« Splendeur et misère » du multilinguisme institutionnel de l’Union européenne


  • Ivo Petrů Faculty of Arts, University of Southern Bohemia


Proud of its unique multilingual regime, which guarantees access to European legislation in 24 equal language versions, the European Union appears to the outside world as an ideal of multilingualism. The clear enshrinement of the equal multilingual regime in the EU's primary and secondary legislation is its splendid face. However, seen from the inside, this idyllic image fades. In fact, the multilingualism advocated by the texts is in the process of disappearing in practice, as English has become the overwhelmingly predominant working language within the EU institutions, as shown by the Lequesne Report prepared by the French Presidency for the Council of the EU in 2022. However, the majority of people do not see this miserable monolingual practice as a problem, but rather as a pragmatic approach dictated by various constraints on the theoretical language regime, particularly at technical and budgetary level. This situation is not only contrary to the rules, it also runs counter to European integration as such.