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Language Disenfranchisement in the European Union

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  • VICTOR GINSBURGH
  • SHLOMO WEBER

Abstract

This article introduces the notion of language disenfranchisement which arises if the number of EU working languages is reduced and some EU citizens are denied the use of their own language for official purposes. We use data on language proficiency in the EU and show that, in spite of the widespread knowledge of English, the retention of French and German as working languages is essential to avoid a high degree of disenfranchisement of EU citizens. We also argue that, even though French is the second leading language within the EU, the recent enlargement could change that situation. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2005.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Common Market Studies.

Volume (Year): 43 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (06)
Pages: 273-286

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jcmkts:v:43:y:2005:i:2:p:273-286

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