, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 395-419

Managing multilingualism in the European Union: language policy evaluation for the European Parliament

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Abstract

One of the important issues raised by the European integration is that of languages and in particular how the EU institutions can cope with language diversity. In this paper, I develop an analysis aimed at assessing the quality of language regimes not in absolute terms, but rather in terms of their consistency with the actors’ goals, which define what we call a ‘scenario’. The paper focuses on the European Parliament as it was confronted with the challenges of enlargement. It compares the economic and political advantages and drawbacks of six language regimes under three different scenarios. Results show that various language regimes can be optimal depending on the scenario considered and that multilingualism does not imply inevitably an unsustainable increase in expenditures.