European Commission holds first-ever Ministerial Conference on Multilingualism

The Commission and ministers from European Union member states will discuss a report on the importance of promoting intercultural dialogue and the notion of a “personal adoptive language”.

Culture and education ministers from all EU member states have met today for the first Ministerial Conference on Multilingualism hosted by the European Commission (CE) in Brussels. During the session ministers will discuss a document entitled "A rewarding challenge" [pdf], drafted by a group of intellectuals headed by writer Amin Maalouf and presented in Brussels on 31 January. The report details a series of recommendations "within the framework of the celebration of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue".

Today's session is intended to address various aspects of multilingualism, including intercultural dialogue, multilingual states, and the relationship between business and linguistic diversity. One of the report's innovative recommendations is to promote the concept of the "personal adoptive language", in other words, to encourage European citizens to learn a second language that is not an international communication language as a "second mother tongue".


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