European Integration in the Twenty-First Century provides a comprehensive overview of the many dimensions and challenges to the on-going European integration project. It employs a number of interdisciplinary perspectives to review processes of both unity and disunity providing the reader with a complete snapshot of contemporary European integration in its variety of settings.
Chapter 10: Towards a European Language Policy
English is currently spoken by a quarter of the world's population. In the European Union alone its widespread use has de facto eclipsed the other existing official tongues. Within the context of an increasingly complex and linguistically diverse EU, the present chapter explores the scope of the Union's language policy strategy. As a starting point, an overview of the ideology behind it and the existing European educational programmes is provided. This is followed by an analysis of two major obstacles challenging the EU's multilingual ideal. First, the development of hierarchical relationships between supposedly co-equal official languages. Secondly, a conflict of interests between the union's supranational pluralistic discourse and individual member states' nationalistic agendas. In the light ...