Multilingualism and minority languages in European language policy
2004, Vol. IX-2, pp. 59-79
This article deals with the language policy measures recently adopted by the European Union (EU) and aims to highlight some problematic and contradictory points. The analysis focuses on two specific aspects: a) maintenance and protection of minority languages, and b) 'work languages' institutional regime. A critical interpretation of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (1998) allows for the identification, discussion and evaluation of both the positive and negative aspects which characterise this legal document. Theoretical and practical contradictions become more evident when 'work languages' are considered within the Institutions since the rich European multilingualism is sacrificed to an embarrassing English monopoly.