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Politica e lingue

FRANCH LODGE ANTI-ENGLISH EU PROTEST

FRENCH LODGE ANTI-ENGLISH EU PROTEST

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM, MARCH 6 – THE FRENCH AMBASSADOR TO THE EUROPEAN UNION, PIERRE DE BOISSIEU, HAS ANGRILY DENOUNCED THE PREDOMINANCE OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN EUROPEAN COMMISSION PROCEEDINGS.
DE BOISSIEU WROTE A LETTER REGISTERING HIS DISPLEASURE THIS WEEK TO EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT JACQUES SANTER. THE LETTER WAS DISCLOSED (FRIDAY) IN THE LONDON DAILY TELEGRAPH NEWSPAPER.
DE BOISSIEU SAID FRANCE WILL BLOCK THE APPOINTMENT OF ANY FUTURE EC PRESIDENT WHO DOES NOT SPEAK FLUENT FRENCH.
THE LETTER COMPLAINS FRENCH MEDIA AND DIPLOMATS “OFTEN HAVE TROUBLE FOLLOWING PROCEEDINGS,” BECAUSE OF THE PREDOMINANCE OF ENGLISH IN EC DOCUMENTS.
A COPY OF THE LETTER WAS ALSO SENT TO JURGEN TRUMPF, SECRETARY- GENERAL OF THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL OF MINISTERS, WHO IS THE TOP CIVIL SERVANT IN BRUSSELS.
IN JANUARY A SURVEY OF MORE THAN 1 BILLION DOCUMENT PAGES TRANSLATED AT THE EC SHOWED 42 PERCENT WERE TRANSLATED FROM ENGLISH, COMPARED WITH 40 PERCENT FROM FRENCH.
WHEN THE EU WAS FOUNDED AS A COMMON MARKET 40 YEARS AGO, FRENCH WAS THE UNCHALLENGED LANGUAGE OF EUROPEAN DIPLOMACY.
ENGLISH BECAME MORE COMMON WITH THE ACCESSION TO THE EU, IN 1995, OF FINLAND AND SWEDEN _ COUNTRIES WHERE ENGLISH IS WIDELY SPOKEN.
THE COMMISSION SURVEY, CONDUCTED OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS, SHOWED JUST 6 PERCENT OF DOCUMENTS WERE CREATED IN GERMAN, WITH SPANISH AND ITALIAN NEXT AT ABOUT 3 PERCENT EACH.
OTHER EUROPEAN SURVEYS SHOW ALMOST 90 PERCENT OF ALL YOUNGSTERS ARE NOW BEING TAUGHT ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE.
06-03-98

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