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Since 2001, Europe has marked European Day of Languages each year on 26 September, in order to focus attention on its rich linguistic diversity. The European Union boasts 24 official languages, and around 60 regional and minority languages are spoken across the Member States. Europe's linguistic mosaic also includes a variety of sign languages spoken by half a million people, heritage languages such as ancient Greek and Latin, as well as Esperanto – a planned international language created in Europe ...

Some 7 000 languages are spoken globally today. However, half of the world's population shares just six native languages, and some 90 % of all languages may be replaced by dominant ones by the end of the century. The harmonious co-existence of 24 official languages is one of the most distinctive features of the European project. Multilingualism is not only an expression of the EU countries' cultural identities but it also helps preserve democracy, transparency and accountability. No legislation can ...

The post-truth era – in which emotions trump evidence, while trust in institutions, expertise and mainstream media is declining – is putting our information ecosystem under strain. At a time when information is increasingly being manipulated for ideological and economic purposes, public access to sources of trustworthy general-interest knowledge – such as national online encyclopaedias – can help boost our cognitive resilience. Basic, reliable background information about history, culture, society ...

The diversity underpinning the European project is embodied in the harmonious co-existence of 24 official languages. Following the success of the European Year of Languages (2001), the Council of Europe designated 26 September as the European Day of Languages. The European Parliament has consistently acted to support endangered languages and linguistic diversity in the EU, calling on the EU and the Member States to commit resources to their protection and promotion. In May 2018, the European Commission ...

The multilingualism of the European Union – with 24 official languages since Croatia's accession – has no precedent, either among multilingual states or even at the level of international organisations. The principle of multilingualism is enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights, which obliges the European Union to respect linguistic diversity, prohibits discrimination on account of language and provides for the citizen's right to communicate with the institutions in any official language of ...

Endangered languages in the EU

At a Glance 20-04-2015

Many languages currently spoken in Europe are endangered and some are at imminent risk of extinction. Though education and language policies remain the competence of Member States, the EU has taken initiatives to promote multilingualism and preserve its linguistic diversity, including measures in support of regional or minority languages. A decline in linguistic diversity has been increasingly acknowledged to entail losses in terms of knowledge and cultural heritage.

In the context of the rich diversity of languages that exist in Europe, this paper considers the possible implications of the disappearance of some of these languages and considers what steps need be planned to safeguard their existence and their future.