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Voting on the choice of core languages in the European Union

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  • Fidrmuc, Jan
  • Ginsburgh, Victor
  • Weber, Shlomo

Abstract

Extensive multilingualism is one of the most important and fundamental principles of the European Union (EU). However, a large number of languages (currently 23) hinders communication and imposes substantial financial and legal costs. On the other hand, the reduction of the number of languages would disenfranchise some or many EU citizens. We use the results of a survey on languages and argue that even though a linguistic reform reducing the number of languages is unlikely to gain sufficient political support today, this may change in the future since young people are more proficient at speaking foreign languages.

Suggested Citation

  • Fidrmuc, Jan & Ginsburgh, Victor & Weber, Shlomo, 2009. "Voting on the choice of core languages in the European Union," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 56-62, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:25:y:2009:i:1:p:56-62
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    1. Victor Ginsburgh & Shlomo Weber, 2005. "Language Disenfranchisement in the European Union," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 273-286, June.
    2. Victor Ginsburgh & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín & Shlomo Weber, 2005. "Disenfranchisement In Linguistically Diverse Societies: The Case Of The European Union," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(4), pages 946-965, June.
    3. Fidrmuc, Jan & Ginsburgh, Victor, 2007. "Languages in the European Union: The quest for equality and its cost," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 1351-1369, August.
    4. Laruelle, Annick & Widgren, Mika, 1998. "Is the Allocation of Voting Power among EU States Fair?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 94(3-4), pages 317-339, March.
    5. Fidrmuc, Jan & Ginsburgh, Victor & Weber, Shlomo, 2007. "Ever Closer Union or Babylonian Discord? The Official-language Problem in the European Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 6367, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Baldwin, Richard & Berglöf, Erik & Giavazzi, Francesco & Widgrén, Mika, 2000. "EU Reforms for Tomorrow’s Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 2623, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Baldwin, Richard & Widgrén, Mika, 2004. "Winners and Losers Under Various Dual Majority Rules for the EU Council of Ministers," CEPR Discussion Papers 4450, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    Cited by:

    1. Aguiar-Conraria, Luís & Magalhães, Pedro C., 2010. "How quorum rules distort referendum outcomes: Evidence from a pivotal voter model," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 541-557, December.
    2. Victor Ginsburgh & Shlomo Weber, 2012. "Culture Languages and Economics," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2012-009, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. Victor GINSBURGH & Shlomo WEBER, 2016. "Linguistic distances and ethnolinguistic fractionalization and disenfranchisement indices," LIDAM Reprints CORE 2855, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    4. Zaporozhets, Vera, 2015. "Power Distribution in French River Basin Committees," TSE Working Papers 15-558, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    5. Muravyev, Alexander & Talavera, Oleksandr, 2016. "Can state language policies distort students’ demand for education?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 383-399.
    6. Jan Fidrmuc, 2012. "The Economics of Multilingualism in the EU," Chapters, in: Thomas Eger & Hans-Bernd Schäfer (ed.), Research Handbook on the Economics of European Union Law, chapter 15, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Victor Ginsburgh & Juan D. Moreno-Ternero, 2019. "A Lingua Franca in the post-Brexit EU," Working Papers 19.10, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
    8. Victor Ginsburgh & Shlomo Weber, 2016. "Linguistic Diversity, Standardization, and Disenfranchisement: Measurement and Consequences," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/277407, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    9. Victor Ginsburgh & Shlomo Weber, 2013. "Linguistic diversity, standardization and disenfranchisement. Measurement and consequences," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/152436, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    10. Hillman, Arye L., 2010. "Expressive behavior in economics and politics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 403-418, December.
    11. Kurz, Sascha & Maaser, Nicola & Napel, Stefan, 2018. "Fair representation and a linear Shapley rule," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 152-161.
    12. Muravyev, Alexander & Talavera, Oleksandr, 2010. "Can State Language Policies Distort Students' Demand for Higher Education?," IZA Discussion Papers 5411, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Victor Ginsburgh & Juan Prieto-Rodriguez, 2013. "Is there a Gender Bias in the Use of Foreign Languages in Europe?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(4), pages 552-566, November.
    14. Kaniovski, Serguei & Mueller, Dennis C., 2011. "How representative is the European Union Parliament?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 61-74, March.
    15. Faltings, Richard & Krumer, Alex & Lechner, Michael, 2019. "Rot-Jaune-Verde. Language and Favoritism: Evidence from Swiss Soccer," Economics Working Paper Series 1915, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Languages Disenfranchisement European Union Linguistic standardization;

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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