About multilingualism policy

The European Commission promotes language learning and linguistic diversity across Europe.

Why is multilingualism important?

The EU's motto ‘united in diversity’ symbolises the essential contribution that linguistic diversity and language learning make to the European project. 

Languages unite people, render other countries and their cultures accessible, and strengthen intercultural understanding. Foreign language skills play a vital role in enhancing employability and mobility. Multilingualism also improves the competitiveness of the EU economy

Poor language skills can cause companies to lose international contracts, as well hindering the mobility of skills and talent. Yet, too many Europeans still leave school without a working knowledge of a second language. For this reason, the EU has set the improvement of language teaching and learning as a priority.

What is the EU doing to promote multilingualism?

In the Council Conclusions on multilingualism and the development of language competences, Member States committed to enhancing cooperation in the field of multilingualism and improving the effectiveness of language teaching in schools.

The European Commission is working together with national governments to meet an ambitious goal – for all citizens to learn at least two foreign languages and to begin learning foreign languages at an early age

This vision was confirmed by EU Heads of State as part of the proposal to create a European Education Area. Further support for this target was echoed in the December 2017 European Council Conclusions.

The Commission is responding to this call from Member States to reinforce the central role of multilingualism in the European project by:

These activities are supported by:

Finally, the Erasmus+ programme offers opportunities to young people to hone their language skills by engaging in learning and training abroad, and by supporting vocational and educational mobility.

Number of events: 21
28Jan2021
New Erasmus+ app launch event
Online event
Save the date: January 28 2021
10Dec2020
Third European Education Summit: Digital Education Transformation - Building Resilience in the European Education Area
Online
Third European Education Summit: Digital Education Transformation
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28Sep2020
European Day of Languages 2020
Online

To celebrate the 2020 European Day of Languages, you are warmly invited to join us for an online conference from 10:00 until 12:00 CEST (Central European Summer Time).

European Day of Languages 2020. Education begins with language
09Sep2020
New Digital Education Action Plan: public consultation official closing event with EU Executive Vice-President, Margrethe Vestager
Online

 

    Public Consultation Closing Event - Digital Education Action Plan with EU Executive Vice-President, Margrethe Vestager
    14Jul2020
    New Digital Education Action Plan: Live chat with Commissioner Gabriel
    Online
    Digital Education Action Plan: Live chat
    09Jul2020
    Young people shaping the future of education in Europe: Video conference on the European Education Area
    Online

    On 9 July, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, will host a video conference with youth representatives from across Europe on the future of education.

    Tune into the discussion to discover the vision of young people helping to shape the European Education Area!

    We want to know the views of the European youth on

    12 - 13Nov2019
    Supporting Key Competence Development: Learning approaches and environments in school education
    Hôtel Le Plaza, Boulevard Adolphe Max 118-126, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
    07Nov2019
    European Universities Initiative
    Brussels, Belgium
    European Universities are transnational alliances promoting European values, and working to revolutionise the quality and competitiveness of European higher education. Through the initiative, the Commission is making a key contribution to building the universities of the future.
    24 - 25Oct2019
    8th European University Business Forum
    Brussels, Belgium
    The Forum brings together policymakers, representatives from higher education, business and other stakeholders to discuss and debate the role of university-business cooperation for innovation and sustainable development.
    03 - 04Oct2019
    DigiEduHack: let’s act together for the future of education in the digital age!
    Europe and beyond

    24-hour contest brings teams from Europe and beyond to solve educational challenges in the digital age.

    As part of the Digital Education Action Plan of the European Commission, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) organises a 24-hour Digital Education Hackathon (DigiEduHack) on 3 October 2019.

    technology, DigiEduHack, digital