Multilingualism

Languages are one of the key features of cultural identity. The European Union’s motto "Unity in diversity" is a reflection of the multilingualism which lies at the heart of the EU. The European Union has always considered its many languages as an asset, rather than as a burden. While committed to political and economic integration among its Member States, the EU actively promotes the freedom of its citizens to speak and write their own language. The three strands of the EU’s multilingualism policy are: encouraging language learning and promoting linguistic diversity in society; promoting a healthy multilingual economy; promoting social integration though improved knowledge and acceptance of languages.
The Commission published a study in July 2009 on the contribution of multilingualism to creativity. In October 2009 DG EAC launched a platform on multilingualism in order to create a forum for exchange of best practices for civil society stakeholders and to make recommendations on multilingualism. The platform presented to the European Commission the recommendations on translation and terminology in June 2011. The mandate of the civil society platform terminated with the submission to the Commission of the final report in June 2011. This report was examined by the Council’s Education Committee, led by the Polish Presidency of the European Union, which in its Conclusions on language competences to enhance mobility of 28 November 2011 invites the Commission to pursue its support for the platform. The Commission wishes to re-launch in 2012 the civil society platform with new, revised objectives.

  • FEP participated in the meetings of the working group on ‘translations’ of the Multilingualism Platform, with representatives of writers and translators.
  • FEP upheld the message that books are the fundamental vehicle of European culture, knowledge and languages.
  • FEP highlighted regularly (including public hearings, EC meetings) the importance of translations for the circulation of books at intra-community and international levels, in particular those from small linguistic areas, as well as of the promotion of books abroad and of the linguistic training for book professionals.
  • On 1st to 3rd December, FEP attended the PETRA congress on literary translation and literary translators in Europe. A number of recommendations aimed at creating better conditions for literary translation and literary translators in Europe were formulated, and prepared for publication. FEP, actively participating in the conference, insisted on outlining the path for national legislations in relation to the improvement of copyright and to future regulation of digital rights, as well as issues of use and distribution of protected works on the Internet, digital copies and conditions of lending digitalized works in public or private libraries;