Language situation in Europe: Between Regionalism and the European Integration Cover Image

Sytuacja językowa w Europie - miedzy regionalizmem a integracją europejską
Language situation in Europe: Between Regionalism and the European Integration

Author(s): Roman Szul
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: EUROREG - Uniwersytet Warszawski, Regional Studies Association - Sekcja Polska
Keywords: language situation; regional languages; minority languages; national languages; EU's official languages; EU"s working languages

Summary/Abstract: In the last decades, especially in Europe, a process of the rebirth of national and regional identities of small ethnic groups has been taking place, leading in many cases to a change of language situation and to attempts to stop and even to revert processes of linguistic assimilation. The article presents individual cases of ethnic/regional movements having “language issue” in their programmes, and makes an attempt of a typology of regions and countries according to their language situation and policy. The language question also appears at the European Union level. The EU institutions try to combine the ideological principle of multilingualism (equality of all official languages of the EU members) with pragmatism implying minimizing the number of working languages. At the “civil” level the EU supports the model of multilingualism of the inhabitants as a means to facilitate functioning of the common labour, commodity, service and capital market while maintaining cultural identities of its member states. In individual countries the language policy is competence of national authorities; there are no common binding rules on the territory of the whole EU. As a result, there are differences among countries in their attitudes towards languages of ethnic minorities.

  • Issue Year: 4/2003
  • Issue No: 13
  • Page Range: 29-59
  • Page Count: 31
  • Language: Polish