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Brussels, 23 October 2009

New civil society platform promotes multilingualism

A new civil society platform for the promotion of multilingualism held its constitutive meeting in Brussels today. Its main objective is to promote a permanent dialogue between the Commission and civil society on the different aspects of the multilingualism policy. Among the members of the platform are representatives from the education and culture sectors and the media and other civil society organisations such as the Club of Madrid and the Yuste Foundation.

"The importance of languages in the pursuit of social cohesion and overcoming barriers to integration cannot be overstated", said Commissioner Leonard Orban at the launch of the platform.

The Civil Society Platform to promote Multilingualism will be a forum for the exchange of best practices for the media, cultural organisations and those involved in non-formal and informal education. The aim will be to encourage public debate on how best to promote the wider use of different languages. Priority target groups of the platform's work are school dropouts, people in vocational education and training, senior citizens as well as immigrants.

The platform will also develop proposals to be examined by national governments as part of their co-operation on multilingualism issues in the fields of education and training.

Business Platform for Multilingualism

On 22 September 2009 the Commission set up a similar thematic forum for businesses. The Business Platform for Multilingualism involves the business community, social partners, trade organisations, chambers of commerce, trade promotion organisations, schools and education authorities.


The importance of languages for social cohesion and overcoming barriers to integration is a theme that is being closely followed by the European Commission. The Communication on multilingualism of 2008 called for the setting up of a civil society platform promoting multilingualism for intercultural dialogue.

Within the context of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009, the Commission has highlighted how language skills can contribute to foster social and individual wellbeing.

List of platform members

EEE-YFU -Youth For Understanding Federation of European Publishers

RECIT -Réseau européen des centres internationaux de traduction littéraire

ACT - Association of Commercial Television in Europe

Culturelink Network

Literature Across Frontiers

EFIL - European Federation for Intercultural Learning

CEATL -Conseil européen des associations de traducteurs littéraires

CMFE Community Media Forum Europe

Yuste -Fundación Academia Europea de Yuste

FUEV - Föderalistische Union Europäischer Volksgruppen


EAEA-European Association for the Education of Adults

CEPI - European Coordination of Independent Producers

European Theatre Convention

EBLUL – Eurolang Brussels

ECA - European Council of Artists

EPC - European Publishers Council

ALTE - European Projects Officer

EEU -Eŭropa Esperanto-Unio

Club of Madrid Brussels Office

European Association for Terminology

The European Forum for Vocational Education and Training (EfVET)

EUROCLIO – European Association of History Educators

EUNIC Brussels aisbl

ISSA - International Step by Step Association

Mercator Network of Language Diversity Centres

ECSWE - European Council For Steiner Waldorf Education

EFNIL - European Federation of National Institutions for Language

To find out more:

IP/08/1340 : The Commission aims to tap the full potential of languages (18/09/2008)

Call for expression of interest on civil society platform to promote multilingualism :

European Commission's thematic website "tapping the full potential of languages in Europe" :

Business Platform for Multilingualism : /education/languages/news/news3639_en.htm

Commissioner Orban's website:

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