The European Union has 24 official languages and three ‘working languages’: English, French and German.
As the mother tongue of 13% of the European Union’s population, English ranks behind German but is practically at parity with Italian and French. However, the United Kingdom’s departure will put English in 17th position out of the 24 official languages, thereby corresponding to about 1% of the European Union’s entire population, located mainly in Ireland and Malta.
English has gradually become the main working language of EU institutions, particularly after new Member States from Eastern Europe joined the Union in 2004.
Over the past few years, its predominance in these institutions was demonstrated by the availability of certain events, documents or features in English only, effectively crowding out the two other working languages, French and German.
Following Brexit, does the Commission intend to promote the teaching and use of French as a working language in EU institutions and, in particular, ensure that French fluency is a condition in the recruitment of public servants and European officials?