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Training and Education Policy

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European Year of Languages 2001


Official title

“European Year of Languages 2001”.


Legal References

  • Decision No 1934/2000/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 July 2000 on the European Year of Languages 2001 (OJ L 232 of 14.9.2000).

  • Call for proposals EAC/66/00 for European Year of Languages 2001. (OJ C 257 of 8.9.2000)



The European Year of Languages 2001 is organised by the European Union and the Council of Europe. It has five main objectives:

  • to raise awareness of the cultural value of linguistic diversity within the EU;
  • to encourage multilingualism;
  • to promote language learning among the public as a key element in personal and professional development;
  • to encourage the lifelong learning of languages;
  • to collect and disseminate information on language teaching and learning as well as the skills, methods and tools used to assist the teaching and learning.


Target Public/ Beneficiaries

Commission co-funding is available for organisations legally based within the European Union, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

The European Year of Languages 2001 is aimed at the general public and experts in the field of language teaching and learning. The following bodies may submit a proposal for Commission co- funding:

  • Educational bodies and institutions
  • Local and regional authorities and organisations
  • Cultural organisations
  • Social partners
  • Research centres
  • Companies and consortia, professional bodies, trade organisations and chambers of commerce and industry

Projects leading to a financial profit may not apply for funding nor may individuals or groups wishing to follow language courses.

The final beneficiaries of the co-financed actions shall include, among others, pupils and students, parents, workers, job seekers, the inhabitants of border areas or peripheral regions, cultural bodies, disadvantaged social groups and immigrants.



The European Year of Languages 2001 runs from 1 January - 31 December 2001. Projects must be carried out during this period.

The deadlines for submitting applications are:

  • 2 October 2000 for projects which are due to begin after 1 January 2001
  • 15 February 2001 for projects which are due to begin after 1 June 2001

Projects set up in the context of the following priority areas must take place during the relevant period: “The European Adult Language-Learners” Week (5 - 11 May 2001) and the “European Day of Languages” (26 September 2001).


Nature of Activities

The European Year of Languages will have two main elements: a Europe-wide information campaign celebrating Europe’s linguistic diversity and co-financing for projects originating in the Member States.

The present call for proposals concerns the second element. Co-financed projects should be implemented at local, regional and transnational levels. They should promote the objectives of the European Year of Languages, for instance in one or more of the following ways:

  • Activities raising awareness of and celebrating linguistic and cultural diversity in Europe through, for example, artistic events and cultural activities with a linguistic dimension;

  • Measures promoting language learning and raising awareness of the professional and economic advantages of it, notably through the involvement of enterprises as well as activities emphasising the benefits of lifelong language learning;

  • Information measures disseminating examples of innovative ways to learn languages and/or through widening access to such methods;

  • The organisation of prizes and competitions;

  • Local, regional, national or transnational surveys and studies on issues related to language learning, notably to linguistic diversity and less widely spoken languages, motivation, methodology and the perspective of the learner.

Priority will be given to projects which:

  • are aimed at the widest possible public;
  • involve more than one country;
  • cover more than one of the eligible languages;
  • encourage multilingualism especially regarding the less widely used languages;
  • have a realistic strategy for obtaining wide media coverage;
  • promote the use of e-learning technologies;
  • enhance the success of the European Adult Language Learners’ Week or the European Day of Languages.


European Union Financial support

The budget available for co-financed projects is EUR 4.35 million. Co-financing will amount to a maximum of 50 % of the total eligible costs. The Commission expects to be able to co-fund approximately 150 projects with sums normally ranging from EUR 10 000 to EUR 100 000.



National coordinating bodies will perform the initial examination of the applications, and will forward all applications to the Commission together with their own evaluation of each project. The Commission will select the co-financed projects after consultation with independent experts and the Committee of the Member States, set up under the European Year of Languages 2001 Decision.


Communication means



  • Contact at the European Commission:
    Kerstin Ringler
    European Commission
    Directorate-General for Education and Culture
    Rue de la Loi 200
    Office B-7
    B-1049 Brussels
    Fax: +32 2 299 6321

  • Contacts at the Council of Europe :
    Modern Languages Division
    Directorate of School, Out-of-School and Higher Education
    F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex
    Fax: +33 3 88 41 27 06 / +33 3 88 41 27 88
    Alida Matkovic, E-mail:
    Or Philia Thalgott, E-mail:


date of publication: 12/2000

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