revue Eurostudia-Le Centre canadien d'�tudes allemandes et europ�ennes
HOME Previous issues Selected topics Contact

The European Union and the Question of Multilingualism

Eurostudia, vol.1, no. 1, June 2005
Deutsch | français
Hans-Jürgen Lüsebrink, Universität Saarbrücken
Article 128 of the Maastricht Treaty affirms the will for multilingualism within the European Union. A statistical analysis however of the different language-programs to realize it shows a cleavage between this political will and the increasing tendency to a monolingual model, an observation which holds on the level of cultural politics of the member states as well as the various institutions of the European Union. According to a distinction introduced by Harald Weinrich, this “economic” model privileges effectiveness over diversity, but raises problems when entering the domain of the humanities via the administrative dimensions of research and translation, since the disciplines of the humanities can hardly be separated from hermeneutic considerations by virtue of whom they reach if not their proper subject issue then at least a certain constitutive discursive form. Hence this “economic” conception of language has to be replaced by an “ecological” one in order to redefine the place of university within the multilingual European Union.