Monday, January 11, 2010

More thoughts on the EU's linguistic issue and the EU at home and in the world

More thoughts on the EU's linguistic issue and the EU at home and in the world, prompted by exchanges of views today with 2 fellow European tweeters.

IMO, people can speak whatever language they want at home but unless a single one (English of course, not the Queen's but some version based on English) is spoken at the institutions (including European Parliament Plenary and Committees) as well as the markets - workplaces around the EU, then no single market for jobs, for services, for news, for media, for music, for films (and no "European movie industry), hence no growth, hence no jobs.

En plus, since the EU Single Internal Market is not really single (divided by languages, among others), then no international status for the EU inspite of large, theoretical, size (500 million). Because unless you bring a lucrative SINGLE internal market as a bargaining chip in international economic and trade (and other) talks, you have no real assets (aka power), IMO.

The world needs a strong EU. The EU needs a strong EU. But a strong EU needs to be a deep/real Union of its social, economic, political and other forces or dimensions. And for that to happen, the EU (people, organisations, companies) needs to speak one language (while maintaining their historical national ones as part of a multi-culti strength of the EU, after all, third country immigrants bring many more languages and cultures into the "EU melting pot").

The EU needs diversity, the so called "melting pot", IMO, and that is why cultures must be preserved and celebrated, and that includes national languages. but under the umbrella of a deeper Union. ie more common policies, including taxation, social policy, etc, and of course common (single) laws, common (single) currency, and common-single language in the workplaces and markets as well as institutions.

The cornerstone of the diversity that is needed within those common-single systemic parameters is at the homes (as opposed to the workplaces and the institutions).

Food for thought.

In a changing world, the EU/Europe needs to overcome the sclerosis of its past in order to have a future and play a key role in the future of humankind.

All languages of the EU are part of its cultural assets. But that does not mean that they should become a barrier to its future. Above I explain one way how both of these - at first sight opposite - goals can be met.

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