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Communication from the Commission: a new framework strategy for multilingualism

The European Commission has adopted its first ever Communication on multilingualism, thus reaffirming its commitment to the promotion of linguistic diversity.

The document sets out the Commission’s strategy for promoting multilingualism in three specific areas wherein language skills play a very important role, namely European society, the economy and relations between the Commission and EU citizens.

The document proposes a number of actions to be taken by the Commission in order to promote multilingualism in the afore-mentioned areas and invites the Member States to actively participate in the process by furthering the teaching and learning languages. In addition to establishing national plans and giving structure to actions to promote multilingualism, Member States are invited to review their current arrangements for foreign languages teacher training and for early language learning in the light of best practice from across Europe. Moreover, they are called on to follow up on the Conclusions of the Luxembourg Presidency on Content and Language Integrated Learning(CLIL) and raise awareness of the benefits of this approach.

The document presents also the Commission’s forthcoming actions, amongst which:

  • the publication of a study in 2006 on the impact of shortages of language skills in the European Economy
  • the creation of an online inventory of the language certification systems available in the European Union in 2006
  • the setting up of a High-Level Group on Multilingualism, which will help analyse the progress made by Member States and provide advice and support to the Commission.

On the basis of Member States’ reports and the advice of the High Level Group, the Commission will present a further communication proposing a comprehensive approach to multilingualism in the European Union.

Commission Communication
Conclusions of the Luxembourg Presidency on Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)