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Voting on the choice of core languages in the European Union

  • Jan Fidrmuc
  • Victor Ginsburgh
  • Shlomo Weber

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 ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series ULB Institutional Repository with number 2013/99264.

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Date of creation: Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in: European journal of political economy (2009) v.25 n° 1,p.56-62
Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/99264
Note: SCOPUS: ar.j
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  1. FIDRMUC, Jan & GINSBURGH, Victor, . "Languages in the European Union: The quest for equality and its cost," CORE Discussion Papers RP 2028, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  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. 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).
  4. Shlomo Weber & Victor Ginsburgh, 2004. "Languages Disenfranchisement in the European Union," Working Papers 2004.4, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  5. FIDRMUC, Jan & GINSBURGH, Victor & WEBER, Shlomo, 2007. "Ever closer Union or Babylonian discord? The official-language problem in the European Union," CORE Discussion Papers 2007020, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  6. 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.
  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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