Words travel worlds: language in the internal market and the national identity of Member States


  • Hanneke Van Eijken Utrecht University
  • Eva Meyermans Spelmans University of Amsterdam




`EU citizenship, Language, Internal market, Linguistic diversity, national identity


The paper discusses the role language and national constitutional identity play in the free movement rights of persons. While the Treaties adhere to respect for cultural and linguistic diversity (Article 165(1) TFEU), at the same time protection of the own language may cause restrictions on free movement rights and the idea behind the internal market and EU citizenship rights. We map how these rights interact and interplay on the border of the EU and the national competences and interests. In this contribution we will focus on the role language has with regard to the free movement of persons, whether economically active or not. What role does language play in the European free movement and how should cultural diversity and national constitutional identity be balanced with language barriers?



2022-12-21 — Updated on 2023-01-10