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A Multilingualism Commissioner, three new languages and a new alphabet for the EU

After an affirmative vote from the European Parliament, the two would-be Commissioners from the accession countries Bulgaria and Romania have now been confirmed. In November, the ACA Newsletter – Education Europe reported on the European Parliament’s voting on Ms Meglena Kuneva (Bulgaria) and Mr Leonard Orban (Romania). When deciding on their responsibilities, the European Union distinguished multilingualism as a separate portfolio and conferred it to the Mr Orban. The 45-year old Commissioner from Romania holds university degrees in engineering and economics. Already in early 90s, he started working for relations between Romania and the EU. Among the posts he has held are Counsellor on European and international affairs at the Romanian Parliament, Chief Negotiator with the European Union, and Secretary of State at the Ministry of European Integration of Romania.

Though not the biggest of all portfolios, multilingualism corresponds to an ever growing linguistic and cultural diversity within the bloc: on 1st January 2007, Bulgarian, Romanian and Irish will bring the number the EU official languages up to 23. With Bulgaria’s accession, the Cyrillic alphabet will become the third official script in the EU, together with the Latin and the Greek alphabets. European Commission: Candidate commissioners win vote of approval
European Parliament: Romanian & Bulgarian Commissioners
Multilingualism Commissioner CV
European Commission: A new alphabet for the EU