stakeholders as well as members of the EU Civil Society Platform on Multilingualism in the field of

  • Migrations, languages and social inclusion, including languages and public services
  • Language learning and Education
  • Language policies, including minority languages
  • Language, Culture and the Media

Guest speaker, Belén Bernaldo de Quiros, Head of the Multilingualism Policy Unit at the European Commission DG EAC, underlined the importance of fostering language competencies amongst European citizens and presented the new EU programme « Erasmus for All ». It is an instrument in the framework of the EU 2020 strategy of which the objective is the investment in knowledge and education. During the next year the programme will be negotiated with the EU Council and EU Parliament.

In addition to English the Poliglotti4.eu website has been launched in French and German. Furthermore, preliminary research results in the following areas were presented and will soon be available on the project website: local and regional provision of adult language training; language policy and practice in public services; early language learning.

Project partners of EU organisations representing the non-formal and informal learning as well as the arts and cultural sector agreed upon the highly relevant influence civil society actors play in shaping innovative language learning approaches and multilingual services in the European public space. In order for this to be achieved, convincing multilingualism policies are required.

Text: poliglotti press release