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Culture and European Union Law$
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Rachael Craufurd Smith

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199275472

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199275472.001.0001

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Language Law of the European Union: Protecting or Eroding Linguistic Diversity?

Language Law of the European Union: Protecting or Eroding Linguistic Diversity?

(p.204) (p.205) 7 Language Law of the European Union: Protecting or Eroding Linguistic Diversity?
Culture and European Union Law

Bruno de Witte

Oxford University Press

Adopting a common currency among Member States of the European Union instead of using those countries' national currencies has paved the way for economic benefits and reinforced political cohesion within the European Union. As such, the adoption of a common language should also be able to bring about more economic benefits, since this would not only facilitate the implementation of common policies, but would also enable eased operation within the common European market. Strengthening the sense of European identity would also improve the EU's political and social cohesion. However, imposing a common currency is completely different from imposing a common language, as the latter is faced with several difficulties. European federalists never pursued this common language because of the need to preserve cultural distinctiveness and social cohesion among Member States. This chapter explains how the celebration of this linguistic diversity has increasingly manifested itself throughout various European Treaties, the EU Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Council, the Commission, and even in the Parliament.

Keywords:   common currency, common language, linguistic diversity, social cohesion, European Treaties, EU Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Member States

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