European Day of Languages-26 September 2012
“Everybody deserves the chance to benefit from the cultural and economic advantages language skills can bring. Learning languages also helps to develop tolerance and understanding between people from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds.”
The idea to launch a “European Year of Languages” was born at the Council of Europe during a Project’s Final Conference in April 1997 organised by the Language Policy Division. The proposal, supported by representatives of member states, was examined by various bodies and the European Commission was invited to join in.
In January 1999, the Committee of Ministers declared 2001 the “European Year of Languages” and the European Union joined in by a Declaration in June 2000.
The aims of the Year were:
- to increase awareness of Europe’s linguistic heritage and openness to different languages and cultures;
- to motivate European citizens to develop plurilingualism, that is, to achieve a degree of communicative ability in a number of languages, including those less widely used and taught;
- to encourage and support lifelong language learning for personal development.