The European Commission's Action Plan for Language Learning and Linguistic Diversity
Harold F. Schiffman
haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Sat Dec 10 19:12:21 UTC 2005
The European Commission's Action Plan for Language Learning and Linguistic
On 13 December 2001, at the end of the European Year of Languages, the
European Parliament adopted a Resolution recommending measures to promote
linguistic diversity and language learning. A couple of months later, on
14 February 2002, the Education and Youth Council adopted a Resolution in
which it asked the European Commission to submit proposals for actions
aimed at promoting linguistic diversity and language learning.
In preparing its Action Plan (pdf document) , the European Commission
undertook a public consultation involving the other European Institutions,
national ministries, a wide range of organisations representing civil
society, and the general public. The consultation was in line with the
Commissions general approach to involving interested parties in
decision-taking and ensuring greater accountability.
The basis of this consultation was the Staff Working Paper Promoting
Language Learning and Linguistic Diversity Consultation which was
published in November 2002. It was designed to encourage both stakeholder
organisations and individuals to express their views on a number of key
issues identified in the document, and in particular on seven salient
Over 300 substantive responses to the consultation were received. The
European Commission would like to record its gratitude to all those
organisations and individuals who took the time to make comments and
suggestions. These responses were analysed by an independent consultant
Final report ELC. The Consultation Process was rounded off by a
conference held in Brussels on 10 April 2003. A report on the conference
can be found on the pages related to the Consultation Conference.
On 27 July 2003 the European Commission adopted the Action Plan (pdf
document) for the promotion of language learning and linguistic diversity.
The Action Plan makes concrete proposals for 45 actions to be undertaken
from 2004 to 2006 in three broad areas.
firstly, the key objective of extending the benefits of language learning
to all citizens as a lifelong activity;
secondly, the need to improve the quality of language teaching at all
thirdly, the need to build in Europe an environment which is really
favourable to languages.
It proposes a series of actions to be taken at European level in 2004
2006 with the aim of supporting actions taken by local, regional and
national authorities. Taken together, actions proposed, and those taken by
Member States, can secure a major step change in promoting language
learning and linguistic diversity.
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