The European Union contributes to the development of quality education by promoting citizens’ mobility, designing joint study programmes, establishing networks, exchanging information, and through a commitment to lifelong learning.
Languages are a basic building block behind these activities. Multilingual citizens are better equipped to take advantage of the educational opportunities created by an integrated Europe.
The EU’s language policy promotes multilingualism and aims for a situation in which every EU citizen can speak at least two foreign languages in addition to their mother tongue. This follows the call by EU leaders at the March 2002 Barcelona European Council that every child in the EU should be taught at least two foreign languages from an early age.
the European Year of Languages in 2001, the basis for which was Decision No. 1934/2000/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 July 2000
as the European Year of Languages came to a close, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution recommending measures to promote linguistic diversity and language learning, which was followed by a Council Resolution of 14 February 2002
these Resolutions were the basic steps underpinning the Action Plan “Promoting Language Learning and Linguistic Diversity” (2004-2006)
in November 2005, the Commission published a Communication entitled “A New Framework Strategy for Multilingualism”, its first-ever Communication on this subject
these steps have been taken in line with broader actions on education and training, which have a vital role to play in the EU’s overall economic development goals as defined in the Lisbon Strategy
EU language policy also embraces support for regional and minority languages, which make an important contribution to the diversity of the EU