[lg policy] Juncker says influence of English language is fading

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Mon May 8 10:54:40 EDT 2017

Juncker says influence of English language is fading

But Tusk’s plea appeared to have fallen on deaf ears on Friday when Juncker
pointedly made a speech in French because “slowly but surely English is
losing importance in Europe”.

“I made my choice”.

“Slowly but surely English is losing importance in Europe”, Juncker told
<http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08pqxqx/question-time-04052017> a
conference in the Italian city of Florence, drawing laughter and applause
from his audience of European Union officials, local leaders and Italian
students. They will have to appreciate they are only half of the
negotiations and can not lay down rules and expect Britain to blindly
follow what they say.

Juncker was speaking at the European University Institute in Florence’s
annual “state of the union” conference, which comes amid Brexit
negotiations and the upcoming French presidential runoff.

Juncker said Britain’s decision to leave was “a tragedy”. He reportedly
said he did not want a “chaotic” exit, and wanted to keep good relations
with London, but the United Kingdom would become a “third country” to the
EU, not even in the customs union as Turkey is, and he believes it will be
worse off for it.

“The only ones who don’t appreciate the successes obtained by the EU are
the Europeans themselves”, he said.

Another influential German newspaper, Die Welt, said yesterday that
following Juncker’s attacks, Mrs May’s Government had privately sought
reassurances from Mrs Merkel that she did not side with Juncker in wanting
Brexit to “be a disaster for Britain” and use it to “teach it a lesson”.

Rob Ford, professor of political science at Manchester University, said
that while her public spat with Juncker will have helped, the Conservative
victory was the result of a long-term hard Brexit strategy that May has
been pursuing for almost a year.

He said it would not be possible to discuss Europe’s future relationship
with Britain unless the 27 remaining member states were reassured that “all
citizens” will be treated properly and humanely.

“Nevertheless we can be certain that Brexit will inevitably entail a number
of negative consequences”, Barnier said.

But a deeper analysis would suggest Mr Tusk was also directing his warning
at one of his own; the man who sits in the building next door to him,
Jean-Claude Juncker.

According to a pre-election poll conducted by Opinium on Saturday 46
percent of 2,005 adults participating in the survey said they will vote for
the Conservative Party in national elections scheduled for June 8. About
half of adults in Europe are believed to speak the language.

The first official language policy of what was then the European Community
in 1958 identified Dutch, French, German and Italian as the official
working languages.

With a permanent staff of 1,750 linguists and 600 support staff, the
Commission has one of the largest translation services in the world,
bolstered by a further 600 full-time and 3,000 freelance interpreters.


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