Fourth meeting of the High Level Group on Multilingualism
The new Commissioner for Multilingualism, Leonard Orban, chaired the 2nd of February the fourth meeting of the High Level Group on Multilingualism (HLGM), set up by the Commission in September 2006. The Group is comprised of independent experts who do not represent the interests of any particular nation or language.
The experts discussed the specific themes of the role of interpretation and translation with regard to cultural diversity, citizen's access to justice and respect for human rights, benefits for consumers, business and competitiveness within Europe, trading relations with third countries and the importance of linguistic industry. The discussion also examined how specific programs on sign language can help deaf people.
At the centre of recommendations made by the expert group were: raising the quality and consistency of the different linguistic professions in Europe, especially court and community interpreting; encouraging the early language learning and the "mother tongue + 2" policy (including the learning of non-European languages); developing new technologies in linguistic field, etc.
This meeting was the fourth of six sessions that the HLGM has on its agenda until June. Commissioner Orban chaired the Group for the first time further to his appointment on the 1st of January. The previous meetings dealt with research into multilingualism, languages and the media, and languages and business.
The final recommendations of the expert group will be presented on the European Day of Languages, on the 26th of September 2007.