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Voting on the choice of core languages in the European Union

  • FIDRMUC, Jan
  • GINSBURGH, Victor
  • WEBER, Shlomo

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. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers RP with number 2131.

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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvrp:2131
Note: In : European Journal of Political Economy, 25, 56-62, 2009
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  1. Victor Ginsburgh & Shlomo Weber, 2005. "Language disenfranchisement in the European Union," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5263, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  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, 06.
  3. 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.
  4. Jan Fidrmuc & Victor Ginsburgh & Shlomo Weber, 2007. "Ever Closer Union or Babylonian Discord? The Official-language Problem in the European Union," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 07-07, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
  5. Laruelle, Annick & Widgren, Mika, 1996. "Is the allocation of voting power among EU states fair?," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1996022, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  6. Jan Fidrmuc & Victor Ginsburgh, 2007. "Languages in the European Union: the quest for equality and its cost," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5253, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  7. 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.
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